Work of an Office Manager in IT – Interview with Karolina Cieślak
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to shed some light on a person who isn’t a developer, but without whom everyday work at BinarApps wouldn’t be the same.
Meet Karolina Cieślak, our Office Manager. She has been working in BinarApps since 2015. Back then, she was a student at the Łódź University of Technology and the company was in its early stage of development. She quickly became one of the pillars of BinarApps – it’s hard to imagine how it would run without her ingenuity, effort, and invaluable enthusiasm. As one of the first women on board, today she wants to encourage others to start careers in IT in her role as Women in Technology Organizer.
If you’re curious about how Karolina’s career has evolved along with the company’s growth, read the interview below.
Aleksandra Rajczyk: You didn’t study computer science, is that right?
Karolina Cieślak: No! I studied management and urban planning.
AR: How come you started working at BinarApps?
KC: I was working here part-time as a sales researcher. My job was to look for clients from overseas and put them in a database. Then we would send them cold emails. It was before BinarApps had a proper sales department you know.
AR: So when did your duties started to shift towards what you’re doing today?
KC: It was some time between 2016 and 2017. I remember we had a promo shoot in Niebostan on Piotrkowska street. Someone had to be a floor manager of sorts – keep everything in check, help with details, that kind of stuff. But even before that, I was helping more and more at the office. There are so many things that have to be done in a place where people are busy! I like challenges and I always think ahead, so I was organizing our internal events, taking pictures, going to institutions, helping with paperwork and so on. I enjoyed it!
AR: The way I see it, the Office Manager is someone who helps people do their actual job in the workplace.
KC: That’s it! I’m an extrovert and to me, working with people is way more attractive than sitting in front of a computer all the time. I don’t mind when someone comes to me with a problem – there are no stupid questions. I am focused on taking action so when there’s an issue, I immediately take care of it.
AR: At what point did you officially change your job title at BinarApps?
KC: It was at the end of my studies. I was talking with Adam and Maciej about my future in the company in general. I felt really proud of my self when they said they trust me. I mean, when founders of the company trust you, that’s a big deal! I also received really, really positive feedback from the employee surveys. Some of them were so nice they’ve made me cry! Being around great people is my main drive.
AR: What about Women in Technology? When did that initiative become a part of your life?
KC: I joined WiT back in May 2018. Daria, one of the developers from BinarApps, was one of the founders of the local branch in Łódź. I wanted to take part in this because to me it’s a way of self-development. Organizing meetups is what I’d like to do more of in the future. I love the inspiration behind Women in Technology. We show people that IT is more than coding. It’s an entire sector of the economy. There’s a lot of job positions you can apply for. We make people aware of the possibilities.
Daria is a great example of how you can grow your career in IT from an internship to a full-stack developer. You can read more about her here: https://binarapps.com/self-development-and-growth-in-ba/
AR: What you don’t like about being an Office Manager?
KC: I think about work even when I’m at home. I have to be prepared for phone calls at odd hours because there could be an issue you can’t predict, like pipes leaking at the office. I also had to learn how to stop what I’m doing at any given moment because someone needs help ASAP. It’s hard to plan your day. Then again, I like when there’s a lot going on. I never get bored!
AR: How’s BinarApps different from when you started over 4 years ago?
KC: Honestly, I am a bit shocked! BinarApps has grown so much in a short amount of time. I remember when there were a few programmers and one project manager. Now we have a huge team and new departments: HR, sales, marketing. If I could, I’d like to apply for a job here one more time just to have the opportunity to go through the new recruitment process, no joke! The biggest strength of BinarApps is people. They build a great atmosphere. It really feels like home.
AR: Thanks for the talk!
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