Building a successful career in Information Technology Solutions
Karol Jurcik is an Information Technology Solutions (ITS) Lead, responsible for Application Support across our European business. During his three years with Mondelez International, he has seen his role expand and evolve substantially. Now, along with his team of 11, he often acts as the face of our organisation, building relationships with external vendors and strategic partnerships with our Marketing, Procurement, and HR functions (to name a few) to advocate innovation and continuous improvement.
Karol has found a passion for coaching and mentoring colleagues within the ITS Function at MDLZ. Here he shares his personal top five tips for success – and why our ITS Hub in Bratislava, Slovakia, is the perfect place for ITS Professionals to accelerate their career.
“I have a few principles which I live by; they have served me well throughout my career & have helped me to become a trusted business partner. Everyone’s career is personal, there’s no ‘right way’ to succeed – but I believe these principles can really help us to be at our best, whichever direction we’re going in...“
5 Top Tips
1. Always be open to listen. This advice really pays, and I am always forcing myself to listen more. And don’t just listen, ask questions. It is only by doing this that we can understand where the business has pain points, and where we can focus our attention to develop innovative solutions with real business impact.
2. Be proactive. Take an active approach. Be visible. And help to build something that works. During my career, I have never hesitated to invest my own time, and this has helped me to build my credibility, and my network. This makes it so much easier to influence and create change – and to become a first choice.
3. Talk about the things that matter. One of the values at Mondelez International which really resonates with me personally is ‘Tell it like it is’. Another is ‘Be open & inclusive’. That’s the great thing about the culture at MDLZ – you are free to explore options, and to challenge colleagues to find the best solution. And that is so important. If you see something you think could be better, or have a great new idea, don’t keep it to yourself – get others on board.
4. Take accountability for your own skillset. Accelerate your own understanding, identify your own strengths and development areas. Find ways to build your knowledge where you have gaps, and don’t forget to continue to build your strengths to leverage these even more effectively!
5. Throw yourself in at the deep end. From my own experience, I know this isn’t easy. And sometimes it might feel like you’re lost in translation. But with an open mind and a bit of resilience, I found myself growing, both professionally and personally, and ended up with some really strong relationships. It’s also important to be open to opportunities that arise, it’s sometimes the most unexpected opportunities that give the most scope for development – and will help you establish a more rounded understanding of the business.
"The beauty of working in MDLZ is the strong connections you build, and the freedom to really influence things. MDLZ is known as a company which produces chocolate, but behind all our amazing brands, there is a team of very highly skilled ITS specialists, just to name a few, from data-modellers in Business Intelligence, architects, ITIL Specialists & SAP Subject & Process matter experts. The complexity of work available provides a real opportunity to grow and develop, at all career stages. This is definitely true in our ITS Hub in Bratislava, Slovakia. The hub offers a vast range of ITS jobs, from more middle-level roles to challenging strategic and senior roles.
The Hub doesn’t just offer interesting and challenging roles, but it’s a great place to work. I have been really impressed by the culture, it’s a very open and inclusive environment. You always feel supported by colleagues and leaders, and you are encouraged to ask questions. There’s a really strong community feel, we all go for a drink every couple of weeks, a group of us are going skiing in a couple of weeks, and we had an amazing New Year party earlier in the month.
The location in Bratislava is great, too. I’m not originally from Bratislava, but I love that it’s a ‘big-small’ city… It has the feeling of a big city, but you will not get lost, and you can walk everywhere. In fact, it’s only a 10 minute walk from the ITS Hub here to the city centre. You can easily get to the lakes and mountains – I heard that there are more than 130 ski slopes in the region! It’s a really interesting place to live, a centre of activity."
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