Phenomenal Women of AltoPartners – Malgorzata Stankiewicz
Meet one of the newer members of the fabulous Accord Poland team, our partners in Warsaw. Malgorzata Stankiewicz heads up communications and marketing for Accord Poland and Nuvadis Interim, their thriving interim management service, and Nuvadis Talent. An advertising psychologist by training, this is her first foray into the world of executive search and talent management. A keen photographer and expert multi-tasker, she has an unerring eye for detail, next-level intuition and the ability to make things happen.
Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
I was born in Warsaw, where I experienced a fantastic childhood: playing on swings, climbing trellises, hiding treasures and keeping a diary, in which my friends and I would paste dried flowers, vacation photos and stickers. This was the 70s and 80s of the last century, and the greyness of Poland was overwhelming, but as children and then teenagers, we managed to find joy in what we were given.
What was your childhood career dream?
To the amusement of my aunts and uncles, I would announce from an early age that I wanted to be a dentist. Don’t ask me why [Laughs]. Then briefly, I wanted to be a stewardess (the best way to see the world at that time), but mostly, I wanted to sing.
What did you do when you left school?
I have never been attracted to the beaten path, so I also went my own way when it came to my studies. I was fascinated by the advertising market. Advertising was in its infancy in Poland, and global networks were expanding their reach into Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, there was not a single course at the university or any private colleges in this discipline, so I decided to study remotely at a British university and, like a marathon runner, graduated in a year and a half with a degree in advertising psychology.
What was your first job?
My first job was at a tiny agency selling advertising space to the print media. I went to the interview wearing a leather jacket, which was such a surprise to them, that I got the job. That was Poland in the early 90s!
How did you get into executive recruitment?
I have always been attracted to projects that require creativity, a bit of courage and the opportunity to build something new. When I spotted the vacancy in an industry that had always interested me, but in which I had no experience professionally, I didn’t hesitate. I was given a loan of confidence, which I strive to repay responsibly and professionally every day.
Tell us a bit about your job.
Initially, I was hired to build the recently established Nuvadis Interim brand and position it as a reliable partner for companies seeking expert interim management skills. Subsequently, my responsibilities included communication and marketing care for our sister brand, Nuvadis Talents, and then for Accord Group Poland. Starting conversations with clients and candidates is relatively easy; sustaining the conversation takes a lot more effort, but it’s where the rewards lie, so this is the main way I support our boutique team in terms of business development.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I was very lucky to have many mentors along the way who generously shared their experiences and knowledge with me. I took it all onboard even if I didn’t always use it. I had an extraordinary boss at one of the hotels where I headed the Conference department. To this day, I remember our early morning conversations about Clint Eastwood while I was busy preparing board reports. Then there was the owner of a commercial fit-out company who showed me what kind of professional relationship I didn’t want, which was also a very valuable lesson. The advice and tips were many, the trick is to pick out the ones that resonate. For sure: trust your intuition, don’t follow people who don’t value you, listen more often than you speak, learn to accept compliments and build your resilience. Don’t be afraid of ridicule, even when your idea may seem too bold - speak up!
What advice would you give your younger self?
You know what is right for you, don’t let others push you into directions you don’t want to go. Pace yourself; don’t let a project or a relationship consume your life - balance is healthy, so leave space for you to thrive and grow too. One day the project will end.
How do you relax and unwind?
I am passionate about music. Always. As a child, I was taught to listen to music by my older brother, who played electric guitar and introduced me to the vastness of the world of sounds. I also love looking at my beloved Warsaw through the lens, capturing images which I show online and occasionally exhibit. And then I read. Books are a huge part of what I physically possess in life. Kindle is not for me. Nothing beats the smell of print.
Do you have a superpower?
I know how to lift others up, even though I sometimes fall myself. I have a very strong intuition, which has never let me down. I am also able to use it to help others who need to make difficult decisions. Are these superpowers? I don’t know, but I am happy to share my gift.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know.
I am a certified Feng Shui expert. I know, right? I don’t have time to practice it professionally, but if you want to introduce changes in the energy flow of your home or office – give me a call [laughs].
Name one thing you love about the work you do.
The joy of creating new value together.
What are you currently reading?
In Valeria’s Shoes by Elisabet Benavent - I love this Madrid content vibe!