Student with passion, graduate with perspectives

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An interview with Daniel Gabryś, who graduated from Silesian University of Technology, about studying and working at the same time and what’s the better choice: studying a subject based on higher chances of getting a well-paid job after finishing studies and gets a diploma or because of interests.

You are graduating this year. What was your major?
Yes, just a few days ago I get my master degree at Management at Silesian University of Technology in Organization and Management Department. This is just another step in one man’s life – nowadays we can even say an elementary one – which is now finished. I hope this is just the beginning – every end is the start of something new.

And what was the topic of your master degree?
The subject of my paper were connected to my interests and specialization. I specialize in business audit and also project management and innovation management, but my main interest is process management. Presently, innovation management is the most important indicator when it comes to competitiveness of companies, which is the only constant thing in today’s world. That is also the reason, why I choose to put together two important for me research areas, either from academic or professional point of view – which are process management and management of change. So I have done a process analysis of management of change in this one particular organization. The establishment I choose, in the last few years introduced many breakthrough and innovative changes when it comes to the product, organization, processes and management – thanks to this I have got very interesting results.

You have got a very good grade for your masters. Did you get a proposition from University to work for them?
That’s true, I’ve got not only a very good grade but I graduated with honors. I still didn’t get a specific proposition, but I have an appointment regarding my plans. I hope it will go well. Right now I’m thinking of the ways I can grow – maybe to stay at University and work at my dissertation.

About what you want to write in your doctorate?
I didn’t think of it yet, but for sure it will be something about management, especially about process management. Something, that would reflect my job experiences. In the end, research should be purposeful for the surveyed companies and make change in their work results.

What kind of job are you looking now for?
Right now I am deputy CEO in a IT and finances firm that organize on-line training and courses. But I’m used to working much more, I’ve always worked in 2 or 3 jobs and also did many side projects, that were and are close to my heart. Because of many other responsibilities I needed to resign from some projects that didn’t concentrate around my interests or just didn’t bring me much joy anymore. But as I finished my studies now, I will have more time, so I’m hoping to find interesting and longterm project I could devote myself to. And as I always say, the most important is to do what you really like but also make money from it. I have a few proposition but still haven’t decided on anything. We will see what future brings.

What kind of expectations young people have now regarding their job?
In many sectors there is vacancy of high qualified employees. The companies are changing too – the pressure is on processes, virtualization of services, groups that works from home. Many things that earlier needed to be done by workers in production hall right now are done by one person that sit behind the desk at their home. The meaning of private property is also changing – many products are now services, and the term “to have” is changing to “access”. Nowadays, the pressure is more on intellectual efficiency than physical one. If we have an access to the computer, we can make many things, so in conclusion they way of working is different, computers do the work for us. Research shows that thanks or because of that many professions are now completely unnecessary. We should take this into consideration while planning our future career.

These all factors have a powerful impact on creating the employee’s market. Of course, the sense of security, also in financial aspect, that is guaranteed by employers is very important. People need to feel secure. However, nowadays, many young people aren’t motivated by money, of course after reaching the aforementioned financial security. Research shows that high salary is on quite low position, when it comes to the motivation and happiness of employee. The most important thing is to do what we like, so both employers and employees focused on building good atmosphere in work environment and if they could develop their passions. Other important things are: location, flexibility and also mobility. For what we need to lose our time for a ride to workplace, when we can do the same work, sometimes even better, in our houses. That way we save time and energy, and we can do something else in that saved up time. In Poland many employers still don’t understand it, but slowly the changes are made. About financial issues, most employees preferred model in which the fixed part of the payment is able to provide the sense of financial security, but the rest is clearly defined and encourages employee to take on challenges and not discourage them. If employers make the not fixed part the most important, then they made slaves of their employees, not efficient workers. Therefore, the proportions should be fairly balanced, so employee would feel safe in his/her work but at the same time would be ready to face new challenges. The rules of bonuses should be clearly established, understandable and easy to follow, but employers can’t forget about the non-salary motivation which is just as much important for the workers.

What competences did you get from high school?
I graduate from IT technical school. My competences are confirmed by diploma that I got after passing the qualification exam for 96 percent. Mainly, my qualities are associated with administration of databases, administration of computer systems, programming, designing websites, administration of networks, maintenance of computer systems and networks and also fixing the computer hardware. My speciality in high school was graphic design. But we should remember that technical school only teaches the basics, but how good we will be in our doing solely depends on us – specifically how we will expand our interests by practice, courses etc. Personally, I think I’m the best at designing IT systems, mainly networks and e-commerce, which contains projecting services, management and marketing.

Have you ever had a part-time job while still being a student? If yes, how many hours you worked in a week?
Yes, as I mentioned before, I worked in 2 or 3 places and also had side projects, while still attending classes in school or University. I was always ready to work, and when there was something important I worked on my laptop during my class or when I had free time. My jobs were usually mobile with flexibile hours and the most important was the final effect. In that way I was always ‘working’ but what would I be doing if not that? You can accomplish anything you want and the key to this is good organization.

Is it worth to work and study at the same time? And why?
Definitely yes, I think doing both – working and also studying – is the best solution to earn some money for yourself, but it’s also great for personal development and satisfaction. Schools teach us the basics, technical school – basics and general knowledge from our department, then University gives us grounds for studying, for example the way to explore the topic related to our specialization. Many people goes to college for two reasons: to get a nice job or to learn more about subject they are interested in. Unfortunately, finishing studies don’t guarantee a good job, and people without passion would probably fail. During the five years of studying we have almost one hundred subjects, so it’s logical that we can’t specialize in every one of them. Therefore, it is up to us to explore the subject. And the best way to learn is by combining theory and practice – that way we can see both theoretical and practical aspects at the same time. Many IT companies trains their new workers, knowing the information they get during studies or previous jobs might not be useful because of different market demands. So it is worth thinking about gaining experiences.

Do you have time for your personal interests and passions?
Of course, the most important thing in life is to have time for all of our interests – education, work, hobby, sport. Even better, when all these areas overlaps in like one big process in life. I have many interests, i.e. education, white weapon, Olympic archery, healthy lifestyle (I’m a personal trainer) or games, in which I beat records, record movies about them or run thematic websites. During studies there was time when I was studying, working at three places, training archery three times a week for four hours and also did strength training four times a week. So as I aforementioned, good time organization and we are able to do anything.

Other important information
Personally I encourage people to go to college, the first recruitment already started. But still, the most important is to choose school from passion and not pressure or to just study because in this profession there’s a lot of vacancies. I choose mine based on my interests and I don’t regret it. There is no worse feeling than regretness that after five years of studying we wasted our time, because we learnt something that don’t bring us enjoyment. Many industries are in need of good employee. So it is worth to study something we like. Also it’s very good to work during studies, because in that way we can get very valuable experience. I can’t imagine my life in which I don’t like my work, and can’t expand my skills, passions or achieve new goals. I encourage everyone to progress in every sense of the word!

Beata Sekuła

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