Getting Ahead

How Taking on New Challenges Helped This HR Manager Find Career Success

person with short blond wavy hair and blue eyes in front of an orange wall
Aleksandra Kazimierczyk-Robak, an HR manager at Trustwave.
| Courtesy of Trustwave

Aleksandra Kazimierczyk-Robak got her first taste of working in human resources as an administrative services assistant at Oxford University, where she was tasked with supporting learning and development for the staff.

“It was a challenging role, and I loved it,” she says. “I loved the people and the impact I had on their professional lives.”

After returning to her home country of Poland, Kazimierczyk-Robak got a job as an HR and office assistant at a derivatives trading company and learned the more operational and administrative parts of HR. But her hunger to learn more only grew stronger, leading her to earn a master’s degree in HR management.

And then came the cybersecurity company Trustwave, which hired Kazimierczyk-Robak as an HR assistant in the growing Warsaw office in 2014. Since then, she’s worked her way up to HR manager.

Here, Kazimierczyk-Robak shares what she loves about working in HR, the biggest challenge she has faced recently, and why being open to new challenges has helped her succeed in her career.

What attracted you to work at Trustwave?

I remember being intrigued by the industry, as cybersecurity at that time was totally new to me. And then at the interview I met my future manager, and her enthusiasm was contagious. From the beginning it struck me as a place with good energy and space to grow.

You’ve worked your way up from HR assistant to HR manager. How does this exemplify the way the company supports growth from within?

Trustwave is definitely a place that encourages its employees’ growth and development. I started working here in 2014 as an HR assistant supporting an HR generalist in the processes for Poland. Trustwave in Poland was rapidly growing back then, so I used that opportunity to take responsibility for recruitment, onboarding, and HR admin. In time I was exposed to business partnering by supporting local and regional managers. My company recognized my work by offering me a promotion to an HR manager role for Poland. I proved that taking ownership of your own career, being proactive, and not being afraid of new challenges pays off.

What are you responsible for in your role at Trustwave?

My scope of responsibility is quite large. I am managing HR processes for Poland, such as onboarding, offboarding, admin, benefits, employee relations, talent retention, etc. As we employ many foreigners in Warsaw, I am acting as an immigration advisor to support hiring and business needs. Finally, I have been always involved in talent acquisition tasks for Poland.

What do you like best about the company culture?

I like how multicultural and diverse our company is. Even within our local office in Warsaw, we are hiring people from many different countries. It is especially interesting and challenging for me, as an HR manager. I also believe there is a strong sense of camaraderie, which creates this great atmosphere at work. You can rely on others and definitely feel supported.

What opportunities do Trustwave employees have for learning and development?

From day one, our employees begin working on active projects to grow their current skills, expand on their knowledge, and learn from our global team of security experts. All of our employees are encouraged to continuously sharpen their skills and broaden their knowledge. We have a great platform with many courses where you can develop in both personal and professional areas. Trustwave also offers training and certification programs.

What are you working on right now that excites or inspires you?

Work in HR can be repetitive, but it is never boring, especially at Trustwave’s Warsaw office. Currently, we have plenty of work with new hires in Poland. I am dedicated to supporting multiple recruitments for SecureTrust locally as well as other departments. It’s an exciting time as Warsaw continues to grow. In addition to that, our HR team is working on implementing innovative onboarding software to make the new hire experience more virtual and harmonious. I am helping my manager roll out this project globally.

What are the biggest challenges of working in HR, and how have you overcome them?

There are plenty of challenges in HR! This is what I love about my role. The most recent one was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when our office-based company had to transform to a fully remote one. As an organization, we had to ask ourselves: How can we support our employees in the transition? How can we take care of their wellbeing? How can we keep employees engaged during these uncertain times? With regular online meetings and morning coffee catch-ups, we managed to transition well as a company. Of course, we had some bumps at the beginning, but we listened to our people and tried to respond to their needs. I believe we did very well.

What have been the keys to your success throughout your career?

A positive, can-do attitude and openness to new challenges, people, and cultures have helped me succeed in my career. I have set clear goals for my professional development while still being flexible to a busy, changing environment.