Boosted their skills by working abroad
John Einar Sandvand
Communications Manager - product & tech
Published November 15, 2016

Boosted their skills by working abroad

Schibsted Tech Polska offers its employees many opportunities to work for shorter or longer periods abroad. Here are five who tried.

Being part of a global group with operations in 30 countries, employees in Schibsted Tech Polska are a part of a big internal job market. This gives plenty of opportunities to spend time working abroad with software engineers in other partner companies.

“For me knowing the people I work with face to face was a game-changer,” says Artur Glier, who stayed for three months in Stockholm.

“I learned to be a more open person while in Norway,” says Iwona Leszczyńska after working two months in Oslo.

The programs

Here are some of the ways software engineers in Schibsted Tech Polska can get international experience:

  • Business trips: The most common are normal business trips. Most of our software engineers travel quite frequently to Norway, Sweden or other location to work with their foreign colleagues. In fact, the average STP employee is on a business trip, mostly abroad, 20 days per year.
  • Longer stays: Several of our partner companies have offered the opportunity for longer stays of up to three months in their cities.
  • Travel grants:  All employees in Schibsted Media Group can apply for travel grants to visit other Schibsted companies. Several Schibsted Tech Polska employees have had month-long stays in London and Barcelona after receiving travel grants.
  • Internal mobility: All positions in Schibsted Media Group are posted internally – and applications to work in another location are welcome. For software engineers, there are frequent opportunities both in Barcelona, London, Oslo and Stockholm.

Longer stays

A large number of employees have spent up to three months working in their partners’ offices in Scandinavia. This program was started already in 2012 – and the purpose was to build a closer connection between the Polish and Scandinavian colleagues.

The employee is provided with an apartment from the Scandinavian company for the stay – and also receives per diem for business trips. He/she can take regular weekend trips back to Poland to see family and friends.

Why it is important

CEO Stig A. Waagbø explains in this short video why it is important for Schibsted to encourage employees to go abroad.

 

Here are five of our employees who took advantage of the opportunities:

Aleksandra: Travel grant to London

Aleksandra Grzybowska, HR Business Partner in Schibsted Tech Polska, won a travel grant to stay one month in Schibsted´s London office

Aleksandra Grzybowska, HR Business Partner in Schibsted Tech Polska, won a travel grant to stay one month in Schibsted´s London office

Aleksandra Grzybowska

  • HR Business Partner
  • Went for one month to the Schibsted Products and Technology office in London in 2015

Why did you go?

Aleksandra working in the London office

Aleksandra working in the London office

All employees can apply for a travel grant from Schibsted – and I thought I would be a fool not to use it.

At the time the hub in London was quite new – and I was curious to see how they were building up their office and to explore how we could cooperate. I thought it would be great to have friends in one of the other hubs.

What did you learn?

I learned that each Schibsted office is different – with its own very unique atmosphere. But also that there are some common Schibsted values – a “Schibsted factor” that is visible in the culture.

My colleagues in London were both eager to learn and to share their knowledge. In fact, the stay empowered me a lot – and gave me confidence that we from Poland can succeed everywhere.

It was a lot of fun. The London office was smaller than our Krakow hub, but they spent a lot of time together outside the office, with frequent after-work pub visits and all sorts of “cake days” and similar activities to be together socially.

Artur: Three-month stay in Stockholm

Android developer Artur Glier spent three months working for Aftonbladet TV in Stockholm

Android developer Artur Glier spent three months working for Aftonbladet TV in Stockholm

Artur Glier

  • Android developer
  • Went for three months to Stockholm in the fall of 2015 to work on a project for Aftonbladet TV

Why did you go?

A good meal with Swedish colleagues

A good meal with Swedish colleagues

I was curious. I wanted to see how it is to live in Stockholm – to really feel the city.

Going for a longer stay to Stockholm was a great chance to meet Swedes as they are, instead of just trying to understand them through Slack, video conferences, etc.

What did you learn?

I realized how knowing people you work with face-to-face was a game-changer. Although I knew my Swedish colleagues before, it created a completely different kind of relationship. We were able to do things much quicker.

Many seem to think Swedes are cold people. My experience was opposite. They were very helpful and warm, and took good care of me.

In the beginning, everyone took great care in speaking English around me. But after a while, they kind of forgot I was a foreigner, and automatically switched back to Swedish. This made the third month I was there a little tough – and being able to understand all the small talk around me was probably the best thing about coming back to Krakow.

Stockholm is one of the prettiest cities I have been to. I really liked it!

Kamil: Three months in Bergen

Kamil Wolny went for two months to work with his Norwegian colleagues in Bergen

Kamil Wolny went for three months to work with his Norwegian colleagues in Bergen

Kamil Wolny

  • Software developer
  • Spent three months in Bergen, Norway from August 2015

Why did you go?

Kamil and a friend planking outside the offices of Bergens Tidende

Kamil and a friend planking outside the offices of Bergens Tidende

I went there because I wanted to see how it feels to live in Bergen.

Also, I wanted to work closer with my colleagues there – and try to improve the atmosphere of being part of one team located in different cities.

What did you learn?

My stay in Bergen was a great time.

I learned a lot about Norwegian culture on many parties and cultural events that I attended. It was also extremely nice to feel the atmosphere of the editorial offices of Bergens Tidende, the regional media house.

On a personal note, I also started doing planking.

 

Patryk: Travel grant to Barcelona

Patryk Kurczyna spent one month in Barcelona on a travel grant

Patryk Kurczyna spent one month in Barcelona on a travel grant

Patryk Kurczyna

  • Software engineer
  • Spent one month in Schibsted’s Barcelona office in September 2016

Why did you go?

At football match with former STP colleague Daniel

At football match with former STP colleague Daniel

I wanted to see how people work in different Schibsted hubs. Many of the tools I use in my daily work have been developed at the Barcelona office, and I wanted to get to know the people behind the tools.

I thought it would be very hard to get the travel grant from Schibsted – and was very surprised when I got a positive response. Also, my colleague Marcin received the grant and we could travel together.

What did you learn?

I met a lot of great people and I am really grateful to them. During that month I worked on a project that was dealing with 2 billion image transformations every week. It was challenging, with technologies I did not know. For me it was the first step in learning the Golang programming language, for instance.
And of course, Barcelona was great. It is one of the best cities I have been to. My wife came down for a visit – and we enjoyed the fantastic food together.

Iwona: Winter stay in Oslo

Iwona Leszczyńska spent three months in Oslo

Iwona Leszczyńska spent three months in Oslo

Iwona Leszczyńska

  • UX designer
  • Worked in Oslo from September to December 2015 helping to develop a new application for Norway’s biggest news site

Why did you go?

No winter visit to Oslo is complete without the Holmenkollen ski jumping arena

No winter visit to Oslo is complete without the Holmenkollen ski jumping arena

The most important reason was to discover the country and the culture. And I wanted to know my Norwegian colleagues better. I had been on short visits before and I thought it would be good to understand people even better.

In Oslo, I would also have the opportunity to work with other UX designers than I can in Krakow.

Finally, to be honest, Schibsted Tech Polska also makes it financially attractive to work abroad.

What did you learn?

I learned a lot about work culture. People in Norway are relaxed and very focused on their private life. But they are also very passionate about work – and love what they do. I found them to be open and tolerant – and willing to discuss everything. My colleagues accepted me fully and listened to all my proposals.

I think I can say I learned to be a more open person in Norway.

Oslo was a good city to stay in. I have some friends from Krakow who live there and met with them several times. Also, I loved going to the Astrup Fearnley museum – with top exhibitions all the time.

What surprised me the most? That there was no sun for most of the day! I did not expect that! On the positive side: How friendly everyone was!

 

Check Schibsted jobs outside Poland

Communications Manager - product & tech
Published November 15, 2016