Side by side series | CIVITTA

Side by side series | Lukasz Pupek and Karolina Zawistowska

Coming back to the interview series “Side by side” where we asked one Consultant and one Partner to give us a glimpse into their day-to-day activities and show us a parallel of being in both positions. This time, we asked our colleagues from the Warsaw office. Lukasz Pupek is a Partner whereas Karolina Zawistowska is a Senior Consultant.


1. What is your perfect morning routine to start the day?

Lukasz: During the week I usually wake up at 5 am (my wife and four of my kids are still sleeping), make coffee, read some news and plan the day. Then around 6 am I go for a walk or jog with our golden retriever in the forest which is 3 minutes away from our home. What I mostly love about this routine is the silence. These are the moments when the best ideas are coming to my mind.

Karolina: Usually I wake up before 8 am. Eat breakfast, have my morning coffee and read a bit of news to be up to date. Since most of the time I work from home I turn on my laptop at 9 am and read all the e-mails, as well as prepare a to-do list for the things that have to be done by the end of the day. It helps me to focus on my current priorities, especially when I work on several projects simultaneously, and have an increased workload.


2. What is the music track that you love to play when coming to work?

Lukasz: When driving to work I usually listen to the TOK FM radio (focusing on the news) or Polish new generation hip-hop artists 😊

Karolina: My walk to work is only around 15 minutes, so it is not enough time to create a full morning walk music track. However, I try to listen to more energetic songs that keep my mind awake and motivated. My favourite song right now is “Joy” by Salute - for people who prefer more electronic vibes 😊


3. How do you usually relax during the work breaks?

Lukasz: Usually I spend time with my kids which is relaxing for my mind but it happens to be exhausting physically. Nevertheless, the best way for me to relax is through silence, spending time outdoors and doing sports.

Karolina: Coffee. It is always a good idea to make a break to get a coffee and rest your eyes after a long screen time. If I’m at the office I always try to have a chat with my colleagues as I am usually working from home.


4. Do you cook and if so, what is your favourite dish to make?

Lukasz: I cook very rarely and have limited skills but kids like my baked salmon with soy sauce and risotto with chicken (made with Thermomix help 😊)

Karolina: Well, I do cook but those are not fancy dishes that I would serve my friends on a dinner night. Unfortunately, I was not born with a natural talent for cooking, so my diet is mostly based on pasta as it’s the easiest and the fastest to prepare.


5. How do you keep your motivation up during the day?

Lukasz: Planning the day in the morning is the key for me. The number and diversity of tasks usually don’t let me lose motivation. If so, I am taking a 15-minute walk outside the office or just taking a longer break that day.

Karolina: Impact. I always like to engage myself in projects that have a real impact either on the economy, environment or society. Helping clients receive funding for implementing products or processes that can actually improve our daily lives in future, makes my work more meaningful and interesting. So I guess the project scope drives my motivation to deliver results before the deadline. Moreover, the Warsaw team and the positive spirit they always share with me.


6. Do you have some hobbies and if so, which ones?

Lukasz: Currently I have limited time for hobbies but I have two directions to explore in the future: dog training (in COVID times we spend hundreds of hours training our dog and I enjoyed it a lot) and tennis which I think is one of the most challenging individual sport considering the skills and general condition of your body (I used to play regularly and love the sense of improvement after each training session).

Karolina: Traveling. My passion for traveling started after graduating high school when I decided to spend my longest vacation working in Croatia. It was quite challenging but at the same time, one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had - the people I met there and the memories gained definitely outweighed all the issues I faced. So this prompted me to go on my first Erasmus exchange to Madrid during my bachelor years, and further resulted in going on two more student exchanges in Brussels and Linz for my master's degree. Now, since my university days are over (as well as Erasmus :D) I spent all my vacation days on trips either to Poland or abroad. I’ve already traveled to over 30 different countries within the last 5 years. I know it’s just the beginning taking into account there are around 200 countries in the world, but the challenge is accepted 😊.


7. What is your favourite weekend activity?

Lukasz: Biking with my family (sometimes jogging when kids are biking 😊)

Karolina: Probably weekend trips. I like to search for cheap plane tickets and make quick trips abroad - the last time I flew to Bologna for only 30 euros return ticket, or just take a train/car and go with my friends to the Polish seaside. If I’m in Warsaw then I like to go out for a dinner to catch up with my friends and have a glass of wine.


8. What did you learn during your time in CIVITTA?

Lukasz: I learned 2 main things: (1) big things are achievable when you have a vision and the right people with you, and (2) one market or country perspective is very limiting. I found out that colleagues from other countries doing the same type of projects have similar problems and challenges but at the same time have other solutions which are very inspiring.

Karolina: The importance of communication and trust. I believe that those two building blocks are the core of the relationship between the people we are working with. When it comes to communication, it is important to provide a safe space to agree but also disagree, ask questions, exchange perspectives, and give valuable but constructive feedback, so we can always learn from each other. However, trust empowers people to fully commit to their work, achieve the set goals and own the success from the delivered results. CIVITTA always granted me trust and fair feedback, which enabled me to develop fast as a consultant.


9. What do you like most about your team?

Lukasz: First of all, smiles and a sense of humor. What I do appreciate as well is the spirit of being supportive of each other which makes me a great pleasure to go to work every day.

Karolina: The positive mindset and the support. In our Warsaw team, we’ve managed to create an environment where everyone can rely on each other no matter the situation. You never feel left alone, you always have someone by your side who can help you out when you need it. We worked on lots of challenging projects with the most demanding clients, nevertheless the team I work with here in Warsaw always have a positive attitude. We built up a team that has created strong relations, so we do have fun during office hours when we have lunch together as well as after work during common dinners or sports events. I also have to underline that there’s not a more creative team when it goes to making memes 😊


10. How would you describe CIVITTA in a few words?

Lukasz: Open and demanding, supportive and challenging. In other words, you can expect sincerity and transparency when it comes to the rules and professionalism and excellent development opportunities when doing impactful projects every day.

Karolina: Challenge, international collaboration and innovative mindset. CIVITTA is a really good place to grow as a consultant. You can find yourself in a dynamic environment where you are constantly challenged because people believe in you and your potential. This gives you a great opportunity to develop skills and uptake new tasks. CIVITTA also puts an emphasis on collaboration – you can meet amazing people with different backgrounds but similar positive and innovative mindsets, and have a chance to work in diverse and cross-border teams.

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