He has performed well in the Romanian office of a global services company. He has left Romania 4 years ago to support the opening of a subsidiary of his organization in Poland. His temporary assignment turned into a full-time job, a home, a family, a child... This is how an introvert successfully copes with an extrovert job and high-stakes responsibilities.
Name: Radu Paul Stanea
Abroad since: Oct 2012
Living in: Gdynia, Gdansk - north of Poland
Current position & company: Sr. Group Manager - F&A Operations, WNS Global Services
TGR: Radu, why Poland? It doesn't seem the most popular country in Europe for foreigners, right?
RPS: I started working for WNS in 2011 (in Bucharest) and when they needed support in setting up the new centre in Poland in 2012 I was volunteered by my managers to go. No, I did not know much about the region nor Poland in general, but it was on the beach so why not try!?
Well, they do have a solid economy and they seem similar to us Do you feel you wouldn't have had the same career opportunities in Romania?
I would definitely have had same opportunities or maybe bigger (every month i get at least one recruitment call from Romania) but what was initially a temporary assignment, turned out to be a permanent relocation and start of a new life.
Is there anything disappointing, maybe something you've expected to be different?
In Poland? No…I enjoy the new discovered work/life balance (with few exceptions), the nature (forest, lakes, Baltic Sea), places to visit or restaurants. Even my parents after visiting first time they said: “my child, there is no reason for you to return to Romania”. With help of today’s technology (WhatsApp, FaceTime, Messenger, Facebook, Skype) and relatively low cost of travel (18 hours by car or 3.5 hours by airplane)…the distance to home country and family is very small (this if you don't go to New Zealand). Worth mentioning that my parents visited me during 6 years living in Bucharest less than 3 times, while in Poland they even came 4 times in the same year.
What is your main responsibility at the job?
Tough question…Officially I lead the accounting operations teams from 3 delivery locations (Romania, Poland and Costa Rica) for one of our global customers and I lead a small automations team having team members in Europe and India. In BPO industry the area of responsibility varies and in a small centre like ours I also have the opportunity to be involved in almost everything like sales pitches, administration of site (acting as backup for Location manager), actively participating in industry events and so on.
All that requires a very divere set of skills. Can you tell me something only you can do in your company?
I am the only “insane” one able to drive for 2 days without sleep and when reaching the destination go for a swim instead of crashing to bed like the passengers which got some sleep during the trip. Work related I am one strange combination of people, process, technical, improvements driving manager...an introvert at origins, successful in an extrovert role.
How many direct reports do you have?
I currently manage 10 direct reports and through some of them another 105 team members.
Is your team mainly made of locals or expats?
They are locals in each location (Romania, Poland, Costa Rica) with one foreigner in Romania.
What about your free time - do you actually feel attracted to the expat community or you'd rather spend time with Polish people?
Between work and my 7 month old daughter, business travels (just returned from a 2.5 weeks trip to India) I have not much “free time”. The free time we manage to get we either go to cinema (always up to date with new releases), restaurants (usually with family and another Romanian couple) or organising barbecues at home with Romanian and Polish guests. We rarely interact with the rest of Romanian community in the area (usually for December 1st or joining some ad hoc organised meetings on Facebook). Gdansk area is not Krakow or Warsaw so the expat community is not very large.
How often do you travel to Romania?
I try to come 3-4 times a year, usually business related (visiting my team) and in the evenings trying to see as many friends and family possible.
What do you mostly miss about Romania?
Family and sometimes food or speaking Romanian. At work is english, at home is polish/english.
Do you see yourself moving back? What could convince you?
I am not a corporate “shark” so money/position would not attract me at all. Instead of driving to Constanta my parents prefer driving to Gdansk :). Currently I sold my soul for 30 years to a credit with Deutsche Bank and acquired an apartment here, hence no consideration for moving back. Returning to “today’s” Romania - nothing would convince me. I am disappointed with the election result, with the validation of thieves to run our country and with everybody excusing themselves that “there is no other way”. Yes there is!!!
Indeed we have to wait for at least another 4 years. Fortunately these people who keep choosing against our country slowly becomes extinct, while millenials will have a stronger word. By the way, do you see any changes in the Romanian society from abroad?
In small cities? Ageing, young people running either abroad or to big cities. In Bucharest? Chaos, loss of respect for the person standing next to you (in subway, bus, taxi or traffic in general). Everybody running and not caring that we all have a direction to follow, a place to be. If you can imagine I feel more safe and relaxed in India (Mumbai) than in Bucharest… To say something positive as well: I am positive it can be even worse (let’s hope we will not get there)
I guess it's the rush of a metropole compared to the cozy Gdansk. We are always in a hurry! However, we do have a wonderful country. Can you tell me something particular about Romania that you would usually say to a foreign friend?
I still recommend to anyone I meet to visit Romania (Transylvania, Moldavia) as it is a beautiful country - even if without infrastructure to support tourism - for them to make their own judgement based on facts not on comments from people which never set foot outside of their own village.
What is your biggest dream?
To be healthy, everyone around me to be healthy, see my daughter grow up and become a beautiful nun in a monastery working for Jesus! Joke aside… I visited 47 countries so far, i want to see few more and touch all continents. If i reach the “old” age to have some nice stories to share with grand children (keeping “letters” from my travels to remember).
Any final remarks regarding our home country?
I am Romanian and except in few cases when I reply “I am from Transylvania”, am always very proud stating my origin. We are hard workers, innovative, competitive, multi lingual in general and only sky is the limit. Too bad we don't use this to our advantage and make Romania the destination for others to want to come to work and live in.
Radu, your global perspective is more than valuable! From where I seat, I am more optimistic and rely on the wonderful young people who are starting to take over and make a name for themselves. You included ! Thanks again for your time and welcome to the golden Romania !
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