This month, it’s all about our team! We’ve recently written a piece on our Business Manager, Ryan Jones, and now it’s time for us to introduce another member of Work Wales.
Aleksandra Zadroga (Alex for short) is our lovely Recruitment and Compliance Officer. She’s been with us for just over a year, and we can’t remember what the office was like before her whirlwind of organisation hit us and kept us all in check!
Before she walked through our doors, Alex was a model student at Swansea University, with two impressive degrees under her belt. Armed with her passion for politics, she moved to Swansea from her home in Poland to pursue an undergraduate degree in International Relations with French. To fund her studies (and the numerous coffees to get her through late night essays), she was also working a full-time job at a lovely Italian restaurant in Swansea’s City Centre.
After Alex graduated, she took a two-year break from her studies and was promoted to a managerial role within the restaurant. Not content with making life easy for herself, Alex returned to full-time study at Swansea University and pursued a Masters in Human Rights (what a powerhouse of a woman she is!)
A keen traveller, Alex and her partner began planning a year-long trip to Asia once she’d graduated, which saw her leaving her managerial role and moving to waitress at a different restaurant. However, all of these plans were short-lived thanks to the arrival of COVID.
Now, normally we wouldn’t thank COVID for anything, but it actually brought Alex to us. We’ll let her and Ouma, our external marketing team, take over from here…
It’s lovely to meet you Alex! Would you mind taking a walk down memory lane and revisiting how you came to be here at Work Wales?
Hi guys, it’s lovely to meet you too! So, it’s a funny story, actually. Thanks to COVID, I was furloughed from my job in the hospitality sector, as restaurants weren’t operating at that time. I was studying for my Masters, and my partner and I had just bought a house, so I needed a role which was paying a full salary at that time.
I had heard of Work Wales, so I contacted them and was put in touch with my now colleague, Kim Simpson! I asked her for advice and to essentially help me find a job, as I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at that time.
It was by chance that Work Wales had recently gained a huge contract with the onboarding of Pullmaflex, so they were looking for a Recruitment Administrator at the time. Initially I was considered for a different role, but I think Kim knew I would be better suited to the Recruitment Administrator job!
After two interviews, the role was mine!
Wow, now that’s what you call lucky! How have you enjoyed it so far?
I know, the timing was so incredible! I had quit my previous role in hospitality one day, and then a couple of days later I was with Work Wales! The timing was incredible and it was such a relief for me, especially during the uncertainty of COVID.
I definitely hit the ground running; within the first week or so I was on the phones! It didn’t faze me as I’m always ready to learn and grow, and no day is ever the same. I have to say, I’m so grateful to Kim and Ryan for training me over those first few months – I probably wasn’t the easiest student!
Now, though, I am Work Wales through and through. I have successfully built up my own desk of clients who trust me because I’m honest with my deliverables. Also, my Polish nationality is really useful when we have job seekers who are Polish too. They trust me, and I’ve built up a good rapport with so many of them.
It sounds like you’re a huge asset to Work Wales thanks to having multiple languages under your belt; we can barely use Duolingo! Even though your role is ever-changing, could you share with us your favourite thing about it?
It definitely helps knowing a couple of languages, but I have to say that I haven’t mastered Duolingo either!
My favourite thing; that is tricky because, as you say, my daily responsibilities change so much. However, the main thing that stands out to me is helping people. It’s such a heart-warming feeling knowing that you have found someone a job when they desperately need one.
At the end of the day, the lovely people who I speak to each day have families at home and bills to pay; knowing that I’ve helped them out and hopefully brightened their day, that’s what I love about working in recruitment.
Of course, I also love admin and compliance too – and I’m not being sarcastic!
We believe you! All we have to do is look at your exceptionally neat desk to see how organised you are! Well, we’ve covered the role, but what about the company itself? What do you love most about Work Wales?
Now there’s a question! Quite a few things come to mind, but I’ll begin with flexible working. During the worst stages of COVID, we were all based at home. In fact, I was working from home for the first three months after I started, so it’s lovely to be in the offices now!
When the worst was over, most companies called their employees back to the office full time, but we have still kept one WFH day per week. My day is a Friday, which is the best WFH day to have!
Work Wales are also super flexible when it comes to appointments; I never have to justify myself or explain my reasoning behind booking a haircut. There’s a lot of trust here, and I really appreciate that. It just makes us work harder and feel truly happy and fortunate to be here, and be part of such an amazing team.
We also have doggy days! Everyone in the office has a dog, and I have a chocolate Labrador puppy, so being able to bring him into work with me is brilliant. I don’t have to feel guilty for leaving him on his own, and don’t have to worry about coming home to destroyed furniture or little accidents. We don’t bring the dogs in on the same day though; that would be chaos!
We love doggy days, there’s always a dog bed or water bowl on display at Ouma HQ waiting for our guests of honour! It’s been a pleasure to chat to you Alex, and as our last question, we’d love to know what you do outside of work.
Well thanks to having a Labrador puppy, I spend most of my time out walking him and trying to get that tickle out of his little toes!
When I’m not battling the elements, I’m fantasising about my next trip. My partner and I love travelling, and I’m constantly watching travel vlogs or reading travel books – it’s a real problem!
My last holiday was to Bali in 2019, and I’ve set my sights on South America for my next adventure. I’d love to hike to Machu Picchu and experience it for real instead of just through a screen.
There you have it, that’s a lovely summary of our Recruitment and Compliance Officer, Alex! We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know her as much as we enjoy having her as part of the team here at Work Wales.