In May 1994, Marta was studying Business Management and Marketing at Warsaw University. Her Sociology teacher invited her to participate in a class by a visiting lecturer - George Simons. During his time there, George held a facilitation of one of his games, which Marta attended and, consequentially, they exchanged contacts. Marta forgot about that, only to be later reminded of their meeting by a Christmas card from her US colleague. “Growing up in a Communist country, going to the US was like a dream...I had this thought: “Ah, it would be so wonderful if he invites me to the States one day...”
The next letter she received was an invitation, indeed. Marta was a trainee at George Simons International for 6 months. Besides office tasks, her main responsibilities were collecting articles from libraries and organizing facilitations in the office. “At that time”, shares Marta “information on intercultural issues was not as widely accessible as it is now by means of the Internet”. Yet, she describes her first time away from Poland as “magical” and refers to her experience of life in the United States as “something totally different”.
One of her most distinct memories of that stay - her first culture shock - was that she had to write a small note for a local newspaper covering her achievements and was positively surprised when George regarded being a university student and making it to the Unites States as an achievement. There was a different understanding of "achievement" and "success" in Poland and Marta regarded studying at university as something "normal", not something to brag about. “Not mentioning, that bragging about achievements was not amongst Polish cultural traits” - adds Marta.
After her stint with diversophy® Marta got back to Poland to finish her marketing studies and started working in that field. It was also her biggest interest at that time. Besides, there was not much demand for intercultural services in Poland. However, while working in sales, marketing and project management in different companies, Marta continued reading and learning about intercultural matters, which resulted in her decision to change career and become an intercultural trainer about 10 years ago. The lady founded her own training company and also started working as an associate trainer for major relocation companies.
When asked about what was the most valuable thing that happened during work with diversophy® she says that "...it opened her mind for thinking globally". This deep realization was so fundamental that it now runs in her family - even her daughter is into intercultural matters. "There is even talk about her becoming a second-generation intern!" The advice that we, as future trainees, have received from her is: “be open.”