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Meet the team! – Aga, a books and postcards lover

Let’s continue our journey into getting to know our new colleagues better! Last time we presented you Bianca and this time it’s Aga’s turn! Like Bianca, she also joined Uniser in September 2021 but she works from Wrocław, where she’s currently based. Curious to know more about her?

Hello Aga and thanks for agreeing to meet with me! I shared with you a list of questions and I see that you were interested in the ones about books, so let’s start from there, if you agree.

Do you like reading? If so, what genre of books do you like? 

Sure, let’s start from here! I am a pretty good reader and that’s why these questions immediately caught my eye. Reading is one of the activities I like to do the most in my free time and I love spending time discussing it with my friends. Generally, I am very interested in what other people read and I always try to recommend books. It’s quite easy for me as my close friends are also bookworms, so we often exchange reflections and ideas about the stories we read.

What’s your favorite literature genre? 

Most of all, I enjoy novels, both contemporary and old but actually I read many different genres. Let’s say that I like well written stories about people, human emotions and dramatic moments. In fact, the most intriguing theme for me is the evolution of the characters and how they change throughout the narration.

Do you have a preferred author?

Julian Barnes is absolutely my favorite, he’s British and he writes novels and essays, which I also like reading. Another one is Jaume Cabré, a Catalan philologist, novelist and screenwriter. I usually read in Polish, which is my mother tongue, and sometimes in English, especially Julian Barnes. But wait, I almost forgot about Yuval Noah Harari, who’s a recent discovery for me. He’s an Israeli public intellectual, historian and a history professor whose writings examine free will, consciousness, intelligence, happiness and suffering. His work is really eye-opening and now that I discovered him, I recommend him to everyone! Actually, I was reading Harari on the plane when I first came to Bologna in September 2021…

What a nice coincidence! What was your first impression of Bologna? 

As soon as I arrived I totally fell in love with the city. Starting from its architecture to the people I met, the atmosphere and of course the food, which is amazing. I mean, the cappuccino, the pistachio brioche, the homemade pasta…I don’t even know where to start! I was wandering through the streets of Bologna and I had this very warm feeling that I belong here…I wouldn’t know how to explain it differently, but I can assure you that it was a very nice feeling. I mean, the weather was sunny, the temperature not too cold, the people I met were friendly and I was immediately positively impressed. 

…and your impression about our office? 

In one word? Amazing. What immediately caught my attention was the bike line but in general I really like the garden, the light and the space, which is really quiet. I mean, we work a lot but this pleasant environment allows us to keep a positive mindset and not to feel too overloaded. But in truth what I like the most is the people that work here: they’re all kind, helping, understanding people. Usually we work under huge pressure but nobody is ever angry or too pressing, but rather very nice and this is something I truly appreciate.

You seem to be enjoying the office a lot, do you find it difficult to be in smart working?
Actually no, I always have the feeling that I am not alone. I mostly cooperate with Vik and she’s really a big support to me. She’s amazing, she always finds time for me, she organizes our work in advance and she gives me quite a good degree of autonomy but I know when to call her. I mean, it doesn’t happen very often to have the chance of learning from someone so inspiring! And I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the whole team is like that. Lucia is very kind whenever I need her for Excel and also Nikola has been a great support to me: he was my mentor for my first groups, he was so patient and he spent hours with me, helping me understand the basics. All this really helps a lot. Of course I miss the social moments a bit but I don’t have the feeling of being all alone. Sure, when I come to the office I am constantly busy with meetings and visits and then I need rest but all this is fundamental to build connections and live precious moments with my colleagues.

Can you tell us a bit more about your role at Uniser?
Sure! At Uniser I mainly work with hosting partners, first of all with Joint Hosting. I developed strong ties with our historical European hosting partners such as MFR and SEPR: I visited SEPR headquarter in Lyon and met most of their staff working with mobility. But I am also working with our most recent hosting partners such as Horizon and Albanian Skills, with the aim of strengthening our collaboration more and more. Also, I follow Polish groups of VET students who do not come to Italy for their training mobility but travel to other foreign countries. 

Do you have anything else to add? Something we didn’t mention but which is representative of who you are?

Hmm…let me think. Maybe there’s a small thing to add, which I find quite nice. I love sending postcards (and of course receiving them)! Last time I was in Bologna I bought some but I couldn’t find any stamps. After looking in 5 tabaccherie places I gave up and sent them from Poland 😂  Every time I travel abroad I send postcards to my friends; we have a small group where we keep the exchange going, and I love it. I think it’s a small gesture that means a lot. You have a limited space to express yourself and the words you choose are going to stay forever so you really think well before writing. If you think about it, it’s like a proof that a person spent time for you and chose to devote his/her personal time to make you feel important. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Thank you Aga for your time and for allowing us to get to know you better!

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