Paulina Kabaczuk is a Manager, Platform and Cloud Engineering, Consulting at Deloitte Australia. With a technical-sounding title like that, you might not expect Paulina to have a background in marketing, but she successfully transitioned industries and has built a very engaged tech community.
Proof that anything is possible
Paulina moved from Poland to Australia in 2016 on a student visa age 33. Following spinal surgery back in Poland, Paulina asked herself,
“‘If I was 70 years old, would I be satisfied with my life?’ I wasn’t. I still wanted to experience more.”
So, she quit her comfortable life and moved to Australia.
“Australia is kind of the second life for me; proof that anything is possible, and age doesn’t matter.”
Her career path to Deloitte is unexpected for someone working in Cloud Engineering now. She studied tourism, not really knowing what else to do and dreaming of travelling the world. To support herself through university, she worked in sales for an international company that were experts in multi-utility infrastructure products. Over five years, she worked herself up to Deputy of Sales Manager.
“I discovered my interest in marketing there and I decided to study a Masters of Marketing and Management. I worked there and they paid for me to study.”
After her studies, she moved through five other companies in various marketing roles, taking on increasing responsibilities, learning and contributing more. Then as she says, next stop, Australia.
She was connected with an innovative boutique consulting firm specializing in implementing cutting-edge cloud technologies using modern methodologies and took an unpaid one-day-per-week internship, which turned into a part time job. Her marketing skills had now transferred into tech. That small company was acquired by Deloitte 4.5 years ago, and she joined the Deloitte family.
“That’s how my journey with Deloitte began. I discovered my real talents of connecting thanks to organizing community events and it took me where I am today.”
A marketer making moves in STEMM
Paulina enjoys the variety of responsibilities and opportunities at Deloitte.
“My role is not a typical consulting role and I’m real proof that you can shape your role working in a corporate environment.”
Initially, Paulina built a national program of community meetups about emerging technologies called Disruptors in Tech with 100-200 monthly attendees. Now, she is creating and developing a national learning and certification program while building a new community called Deloitte Cloud Guild.
“The aim is to bring Deloitte employees together and equip them with the cloud computing smarts they need to succeed today and in the future, and transform them into tech-savvy cloud computing champions.”
Paulina is also the team Wellbeing Lead and supports initiatives working on team culture – she wants to show the work all the amazing things her team does and highlight all the amazing talent. She was recently certified as a High Performance Coach, and is passionate about supporting people on their wellbeing journey Paulina really has found variety in her role at Deloitte!
Energy in, energy out
It’s not surprising that Paulina has a lot of energy to bring to her role at Deloitte, as she’s incredibly active outside of work as well. Age 14, she cycled from Poland to the Vatican City as a pilgrimage, and as an adult she does weight training, cycling, bouldering, slacklining, acroyoga and all kinds of dancing. That kind of passion and enthusiasm is exactly what Deloitte look for in their team members, and Paulina loves sharing her joy.
“I’m here to live my best life and share my light and energy with others.”
There’s a lot of lip service to the idea of bringing your whole self to work, but at Deloitte, Paulina really finds that is true.
“I love the most that I can be myself and don’t have to fit in.”
She’s still surprised by the turn her career has taken since joining Deloitte. She had been in Australia for seven months, was on a part time contract and a student visa.
“I would never have imagined that this was possible. I had never worked in consulting before and I didn’t have an engineering background. I realized it was my strength as I could bring different perspectives.”
Her initiative, energy and enthusiasm to bring people together has helped her thrive at Deloitte.
“My whole career was within marketing, but joining Deloitte allowed me to discover skills that I had never considered as my true talent. I remember at the beginning of my career in Deloitte I didn’t see how my natural talent of connecting is important and how much value I can bring, but slowly I have embraced my secret powers and developed it into my true strength.”
Bring authentically yourself
“I came to Australia on a student visa. My English wasn’t great, my knowledge of technology was zero and I didn’t know anyone.”
Not about to let the challenge of it all stop her, Paulina’s first role in Australia was running social media accounts at the boutique firm Deloitte later acquired.
“I remember that I was delaying posts as I was afraid that I would make a spelling or grammar mistake. I was always asking someone to check it.”
After a pep talk from the CTO, Paulina realized that it’s better to do anything than do nothing, and if you make a mistake you can just correct it and move on. Her unwavering support from Deloitte Partner Zack Levy has also helped Paulina with her growth.
“I love that Zack helped me immensely to discover my real strength – the ability to connect people. I remember when he said, ‘If something comes easily to you, that doesn’t mean that it is nothing. Many people wouldn’t even know how to start, and you just do it without thinking. Don’t underestimate the power that you have’.”
“I was able to create my unique role in Deloitte. That was only possible thanks to leaders who saw the value in what I do and the person I am. I am forever grateful for those people.”
Embracing her authenticity is what brings Paulina so much joy in her life, and she’s passionate about others doing the same.
“Don’t try to fit in. Be authentic and people will appreciate it. It will allow you to attract the right opportunities and the right people to your life.”