Job promotions can be few and far between during trying economic times, but Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland’s Krzysztof Horoszko is turning the current recession to his advantage – using it as an opportunity to pursue an Executive Master of Science in Communication Management (MScom) degree at Università della Svizzera italiana.
When Horoszko took on his role as Corporate Affairs Specialist with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland in 2007, he brought with him a Master of Science in finance management from the University of Economics in Wrocław, Poland, a year of studies at the London School of Public Relations, Value-Based Management studies at the Warsaw School of Economics, and a background in consulting.
“My first job after university was with a Polish-owned engineering consultancy, where a lot of my work was related to marketing and communications,” he explained. “When I arrived at Toyota, I was responsible for a much larger variety of communications work: corporate affairs, internal and external communications including preparations for all company-related events. For example, we opened a new production plant in 2008, and I was responsible for everything around that opening, including the ceremony celebrating the opening.”
Broad professional experience
As part of his corporate affairs role, Horoszko works closely with government officials.
“Our production plant operates in a special economic zone, so I am involved with the day-to-day reporting to the Ministry of the Economy and reporting on the status of our investments,” said Horoszko. “My job gives me a wide experience in a lot of fields, and with our small team of five people, we are called upon to deal with the full scope of communications that in other companies would be spread out across 10 to 20 people. It’s a very demanding and challenging job.”
But that full plate of responsibilities didn’t stop Horoszko from pursuing his desire for new experiences and knowledge.
“I love to study and gain new experiences and knowledge. After I did the Value-Based Management studies at the Warsaw School of Economics, I thought my next step would be a Master of Business Administration and was looking around at programs like Harvard and Wharton. But those would have involved a one-year investment of time and I wouldn’t have been able to work in parallel,” he said.
An appealing format
Horoszko said MScom’s format – seven days of classes every other month over and 18-month period – was especially appealing to him.
“I’m not 15 or 20 years into my career, so taking a year away from work would have meant losing a year of experience. That would have been a real setback for me,” said Horoszko, the recipient of a Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management Scholarship for MScom participants living and working outside of Switzerland. “That I can work in parallel to doing MScom is very appealing to me. MScom is a great way to get knowledge from professors from around the world and to exchange knowledge and professional experiences with a very international group of classmates.”
In the final analysis, Horoszko said MScom is both a personal and professional development endeavor.
“We are in a period of global economic recession now, and promotions are less frequent due to those external factors, so I’m using this time to gain knowledge and become a greater asset to my company,” he explained. “I am already learning things I can implement at work. Simply ways to introduce change is a good example. Having the background and confidence to take such decisions is another example.”
Text based on interview carried out in February 2011.