Welcome to the team
Interview: Magdalena Sarnowska, former Trainee, now Store Manager in Warsaw
„If you enjoy your work everything is possible.” - Magdalena Sarnowska
From October 2011 to April 2012 Magdalena Sarnowska participated in the Trainee Programme. Since September 2013 she was storemanager for P&C in Vilnius, Lithuania. From May this year she is back in Poland, responsible for P&C store in shopping center Arkadia in Warsaw.
What were the highlights in your life so far?On the one hand my Erasmus term in Germany. During this time I became aware of the fact that there were plenty of job opportunities outside my homecountry Poland. I experienced an international environment for the first time and got a better picture of everything somehow. This experience helped me to discover that working internationally would be a job-enrichment for me.
Why did you apply at P&C?Right after my graduation I saw a P&C job offer online. I applied for an internship in Warsaw and I got admitted. At the beginning, fashion didn’t really matter to me. This passion only emerged later in my career. After the internship I started with the Trainee Programme. Here I received a profound training for my first position as a department manager.
What have been the challenges you had to tackle working at P&C so far?So far, the most difficult thing for me was moving to Lithuania. I have been in the Baltics for almost three years and every day was a personal and professional challenge. As I didn’t know the local language I had to use English and sometimes German to communicate with my team. This makes the knowledge transfer harder than in a monolingual environment.
How well do you fit with P&C?Very well. I have been working at P&C for five years now and I advanced from intern to storemanager. So I guess I fit in. But honestly speaking: I love what I do. At P&C we, the employees, are seen as an asset. We get to participate in many trainings which are extremely well planned in accordance with our career paths. Moreover, we are provided with contact persons and all year round special events for the employees are held. Since last year we have our own running team and we participate in the biggest running events organised in Poland. Last but not least - the payment is great.
What do you like about your job and responsibility?The variety of its tasks: it’s a mix between sales, commerce, working in a team, interacting with customers, figures and analysis.
What are the features needed in order to succeed in fashion retail in your opinion?I’m very target-and outcome-oriented. Moreover, I enjoy working in a team as well as interacting with customers which is in my opinion fundamental for a career in this field. Even store managers and department managers spend most of their days working with people.
What are your wishes for your future development?In three to four years I envision myself as a store director. This position includes wider responsibilities. I would head a subsidiary with its whole team and all their sales on my own.
What is your advice for new P&C employees?To not shy away due to the number and diversity of tasks. At the beginning I felt completely overwhelmed and I thought it was impossible to tackle everything. But if you enjoy your work everything is possible.
Interview: Miriam Jarrouj, Student Internship, Vienna
Miriam Jarrouj – Intern at Project and Sales Management Controlling
What were your tasks during your internship in the project and sales management controlling team?The biggest part was sales-related analysis: on the one hand I got spontaneous requests from our stores if they wanted to know how their sales figures developed over time or if there is any new competitors on the market, for example. On the other hand I regularly prepared data lists or powerpoints for our stores showing the sales figures of our own brands, the inventory, etc.
What was your highlight during your internship?The great relationship I could build with the store manager and the employees from the stores. It is a great feeling when you call a store and they greet you with a warm-hearted hello and give you the feeling that you are welcome.
What was your biggest success?My biggest success in regards to this internship was that I was not “just” the intern, but was seen as a very valuable team member – just like everyone else. It was good to be solely responsible for tasks and to be seen as someone who actively contributes to the success of the team.
What was most fun about your internship?I enjoyed in general to go to work every day. It’s a natural consequence of feeling that your team mates trust you and if you need something you can always ask questions. At this point I want to give a big THANK YOU to my team as they really were the greatest!
Interview: Kalita Agnieszka, Department Manager, Poland
An interview with Kalita Agnieszka, from Poland
What event influenced your life the most so far?I suppose, the event that influenced my life the most was completion of several courses at one of the best universities in Poland. This resulted in a desire of further development and improvement of my skills. While studying I also begun my adventure in fashion industry and it was a great challenge for me to reconcile a full time job with classes schedule. However, I can definitely say that it has taught me how to organize my time properly and how to assign my priorities - especially at work.
Also, the continuous change of towns proves that I am flexible and able to quickly adapt to the surroundings and to maintain a good relationship with people I meet.
Why did you apply to P&C?I have been with fashion industry for 10 years now, so while browsing through labour market I was looking for an international company with great experience and tradition, where I could develop my skills and competence. Undoubtedly, many positive opinions about Peek & Cloppenburg were very helpful in making my decision to apply for a job because they strengthened my belief that this was the company for me.
Was there any particular moment that made you realize that P&C was the company for you?During the recruitment, the individual way of approaching the employee caught my attention. Thanks to this I could closely look at departments I was interested in and choose my career path.
Other things that strengthened the accuracy of my decision even more were both great training and development packages. The company invests in its employees no matter on which career stage they actually are.
What do you like at your work and among your responsibilities?At my work I do appreciate teamwork a lot. I think good employees are the key to success. Training and development of my team are the most important things to me.
At my daily work each day is different, each day brings new challenges and opportunities. A big advantage of my work is that it combines many aspects that are important to me such as: creativity, teamwork, employees training, reports analysis, working with the product but it also gives me the possibility to determine new goals and quickly estimate effects of this work. Thanks to working with the product ( there is a possibility of goods exchange between shops meaning sending over the products which we do not sell well and exchanging them for the products that are potential bestsellers for us) I do have a real impact on sales results of my department.
Daily work on the shop floor gives me great satisfaction also thanks to both contact with customers and mutual motivation to achieve sales targets.
In what way P&C contributed to your development?P&C contributed to my development mostly through trainings, in which I participated.
As the new head of department I had an opportunity to serve various trainings in Vienna. Additionally I am participating at the moment in the "Management Development Program“ that gives me a chance to know my strengths and weaknesses.
I also think that P&C as an employer strongly supports its employees in achieving their career path.
What are your career goals?My goal is the continuous development and improvement of my competence. In the future I would like to be a Store Manager, who will provide employees with such a working environment where they will be able not only to implement their passions, but also through these passions they will be achieving targets of the company. As a Manager I need to develop and support my team on a daily basis.
Second very important goal for me is to learn German, which will allow me to communicate fluently in our company.
What advice would you give to new employees?If you have a passion for fashion, you like working with people and are looking for an interesting job giving you the opportunity of self-development in the international environment, P&C is the company for you! Do not hesitate any longer and take care of your development starting today!
Interview: Martyna Bork, Department Manager, Poland
An interview with Martyna Bork, from Poland
What were the highlights in your life so far?Last year I decided to relocate from Gdańsk to Łódź. This decision changed my life very much. I realized I can easily adapt to new situations. I used this time to develop my interests and get to know better this part of Poland. A year in Łódź was an incredible and unforgettable adventure.
Why did you apply at P&C?When I decided to work in fashion industry I searched for a company that sells something more than just clothes and at the same time offers to their employees lots of possibilities to improve themselves. Exactly in this way I perceived P&C when I apply for a position of Deputy Department Manager. After 3 years of working here I can confirm that P&C offers to their employees a workplace when they can constantly develop and widen their horizons.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C's right for you?Very quickly I realized that P&C is a company for me, after few weeks. When I started to know my new responsibilities and get to know my team I felt I am in a right place. Every day in P&C is different, there is no routine and that is what I like in this company the most.
What do you like about your job and responsibilities?My work never bores me, because every day is different. Every delivery, customer or an employee gives me new challenges that I have to face up to and new decisions that have to be made. As a Department Manager I have great influence on what I will sell and how I will present it. It is at the same time very demanding and exciting.
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?From the beginning of my work for P&C I took part in several trainings and courses that let me improve my skills, both manager and leader. At the other hand, during my daily work on a sales floor I receive constant support from my supervisors and colleagues. Thanks to this I am very self-confident person and I am aware of being very important part of this international company.
What are your future career goals?In the next year I would like to learn German, which is very useful in my work. I wish to check myself as a Store Manager in one of our stores. Having more responsibility and wider range of duties are a great challenge for me.
What is your advice for new P&C employees?If you have a true passion to work in fashion and you aren't afraid to take challenges than P&C is a perfect place for you. Just be natural and be yourself and you will for sure succeed.
Interview: Marta Sukiennik, Department Manager, Poland
An interview with Marta Sukiennik, Department Manager from Poland
What were the highlights in your life so far?My last years were quite packed with highlights, to be honest: I got married and will soon have my first baby. On the professional side of things my latest highlight was that I got promoted from my role as an Assistant Department Manager in Katowice to Department Manager in Breclav, which means taking on another challenge.
Why did you apply at P&C?First of all P&C appealed to me as an employer in the fashion industry as they are a huge international company with a wide range of brands which makes work interesting. I had also heard that P&C offers their employees a lot of opportunities for development and learning. And after more than 2 years at P&C I have to say I was proven right.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C's right for you?That moment was during my training for becoming Department Manager. I was at a point where I simply wanted to learn, meet new people and improve my skills – all this was made possible. I was given the chance to grow and develop. For me this training period was a real adventure.
What do you like about your job and responsibilities?I really enjoy working with our clients as this makes every day different; this is the best about my job. You always work with new people and you have frequent contact with the buyers at the headquarters, which means you can directly influence the merchandise you will receive. I also like working with numbers and with our internal systems to keep track of the merchandise.
Responsibilities are of personnel planning, ensuring there is enough merchandise in your department, keeping track of which products sell well, which ones don’t so much and adjusting accordingly. You also take care of the merchandise on the floor – you change your department in a way when you get new merchandise so that it looks the most appealing possible. This is actually my favourite part about my job as I can be creative.
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?As mentioned before P&C contributed both to my professional and to my personal growth when I took part in the department manager training. Gaining all the knowledge and the skills made me more confident and mature. Thanks to P&C I realised that I am a valuable employee. P&C gives their employees a lot of responsibility (even in assistant department manager roles) and this makes you grow in into your position.
What are your future career goals?Right now I want to develop my current department, increase sales and focus on how to become a great department manager. This means for me that I want to build a great relationship with my employees and train them as well as I was trained.
What is your advice for new P&C employees?Be yourself and work hard – then you’ll achieve something at P&C!
Interview: Malgorzata Lorek, Merchandise Controller in Vienna
An interview with Malgorzata Lorek from Poland
What were the highlights in your life so far?One of my highlights was my exchange semester in Paris which made me open up to different cultures – this was when I decided I wanted to work for an international company, which I found with P&C.
Another highlight was moving from Warsaw to Krakow for my job as moving cities taught me to adapt quickly to new environments and situations.
Why did you apply at P&C?I actually started at P&C with an internship when I studied Management and Economy, because I wanted to gain experience by working at the biggest fashion retailer around. P&C additionally had the reputation for being a great employer. Once I started working there I realised how great the combination of fashion and management is and decided to stay.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C's right for you?I had this first moment when I did my internship and realised how right it feels when a satisfied customer thanks you.
My second moment when I knew P&C was right for me was when I got invited to do the management development programme. It was like a confirmation that I fit and a proof that the company valued my work. It was good to see that P&C sees my potential and wanted to invest in my development.
What do you like about your job and responsibilities?I started as a Merchandise Controller a few months ago. Although I am still in training, I already could take an active part in the collection planning process. I like the fact that on the basis of the previous season I can set the budget for the new collection and in some way decide about the brand and product portfolio in our 42 stores internationally. It requires being focused on numbers, but also analysing trends, competition and market potential. When the collection arrives to the stores in few months and the season starts successfully I will feel very proud for having been part of this process!
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?I am already working for 5 years for P&C and I was able to develop my self personally and professionally over this period of time. When I just graduated from university with 24 years I already got the responsibility over one of the sales departments. Holding a management position at such young age made me “grow up” with the company. Additionally P&C provides many trainings that contribute to both professional and personal development. I also had the chance to work with great, experienced people from whom I can learn; who motivate me and this allows me to set new challenges for myself.
What are your future career goals?A few months ago I moved from Warsaw to Vienna, where I started to work in the Central Buying Department for Austria and CEE. That means that I achieved my recent goal and it’s time to raise the bar! Right now I fully focus on my Merchandise Controller training to be ready for the position and to give my best in the nearest future. What next? There is still a lot of possibilities within the company so let’s see what’s gonna happen!
What is your advice for new P&C employees?Be self-driven, show engagement, work goal-oriented and communicate your ideas. Also it is very important to be friendly – not only to the customers but also to your team – you will soon grow into the P&C family so create a friendly atmosphere with your work mates.
Interview: Marina Bakula, Storemanager, Croatia
“They all knew me when I was a student and worked part-time - now I am store manager.” - Marina Bakula, Storemanager in Zagreb, Croatia
A passion for fashion and for figures were just two of the key pieces Marina Bakula brought to Peek & Cloppenburg on her first day of work. Paired with the motivation to keep learning and a professed taste for teamwork, she showcased her talents in a number of departments. P&C has proven the perfect fit for her career ambitions.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C's right for you?My first day of work at P&C was the second day after the first store in Croatia opened. I started just a few days after the job interview. The store was literally teeming with customers, we almost ran out of merchandise. I remember how happy I was after I sold my first item, a pair of shoes. This was the first of the many best moments of success I’ve had at P&C.
Why did you apply at P&C?After completing my university studies in business administration, I was convinced I wanted to stay with the company. I really enjoy working with people in a team, I have always loved fashion and P&C is a reliable and socially responsible employer offering a vast scope of possibilities for professional development.
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?During my career at P&C I’ve had the opportunity to work in all stores of the Republic of Croatia and I am extremely proud of that. Each one of them has a special meaning for me and has contributed to my professional and personal development. As a store manager I got the chance to be part of the team for the opening of two stores in Croatia and I can say that this is a remarkable experience. The pride, excitement and enthusiasm you feel when the first customers enter the new store is simply indescribable!
Each new store means a new beginning, new people, a new challenge and a new experience.
What do you like about your job and responsibility?After 9 years at Peek & Cloppenburg the dynamic of my daily work and my passion for fashion has not diminished. Chasing goals and results and the possibility to learn something new every day still makes me happy!
Fashion is a “living thing". This fact and that I am working with many different people makes every day unique and unpredictable.
I have learned for myself that the greatest challenge of my work is to be a good role model for my team. The work atmosphere, the motivation of my team and whether we achieve desired results or not is something I am trying to influence every day in a positive way.
It is a great responsibility, but even a greater challenge. Exactly this is my biggest motivation!
Interview: Tudor Dobre, Storemanager, Romania
Interview with Tudor Dobre, Storemanager from Romania
What were the highlights in your life so far?For me my biggest achievement so far actually is my career path as I am working in the fashion industry for over 10 years now. In the meantime I made it from a sales assistant during my university studies to a sales manager for the best fashion retail store in Romania. My career gave me the opportunity to grow as a person and interact with many different people from different cultures which I enjoy very much.
Why did you apply at P&C?I used to come to P&C many times before I got hired here, because back then I worked in the same shopping mall for another company. I very much liked the P&C concept and saw it as a big challenge to work in such a big multi-label store.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C's right for you?I knew that P&C was the right choice for me during my training period when I started to understand the P&C philosophy and the values of our company, such as respect for one another, caring about the employees, being open-minded, etc. Another important factor was that I immediately liked the people I worked with and that I knew I could learn a lot from them.
What do you like about your job and responsibilities?I like the fashion business and working with people in general so I’m happy in my job. I also love being in a leader role and enjoy maintaining a good relationship with the employees. The best part for me is working side by side with my team on the sales floor.
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?P&C is a complex and dynamic business – there is always something new you can learn. I personally was trained for 3 months in 3 different countries and had the opportunity to meet different store managers with different ways to look at things and different management styles. I was able to come back to my store in Romania and apply all the accumulated knowledge from my training period. I felt really well prepared for my task and also had strong support from my Country Manager and my colleagues.
What are your future career goals?For now I want to further develop myself as a Store Manager and reach my full potential in this position. Right now my challenge is that I am Store Manager in one of our brand new stores in Romania, so I want to make the best out of it!
What is your advice for new P&C employees?My advice would be to be aware of P&C’s values and to take them seriously as they will help you in growing both professionally and personally.
You need to take your job seriously, be open to changes, be proactive and ambitious but most of all: you need to believe that you can become better and better every day!
Interview: Dorota Kulesza, Storemanager, Latvia
“I love how P&C always offers you possibilities to improve and prove yourself” - Dorota Kulesza, Storemanager from Latvia
Why did you apply at P&C?I’ve always loved fashion and longed for a job in which I could make use of this passion every day. After finishing my degree I started working in a Polish brand store. I knew back then that my future lay in the fashion industry, preferably in a management position. And this is exactly why I applied at P&C – they offer a broad range of career opportunities and invest in their employees’ training and knowledge.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C was right for you?I think I knew from the moment I came across P&C’s job offer a few years ago that this will be right for both my personal and professional development. Today I know that choosing this job was the best decision I could have made and I am looking forward to what the future at P&C will hold for me.
What do you like about your job and responsibilities?I like that I can live my passion for teamwork and for numbers on a daily basis. When I was managing a department for 3 years in a Polish P&C store I loved my daily tasks as I’m a team player. Of course I also loved everything which had to do with our merchandise: structure and optimisation of the departments, visual merchandising and the merchandise analysis. During my time as department manager I gained a lot of experience and insights which help me with my current new challenge: I became a Store Manager in Riga and I love my new position! Now my main tasks are planning, controlling, analysing the merchandise assortment and development of the employees. With the help of my team I am trying to develop the store’s potential and to create an atmosphere where our clients feel at ease and love to shop.
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?I have always been supported by my superiors and this helped me to strengthen my own leadership skills. Then, in September 2013 I was invited to participate in the Management Development Programme in Vienna. This time gave me the opportunity to reflect on myself and rediscover my strengths and weaknesses.
P&C also prepared me for my position as a Store Manager with a specific preparation course. In the so-called Store-Manager-course I learned about my future tasks and got perfectly prepared for the role.
I am really grateful that P&C takes good care of their employees and supports them in their career paths.
What are your wishes for your future development? What are you future career goals?Since I started at P&C I always knew I wanted to become a Store Manager one day. Now that I’ve reached this goal I have a next one: I want to learn how to do my job real great and want to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible to constantly improve.
What’s your advice to new P&C employees?P&C is the right choice for creative people who are performance-driven and always keen on improving further.
Interview: Klaudia Wittnerova, Storemanager, Czech Republic
“P&C careers have no boundaries” - Klaudia Wittnerova, Storemanager from Prague
What were the highlights in your life so far?I graduated college while working full time at P&C. This was very challenging but I don’t regret it, because it thought me a lot about self-organization and self-discipline.
Why did you apply at P&C?I got to know P&C while visiting Austria and I immediately fell in love with its concept. I think it’s great how P&C offers fashion for everyone compared to most other retailers only serving a limited target group.
Was there a specific moment when you knew P&C was right for you?Yes, after a few months I realized that I wanted to stay, because during my time at P&C I had learned something new every day. Right from the start I had trainings and today I still feel like I have room to grow professionally within the company. At P&C careers have no boundaries if one’s willing to learn and grow further.
What do you like about your job and responsibilities?I love how each day has new challenges for me. I’m pleased to be able to spend all my energy on work and to see the results of my efforts quickly. I try to encourage my employees to work as independently as possible while letting them know that in case of doubt they can always consult me.
How has P&C contributed to your development so far?My training at P&C started at my first day working here with classes for assistant department manager and ever since has continued as I kept moving up the career ladder. Later, when becoming a department manager, I got the chance to accompany our buyers while ordering new collections at Calvin Klein in Milan and at Hugo Boss in Germany. To me this was a key experience as it helped me in the decision to continue my career in sales instead of purchasing.
Additionally, P&C allowed me to get to know other store managers in different locations which gave me the chance to compare proceedings and learn best practices from them.