Kenny Hofman is a Know-Your-Customer Senior Specialist at Citi in Olsztyn. He came to Poland 3 years ago. He originally comes from Belgium but before settling down here, he had lived and worked in countries all over the globe.
You traveled a lot. How did you find your way to Poland?
When I was 19 I decided to take a gap year since I wasn’t quite certain what I wanted to do in my life. I moved to Spain to work in the hotel industry, I completed a training program for an entertainment company and started work on Grand Canary. From there I moved to Barcelona, Melbourne, I spent a few weeks in New Zealand working, sightseeing and trying to figure out what to do with my life. At some point I thought it would be great to go someplace I didn’t know the language of and I responded to a job offer in Wrocław. I moved there to work for a customer service company. After a month I felt that this city was not for me but I wanted to stay in Poland. I checked job offers and I found a position in Citi, so I applied and after some interviews, they told me I could start in Olsztyn. I was so excited! I took the train to Olsztyn and I don’t regret anything. I found everything I was looking for here in Olsztyn all my life, without even knowing it.
What is it exactly that you finally found here in Poland?
I found a person that makes me ready to settle down, learn a new language, enjoy life. And for the next steps in life.
What did you hear about Poland before you came here?
I’d never been to Poland before but growing up in Belgium, you hear a lot of stereotypes about Polish people. But let me tell you, most of them couldn’t be more wrong, except maybe the one about Poles’ driving skills. Just joking… /laugh/
During your time here, have you got the chance to get to know cities other than Wrocław and Olsztyn?
I visited many cities in Poland, such us Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia and Warsaw.
Is there something particularly interesting in Polish people and their way of thinking?
If you had asked me this question before I came here, I would have told you some stereotypical thing. I’m sure that all nationalities have different views of different cultures. But after living here for quite some time, I would tell you that all Polish people are warm and very generous. They are also polite.
Do you think that Poles and their businesses are financially educated? How do we think and act when it comes to money?
I think that Poles are financially educated and are managing their finances well. They are able to provide for their families and build their wealth and future even when equipped with lower income. I think presence of big international companies in Poland helped to bring know how and new opportunities to Polish people.
How and where do you spend your free time?
I spend all of my free time with my family. Yes, Olsztyn has given me an amazing family, that’s bringing me joy every day.