"A Day in the Life of" Program
Welcome to Polish Professional Women of Silicon Valley's program “A Day in the Life of...”.
"A Day in the Life of...” is a series of virtual events featuring PPWSV members of diverse backgrounds working at reputable companies in Silicon Valley. Each event showcases a new keynote speaker who will share a unique story and professional growth experience in her field. It will provide invaluable insights into what it is like to spend a day in that profession's role.
This series is dedicated to professionals interested in developing a successful career in Silicon Valley. The goals are to share knowledge and experiences gained at the Valley’s most influential companies and to build a professional network that provides opportunities to connect, share, and support each other while furthering professional growth.
In Silicon Valley, we are surrounded by many Fortune 500 companies and well-known brands. However, the unique challenges and successes of Polish women are rarely shared. This series fills that void and sheds light on fascinating professions in various fields, skill development, and career growth perspectives for women in Silicon Valley.
Events in the series
A Day in the Life of PRODUCT DESIGNER
with Róża Turowska, Clever
At this eighth event in our series, we interviewed Róża Turowska. An expert in product design, she helped us visualize design thinking. This five-stage process —Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test —is most helpful in tackling ill-defined or unknown problems. The first step starts with gaining an empathetic understanding of the challenges users face while setting aside our assumptions about their world. Róża earned her Master’s in the Pedagogy of Ability and Information Technology. Launching her career as a graphic designer, she took on UI/UX design roles. She satisfied her entrepreneurial itch, being the career changer that she is, launching her own jewelry design and silversmithing business while living in Amsterdam. Now living in the Bay Area, aside from focusing on product design, she loves spending all her free time at the archery range.
A Day in the Life of DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT ANALYTICS & DATA SCIENCE
with Anna Grodecka-Grad, Google Ads
Our interview with Anna spotlighted the data science and analytics industry. She leads a team focused on data and insights to drive the growth of the Google Ads business. Apart from learning programming languages, she emphasizes that consulting experience and strong storytelling skills set you up for success in this industry. Launching her career as an academic research scientist, Anna earned a Ph.D. in Theoretical Quantum Physics and continued as a Postdoctoral Researcher in academia focused on developing quantitative models for the design and optimization of quantum information storage and processing protocols in quantum computers and cryptography using nanotechnology. She recommends getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. She leaped from academia into the corporate world — taking a risk by googling “analyst and physics.”
A Day in the Life of INNOVATION PROJECT MANAGER
with Kinga Nowak-Gruszka, The Clorox Company
Our interview with Kinga explored what transformational growth looks like from the inside of a large-scale manufacturing company. Her team operates like a startup where speed is the priority. She applies the concept of “Being BOLD” to both her work and in life. Experimentation, building on ideas, taking thoughtful risks, and feedback are core to driving innovation at speed. Kinga arrived in the US in 2006 and started working for a board game startup, which had grown multiple times since she joined. In 2015, she was ready to regain her work and life balance. Her move to Clorox brought her incredible exposure to large-scale operations, manufacturing, and supply chain complexities.
A Day in the Life of SENIOR LEADER OF TECHNICAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM
with Ewa Suliga, Facebook
Our April interview with Ewa Suliga gave us a rare glimpse into Facebook’s employee culture and how that translates into managing a team of 24 project managers in the data center space. Working in her 7th year at Facebook, she has loads of autonomy to set goals and define solutions. Ewa shared recommendations for working in your first years as a project manager. We also talked about how to recover in a professional way when a project goes wrong or fails! She’s also a parent. She stays resilient by setting healthy boundaries on her work time. She shared that people will always judge — focus instead on staying true to your values. She believes that happy parents grow happy kids.
A Day in the Life of CYBER SECURITY RESEARCHER
with Joanna Negrete, McAfee
Our interview with Joanna Negrete informed us about the growing malware threats in mobile, Internet Of Things (IoT), and Office documents. She helped us understand the concept of machine learning and how she applies it in her data analysis of malware work. She trains new classifiers, researches new features, and decides if existing models are drifting or require retraining. She began her McAfee career with a part-time role performing content categorization of Polish websites. A few desks away, her colleagues were researching websites based on the security risk (phishing vs. spam). Her curiosity asking “how” things work soon led her to take college courses to learn HTML, network analysis, SQL, and Python.
A Day in the Life of COMMERCIAL BUSINESS BANKING RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, VP
with Paula Sieron, Bank of America
Our December interview with Paula Sieron helped us understand the core skills required for being successful as a relationship manager in the commercial banking industry. We learned about the differences in the three tiers of banking offered at Bank of America. Paula also elaborated on the team of specialists she works with in order to understand each client’s unique needs and deliver strategic financial guidance and solutions. She’s remade herself more than once, starting out as a graphic designer and now is a Vice President and Relationship Manager at Bank of America. To be successful in this role, her advice is to “Build your own tribe! Network, network, and network! Always follow up and respond to everybody!”
A Day in the Life of EVENT MARKETING MANAGER
with Patrycja (Pat) Ratajewska, Wrike
At this second event in our series, we sat with Patrycja Ratajewska, a Senior Event Marketing Manager at Wrike in San Jose. She shared an overview of managing an event, but also explained how her corporate event marketer role differs from the partnering vendor-side role. Given that in COVID times physical events were canceled, she explained how companies have pivoted to virtual events and now focus on digital marketing, yet told us why she’s convinced physical events will make a return again. Unsurprisingly, she uses the work management platform Wrike as her main tech stack tool along with Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive. She also shared her advice for returning to the workforce after a bigger break.
A Day in the Life of SCRUM MASTER
with Joanna Lorincz, Workday
Launching our first event in the “A Day in the Life of...” series, we interviewed certified Scrum Master and the Co-Founder of PPWSV Joanna Lorincz! Joanna works as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer at Workday in Pleasanton, CA. We learned about what triggered Joanna to pursue working with the scrum framework, the skills she applies to do well in her role, what she values about the Workday environment, the structure of her day, software and tools to do the job, terms specific to the role, lessons learned, and a couple of best practices.