Skip to content

“He saw potential”: a dream job for one displaced Ukrainian

When Mariana arrived in Poland, she needed a good job to support her family. Through BEST by Futuremakers, Michał Ciszewski decided to share his skills.

10 June 2024

5 mins

Mariana, who arrived in Poland from Ukraine, and her mentor Michał.

Michał Ciszewski works for Standard Chartered in Poland where he is the lead of the Climate Analyst team. He signed up to be a mentor through BEST after hearing about the opportunity to support Ukrainians who have been displaced.

Since the start of the war, more than 4.3 million Ukrainians have crossed the border into Poland. Around 2 million haven’t returned – most of them women and children.

For many of these women, finding work to support their family is a priority. But finding work in a new country can be hard, especially when balancing childcare responsibilities.

Helping 10,000 displaced people

BEST – which stands for Business, Employability, Skills and Training – aims to support job seekers and entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge they need to gain employment or grow their business.

The program is jointly organized by Standard Chartered Bank, Youth Business International, Youth Business Poland and advocacy organisation the Ukrainian House.

BEST offers tools such as webinars, a job database, and individual mentoring, and has set an initial goal of supporting 10,000 young displaced Ukrainians.

One of those is Mariana, who started being mentored by Michał in 2023.

Michał’s story

As Ukranian refugees started arriving in Poland, I could only imagine what it must be like to arrive in a new country, with a new reality, a new language and desperately needing employment.  

I felt a strong motivation to help in some way. When I heard about the BEST by Futuremakers mentoring scheme, it seemed like an amazing opportunity to support Ukrainian refugees, using my experience and skills.  

My mentee, Mariana, came to Poland as a refugee with four kids and was really motivated to find employment. After our first mentoring session, I knew she had great potential because of her amazing approach to work.

Together we decided that she would focus as much as possible on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) because in Poland there are jobs in this area that don’t require substantial experience, and it is an area where I have knowledge and experience.

After our first mentoring session, I knew she had great potential.

–Michał on working with Mariana

During three months of very intensive, regular mentoring sessions I shared my ten years of AML experience. We also polished Mariana’s English skills, her LinkedIn profile and CV, and prepared her for interviews in English and Polish.

After three months of hard work Mariana was interviewed for a job as an AML Analyst and was offered the position.

It was also a very satisfying experience for me, personally, to feel I have made a real difference to someone’s life.

It shows that high motivation, combined with the right help, support and advice to overcome obstacles, can dramatically change someone’s life and help them succeed.

Mariana’s story

Coming to Poland from Ukraine because of the war, with four children, I found myself overwhelmed and unconfident about my professional prospects. 

My #1 priority was to find a good job, because of the huge responsibility of looking after my kids. But navigating a new country’s job market seemed impossible.

Through BEST by Futuremakers I was introduced to an exceptional mentor,  Michał Ciszewski, from Standard Chartered, whose guidance not only illuminated the path forward but also gave me hope and determination. 

The initial plan was to work on my LinkedIn profile and CV. But in the course of our sessions, Michał talked about opportunities in the Anti-Money Laundering sector which he thought might suit me. I was so fascinated that I decided I wanted to work in this field.

He saw potential where I saw limitations.

– Mariana on working with Michał

We put our heads together to achieve this goal. Michał invested his time and knowledge to build my job search strategies, and amended my resumé to appeal to Polish employers.

Most importantly, Michał believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He saw potential where I saw limitations.  

We met and prepared for each interview step by step. We went through the possible interview questions in deep detail.

The result is that, since May 2023, I have been working at my dream job. Michał Ciszewski has a talent for mentoring and I am sincerely grateful to Standard Chartered and the BEST by Futuremakers project for introducing me to my incredible mentor.

Before meeting Michał, I had been looking for a job for 11 months; with Michał’s support and advice, I got a job offer in 3 months. This is the power of mentoring with a super professional mentor.

Thanks to Michał’s guidance, I not only found a good job but also found a career path that aligns with my passions.

I am so grateful to Michał and everyone involved in the project.