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Digital Advisory M-commerce
Izabela Franke
Digital Advisory UX research
Jakub Nawrocki
News Retail Technology
Paweł Wasilewski
Mobile Development Technology
Michał Klimczak
Digital Advisory M-commerce
Izabela Franke
Values People
Tomek Jurek
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Get to Know Future Mind: Product Design Team Leads

Get to Know Future Mind: Product Design Team Leads

If you’re considering a career at Future Mind, you may have already heard about our values. But… You may also be wondering how we apply them in real life, and what kinds of experiences you can expect when you join us. We think that’s completely understandable – and so, we’re launching an all new series of interviews with Future Mind experts, where you’ll learn all about their stories working with us. First up: Agnieszka Rokiel and Olga Szczęsna, two Product Design Team Leads from our Product Design department headed by Łukasz Okoński.

TJ (Tomek Jurek): Let's start at the very beginning. How did you end up at Future Mind – what made you pick our company in particular?

AR (Agnieszka Rokiel): I joined Future Mind because a friend kept telling me it’d be a great idea to come here. I wasn’t even that interested in interviewing for a new job, I was quite content at my previous company, but he just wouldn’t stop! Laughs. So, in the end, I did agree to do an interview, and what I saw there seemed to match what my trusted friend had told me. And I decided to take the leap of faith!

OS (Olga Szczęsna): This might sound hard to believe, but I was the very next link in the chain that Agnieszka just described. I had worked alongside her and our mutual friend as well, and after she started working at Future Mind and found out she was enjoying the project, she came to me just like our friend had come to her. Actually, I had already worked with Agnieszka in two separate companies, so I valued her recommendation and was convinced. I had to see with my own eyes what it was that caused two of my colleagues to leave for the very same place!

TJ: What do you remember about your first weeks at the company? And what would you say has changed since then?

AR: It was definitely intense! I remember there were so many things to wrap my head around, but the atmosphere I could feel in my team made me genuinely enjoy participating in the process of learning so much new stuff at the same time.

OS: For some reason, I remember my reaction to my first company-wide weekly meeting in a really vivid way. 3M is an all-hands-on-deck that we hold every Monday at 9:57. By now, it seems very natural, but back then, having left a rather corporate environment, I was like: “9:57? What kind of hour is this? So this is allowed?”.

It’s a little thing, but it made me realize that Future Mind would be very different: that people didn’t take themselves too seriously here, that being a bit silly in the workplace could actually be seen as something positive.

We’ve grown so much since then, the company is probably four times larger in terms of headcount than when I first started, but that unique atmosphere is still here. In a way, it is thanks to us, too.

As Future Mind has grown, including the Product Design department, we had to split the responsibility between more people, Łukasz could no longer be everyone’s direct supervisor. Agnieszka and I got the opportunity to lead our own teams, and we’re doing all we can to maintain the Future Mind culture.

AR: This kind of growth is natural when a company is successful. I won’t say I don’t get nostalgic when I think about the times when Future Mind was smaller and I knew everyone’s face. However, it’s a fun challenge to lead my own team and contribute to our cultural cohesion.

TJ: Can you tell me more about this cultural aspect? What is it that makes your team special, and how do you contribute to making it happen as Team Leaders?

OS: Something I find really valuable about our environment is how our relationships with our coworkers frequently evolve into genuine friendships. We don’t try to force it with constant team-building efforts, it just happens as we continuously take the time to check in with each other and engage in shared interests.

AR: It’s fairly common at Future Mind to participate in discussion channels centered around people’s private passions, like cooking or cycling. It’s more of a company-wide phenomenon than something unique to our team, though.

I think this friendly atmosphere stems from our approach to recruitment. While we obviously assess candidates based on their professional capabilities, we put just as much emphasis on culture fit. This is probably why we simply enjoy working with each other!

There have been some instances where we decided to prioritize a person with great chemistry and great potential, a person who put a lot of effort in our recruitment task and in our conversations, over someone with more professional experience, but a less collaborative personality. And it usually works out amazingly well. When you know, you know.

OS: Of course, after we hire junior specialists, we do our best to help them get up to speed. This year, we’ve implemented a new mentorship program where senior employees lead special sessions aimed at improving our newbies’ skills.

AR: We do our best to listen to our team members’ preferences on what types of skills they want to develop and adjust our activities accordingly. Recently, we’ve been focusing on animations and creating heavily visual case studies of our best projects.

OS: We also organize educational events for the entire Design department, like presentations on best practices for creating different interface elements.

TJ: Let’s talk about the day-to-day of your teams’ work. What’s your approach?

AR: Completely different than Olga’s! Laughs.

OS: Can’t argue with that! I’m a bit of a night owl, I prefer doing most of my work in the afternoon, or even in the late evening.

AR: I’m usually the first person to log in, I like getting started around 7.30.

OS: The flexibility that allows us to optimize our workdays based on our individual preferences is something I really appreciate about Future Mind. It’s not just about working hours, but also how each person approaches their work and certain processes.

We don’t like micromanagement and forcing people to fit the mold, which is something I sadly experienced at some other companies. Over here, we judge people’s performance based on their results, not if they toe the line. It’s a trust-based environment.

AR: Of course, we do have baseline rules that help with efficient collaboration, like some calls we all participate in, at hours we try to set in the middle of the day so that most people find them comfortable. Along with the option to work remotely, it definitely makes combining professional responsibilities and my family life much easier.

OS: I’m a big fan of working from home, too, but I also enjoy going to the office once a week to maintain tight relationships with my coworkers. I think it’s great to have this option as well. I enjoy team-building events like our annual summer trips and winter parties, but nothing beats regular conversations by the water cooler.

TJ: Thank you so much for sharing all your insights about working at Future Mind! Let me ask you one last question. What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on so far?

AR: Every project has its special moments. There's one I remember with special fondndess, though, because it wasn’t just a fun professional challenge, but also a unique example of healthy, productive client-vendor collaboration. We just had a great vibe as we worked together, and what can I say, the results we achieved speak for themselves!

OS: Choosing just one project is too hard! I simply enjoy the diversity of working for different clients. I know it’s impossible to build a perfect product, but I’m proud of everything we’ve designed, and I think it’s a great self-development opportunity to participate in design processes in the context of many industries, business goals, and user bases. It’s hard to feel bored in this kind of environment.

TJ: Let’s call it a day, then. Thank you for the interview!

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