Tomasz Anioł joined Divante straight from university in December 2016. Having started as an Event Manager, where he worked for two years, he’s progressed through various positions to take the significant step of becoming Marketing Product Owner for Vue Storefront—the most critical product in the global company.
“In December 2016, I organized a lecture at my university. I invited Piotrek and Tomek Karwatka to talk about startups. A few days later, I wrote an email to them asking for feedback. Tomek answered me directly and invited me for coffee. I didn’t know I was going for an interview but they said that Divante was looking for an event manager and gave me a recruitment assignment. It turned out well and I’ve been here ever since.”Tomasz Anioł, Vue Storefront Marketing Product Owner
That recruitment task was to create a plan for a Magento-related event in Switzerland. Tomasz had to prepare a budget, present a list of invitees, suggest which people from Divante should appear, and outline an idea for promotion.
“I got feedback quickly. My future team leader wanted to see if I was then able to take those suggestions, learn from them, and implement changes. Learning is essential in this company and it needs to be tested before people join.”Tomasz Anioł.
Divante was a different type of company in 2016. Tomasz’s task at that time was to build the company’s brand in foreign markets, notably the UK and the DACH area. While still a full-time third-year student, he was juggling his degree course with his work at Divante organizing attendance at major events across Europe. As he graduated from promising newcomer to an important part of the marketing team, Tomasz moved to a full-time schedule at Divante and completed his studies attending university only for important meetings and for credits.
Tomasz had no practical experience in IT and marketing at the beginning. Although at university he studied Internet marketing and eCommerce, it was only a theory. He missed an internship that he quickly made up for in Divante.
“I had no practical experience in IT or marketing when I joined the company. In fact, I sometimes say that I’m a Divante alumnus because college gave me the theoretical models but working at Divante gave me a real hands-on education”Tomasz Anioł.
When Tomasz joined Divante, the company was in a period of very significant change and development. Essential responsibilities were placed before him and the company placed a lot of trust in him. It was vital that he could develop together with the company.
In a way, we all learned as we went along. Being aware of this gave me peace of mind. I knew that no one would get hurt if they tried to do something and it didn’t come off. Successes were celebrated but, if it doesn’t work out as hoped, we learn from it and move on to something else.”Tomasz Anioł
The next assignment is always the most important
In four years at Divante, Tomasz has organized a lot of smaller and more significant events and marketing actions. Perhaps the biggest challenge was curating Divante’s exhibit at DMEXCO, in September 2019.
“DMEXCO is the largest internet fair for the whole DACH area. We had a massive space to plan and develop. It was a large project, in terms of both concept and logistics. As an event manager, it was a huge challenge involving lots of planning and a big budget. It was a huge success but, in business, it’s always good to look to the next project as the most important. From this perspective, my current position is the biggest challenge for me. I’m determined to make the product I care for grow.”Tomasz Anioł.
The future is a full-stack marketing
Tomek’s role in the company has grown every year. At the beginning of 2020, he changed his position to Marketing Product Owner, focusing on the development of Divante’s flagship product: Vue Storefront.
The new task is a big professional challenge. Tomasz emphasizes that he has to be specialized in specific categories but he needs at least a minimum of knowledge in all kinds to see what is going on in each of them. People with such competencies are often called T-shaped marketers.
“As a Product Owner, I need to have control over everything: analytics, social media, marketing, events. With a small team, I’m responsible for all the product statistics so that the product growth is visible in all fields. It is marketing in its pure form and requires full-stack capabilities. In fact, it would be easier for me to say what I am not responsible for at the moment. I have to keep my finger on the pulse over everything, monitor what is working and what is not, and focus on the priorities for product growth.”Tomasz Anioł.
It’s a serious responsibility but it is made easier by having a good product.
“Vue Storefront is not a product that needs saving from collapse. It is thriving and developing well, so my role is to push the accelerator pedal and make the most of its enormous potential. It’s important to me that the product is growing organically. I just try to listen to the voices of various experienced people from the eCommerce industry and lead it in the right direction.”Tomasz Anioł.
What makes a good workplace for a person without experience?
Divante is well-known for its excellent atmosphere but being a good starting point for a career also means giving people the chance to develop quickly and learn from the best. Divante tries to put this in place, and it is then on the fresh employee to take that opportunity and run with it.
“In Divante, you can act quickly and learn by doing. Unlike working in a corporation, there are no complicated processes and you are close to the decisions that are being made, so you understand the context. Even as a newbie with limited professional experience, you may work together with the management, see their actions, and directly influence how the company runs. That, for me, is true ownership. You have your sphere and you make your own decisions. Others may challenge your plan or ask why you want to do it, but they will also share their experience and show what did and didn’t work in similar situations in the past. This attitude is a direct path to success.”Tomasz Anioł.
What are the other advantages of working at Divante? Tomasz says that Divante works for top tier, global companies and is a well-known company with very high ambitions. Openness to change and a culture of trying are also important, as nobody criticizes others for having ideas or looking for better solutions. Bottom-up activities are never stifled.