‘Everything seemed possible’

After relocating to a small Swiss town from Auckland, where she took a career break, HEINEKEN expat partner Aleksandra Kramarz has resumed her career with the help of coach Pieter Nielsen.

The quiet life

“Previously, I have lived in Vienna, Amsterdam and then Auckland, all major cities and cultural capitals. Now we’re in a beautiful and quiet town, not far from Lucerne and Zurich. It’s a big contrast compared to everywhere else we have lived abroad, but it’s really lovely here and, after a year, we’re all feeling very much at home,” says Aleksandra, a Polish financial controller, part-time photographer and a mother of two.

Focused on studies

“In New Zealand, where we lived for four and a half years, I decided to take a career break and focus on studies as well as family life. Firstly, I wanted to finish an MBA, which I had started in Amsterdam. I also signed up for a photography course, which is something I’d always wanted to do but just never had the time. I’m particularly passionate about nature photography so it was wonderful to be studying this craft in a country with such stunning landscapes.”

Mission possible

“When we relocated to Switzerland, I was keen to resume my career in finance. My consultant from Global Connection introduced me to coach Peter Nielsen who was really supportive. He has lived in Switzerland for a long time and understands the job market and culture very well. I also appreciated his enthusiasm and positivity. Having stepped away from my career for a number of years, naturally I had some doubts. But whenever I spoke to Pieter, everything seemed possible.”

Feeling confident

“I found having a coach gave me more confidence. Pieter helped me to present the gist of my education and experience in CV and LinkedIn Profile. He also shared what to expect during interviews in Switzerland. I felt very well prepared as a result,” says Aleksandra, who is now working with an energy company. “It’s a new industry for me, even if I am still in finance. It’s been challenging at times as a mother of two kids. But that would be the case wherever I was living, even if we were back in Poland. I don’t have as much time as I had in New Zealand for photography, but I hope in future that I will be able to practise this craft again.”

Photo: Aleksandra in Switzerland