My name is Juraj Chano and I am a student at the University of Žilina, where I study at the faculty of Management Science and Informatics.
I initially wanted to study at the University of Economics in our capital, Bratislava, but in the end, I decided for UNIZA for several reasons. One of them was the fact that the city of Žilina itself was more friendly and much more pleasant to me than Bratislava. Another reason was that my brother had previously studied at this university and recommended it to me. Finally, I was interested in the curriculum, the availability of information on the school website and the overall modern appearance of the university, which was the main reason why I decided for this school.
During my studies so far I have learned about economics, marketing and management. I also managed to participate in the Erasmus program. Through this program, I had a wonderful opportunity to visit the Škoda Auto car company, which was founded in the former Czechoslovakia. In addition to my classmates from Slovakia, students from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and Finland also took part in the program. During the program, we visited the carmaker itself several times, where the production process of various car models was shown and explained to us, which was followed by several interesting professional lectures at the Škoda university.
The Erasmus program included projects addressing green solutions for the environment. Each team consisted of at least one student from the above-mentioned countries. Our team’s topic was “Optimization by digitalization of a cooled supply chain” and I can humbly add that it was our project that was declared the best. 😊
I learned about Jonckers by a pure chance at a meeting with friends in Žilina, where my then future colleague was also present. We were talking about random stuff when I nonchalantly asked her about where she is working. That was the first time I heard about the firm, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that there was a company, where I could work during my studies, which had two huge advantages. The first one was, that I could finally use the knowledge of English language in practice and that firm was in the city of Žilina, literally 5 minutes by walk from the train station. (I traveled to Žilina by train from Púchov, which is distanced approximately 40 km from there). We spent some time discussing more details about Jonckers and I checked the company’s website the next day and then I realized that it would be a great idea to try finding out if I could work there.
I was just looking for a new part-time job and at the same time Jonckers was offering one, so it was a perfect match. I sent my CV to the company after few days, and several phone calls and one personal interview later I became part of the working team in the role of a project coordinator. This happened on December 2018.
I was assigned to a project, on which I participated with other students who were working there already. Some of them were also studying at the UNIZA. Each of them helped me at the beginning with the explanation of what my duties and responsibilities will be on the given project. It was quite stressful back then, since working in an office environment was a new experience for me. I never went through something like this before, so I had to learn many new information and skills. I was so lucky to encounter so nice and smart colleagues that helped me with my struggles.
I learned many new mechanics in MS Excel, I learned how to write formal e-mails correctly and most importantly, I learned how to communicate better in English, both in written and spoken form. Apart from my student colleagues, which were directly in Žilina (Slovakia) with me, we cooperated with other team members from our branch offices in Brno (Czech Republic) and Hanoi city (Vietnam). That meant that we had to communicate with each other in English. If it were Slovakia and Czech Republic only, we could use our native languages as they are very similar, and we understand each other without any problems. Although that would be much easier for us, it would also be in direct conflict with the fact that I wanted to improve my English, therefore I was glad that it was that way.
What I love most about the Jonckers are occasional snack days and teambuilding activities. Not just with team members, but with other colleagues as well. Most memorable ones were, when we went to play laser tag or when we went bowling, which was a premier activity for me. All of our teambuilding always ended with me almost missing the last train home although I was planning to go home sooner.
Our project requires us to work on Saturdays as well. Given that workload is way smaller on the weekends only one employee is required. As I used to need assistance from my colleagues, I was trying to avoid those weekend jobs in the first few months, because I was petrified, that I wouldn’t be able to work on my own. But as time went by, I needed to learn how to be independent. Finally, D day arrived, and I was a bit frightened on that day. I thought I wouldn’t make it and I imagined several scary scenarios that included each of Murphy’s laws. My Skype account logged me automatically and I remember I felt shocked to see everyone offline. Eventually, no major problems occurred, and everything went just fine.
This represented probably the biggest challenge for me, and I was very happy to accomplish it successfully. As I gained more experience and enhanced my self-confidence, I was able to work on weekends without any issues. When I look back, I think to myself, that I was silly for being so afraid.
The Corona crisis created a lot of chaos in the world and Jonckers was affected as well. Our project specifically was heavily affected as it depends on the fact that people around the world travel. Another factor, that created trouble, was the shutdown of the whole India, which made the communication with our partner there difficult. After some time, it got back to normal. This situation also created one positive effect and that was a mandatory home office. The office occupancy limit was set to a minimum, therefore we had to work from home. Although I really cherish traveling, I fancy sleeping even more, so this situation was delightful for me. 😊
Our project manager was also a great role model for me, she taught me a lot in a year and a half of working there. In return, I assisted her with solving technical issues using my informatics knowledge from my university studies.
My aim in the company is to be join in the position of project manager after gaining more experience here and obtaining my Master’s degree at the university.