【Interview】IBMBA 101 Alumni Tomasz Sniedziewski

Tomasz Sniedziewski
• Originally from Poland
• Lives and works in Taiwan
• IBMBA Alumni Class of 2014
NSYSU, Taiwan

As part of the Leading Global Academia in Taiwan, the International Business MBA and Global HRM programs at NSYSU are committed to provide a diverse and inclusive learning environment for our local and international students. Our alumnus Tomasz Sniedziewski came from Poland to Taiwan to study in the IBMBA program. Zhanna Samodurova, President of the Students Association, conducted an interview with Tomasz and asked him a few questions about his experience.

-Tomasz, could you please tell us a bit more about yourself?

My name is Tomasz Śniedziewski, I’m originally from Poland but for nearly the last 10 years I live in Taiwan. From 2012 till 2014 I had the pleasure to attend the IBMBA course at NSYSU.

-Why did you choose the IBMBA Program at NSYSU?

For me, as it happened, I have first arrived in Taiwan and then I have enrolled in the IBMBA course. It was not a random decision – for many years before starting my studies at NSYSU I have been watching how taking an MBA course is changing the lives of the people I know and I have decided to one day enroll MBA studies to redirect my professional career. Taiwan, being the gate to China, with many Taiwanese companies having a footprint in the Mainland, seemed like a perfect place to set on this endeavor. The opportunity came when my very good friend from Taiwan who was doing the internship in Amsterdam had to go back to his country and then invited me to visit there and decide maybe I’d consider staying in Kaohsiung for a while and visit the city around. After spending one year in Japan during my studies I was happy to go back to Asia and I instantly fell in love with Taiwan and with Kaohsiung. During my research, I found that National Sun-yat Sen University (NSYSU) offers one of the best business programs in Taiwan. After visiting the campus, beautifully located between the mountains and the sea, I just knew I wanted to study there! I did all necessary preparation and I remember being very happy and excited to become part of IBMBA 101.

-What do you like about the country Taiwan?

As I have lived here for nearly 10 years, I got used to many qualities related to living here, such as tropical weather, beautiful nature, the diverse and vibrant culture, and last but not least, the local cuisine that one can easily fall in love with. Above all, Taiwan is the country of amazing people. Back in my country, I came across the description saying “even if they are bend down, in the scorching heat when they work in the paddy fields, Taiwanese will not fail to say hello to you and give you the kind smile”, which I think well summarizes the friendliness of the residents of Taiwan. Among the majority of Taiwanese, I could feel the friendly curiosity towards the foreigners with the willingness to help.

-What is a moment that you never will forget about your life at NSYSU?

We, the foreign students, had plenty of chances to receive help and learn the local culture also from our Taiwanese classmates. I will never forget when my IBMBA friend, Kathy, invited me and several other classmates to visit her family in Central Taiwan and the delicious dinner prepared by her mom – we really felt like being at home away from home. Also, my classmate from IBMBA 101 was famous Cindy, called by us Cindy Mama, who was a very good year representative and has been tireless to teach us, the foreigners about Taiwanese culture. I say famous Cindy because after graduation she has joined the administration of NSYSU and helped many people from around the world become the students of the business programs. Of course, friendships have no nationality, so at the same time, it is possible to learn much from international friends, who come to study at NSYSU from all around the world. From my experience, I can say that after graduation many bonds remain strong and it is always a pleasure to meet each other, keep in touch, or at least learn about the professional way of my classmates. Last year I have been very happy to visit my important IBMBA classmate friend Sebastian in Germany, I’m looking forward to future meetings with my classmates when the travel restrictions due to the pandemic are over. 

-Could you please tell us about your work experience?

Right after the studies, I have joined the company of my Taiwanese friend HAL Architecture Design and Research based in Kaohsiung. In this new venture, I had been responsible for a product, by which we mean addressing the needs of the clients, especially the functional, organizational of business needs and work out the best solutions. These few years have been a very exciting time of true development. The majority of projects we do are B2B (business to business) projects, contracted by the public institutions. In our architecture portfolio, we have company headquarters, social housings, kindergartens, schools, dormitories… One of the projects, the Junior High School Building in Daliao District, has been awarded this year’s architecture award. Currently, we are working on some high-profile projects. One of them is the new office building for the National Immigration Agency, which will be located in the city center of Kaohsiung. Another of the projects we work on is the new dormitory for the National University of Tainan.

-Do you have any other jobs?

Yes, I have another job, being a correspondent for professional aviation news online outlet in Poland, “Rynek Lotniczy”. For many years I have been interested in the aviation industry and this interest has been expressed in the choice of my master thesis at IBMBA studies: “Crisis Management in Aviation Industry – The Role of Social Media”. The airline industry field has been so interesting for me, that even after I got my job for HAL I kept following it and write a blog on the topic. Somehow this blog became popular what gave me the confidence to apply for a journalist job at one of the Polish airline news portals. After a few years of work for them, I have decided to change for the work at “Rynek Lotniczy” (“Aviation Market” in Polish). At this job, I’m a news correspondent from Asia but also, I do the reports and analysis of the industry. The outlet title belongs to the Business Advisors Publishing House, so besides providing the news and the analysis, sometimes our service requires consulting reports for the various industry players.

-How do you manage to successfully combine two jobs?

From my experience, having two jobs gives a very comfortable position in which, when I am tired of one of the jobs, I can devote more time to the other. In general, I find both of them exciting and inspiring, in fact, I consider myself one of these lucky people who do what they love to do, get paid for doing it and hardly ever feel bored.

-Would you recommend this program to your friends or future Master students?

I believe this comfortable situation I’m in right now has been possible because of the MBA degree I have obtained at NSYSU. It didn’t help me in a job hunt, in a way I feel I was not looking for a job but the job found me, but studying MBA provided me with skills and outlook that I find very useful in everyday professional life and I cannot overstate how much it boosted my self-confidence. For the more basic things, graduating from IBMBA allowed me to get the residence status in Taiwan and live and work in the country. For this, I can confirm to the people who consider studying at NSYSU, this degree can positively change a life.

Respondent: Tomasz Sniedziewski (NSYSU, IBMBA Alumni, Class of 2014)
Interviewer: Zhanna Samodurova (President of Students Association, 2020)
Date: 02/06/2020