Beata Skokowska, Country Manager Poland
What’s your background, and how did you end up at Lattitude?
I was born and grew up in Szczecin, North West of Poland situated almost on the border with Germany. After obtaining a master degree in sociology, I moved to Warsaw where I worked for a few large international companies as the Training Manager but I didn’t feel fulfilled in these roles.
I joined Lattitude (called GAP back then) in 2006 and became Program Manager and was thrown in at the deep end as my predecessor and Poland’s local representative left the project as I joined. Despite these obstacles, I knew from the beginning that I’d finally found the occupation that I really love.
Now I am the Country Manager responsible for the overall management of our program in Poland. I am also an animal lover and a few years ago became a pet psychologist.
I describe myself as a cinematophile: I am in love with cinematography, especially Scandinavian, and one of my favourite events is the Warsaw Film Festival. This is the biggest film festival in Poland where over 120 films from all over the world are shown in five WFF competitions.
I am passionate about sport and have a black belt (hakama) in Aikido, which I obtained some time ago but I still keep on practising, and I also play squash and badminton. My great interests lies in literature as well, I am a big fan of non-fiction and documentaries.
What’s your top tip or insight for Poland?
I love Poland for the warmth and hospitality of its people; once they get to know you, you become a member of their family and they care for you as they would their own family. Polish language has four different meanings for friendship, being a true friend means a lot to a Polish person. I also like Poland for its tradition, rich culture and the climate and its nature (yes, not a mistake!) You can experience four seasons while being in Poland and enjoy the unspoiled nature of the forests, mountains and sea.
What do you love about your job?
I love working with young and enthusiastic people who are brave enough to travel overseas to immerse themselves into our culture and enjoy seeing how they become mature adults who are aware of their strengths. It is great to work for an International Youth Development Charity where we all share the same goals and enthusiasm.