All About Expat Life in Poland – Part 1

LG Energy Solution built the largest battery factory in Europe in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2016 as a base for its foray into the European battery market.

Our expatriates in Poland are working hard to ensure the smooth running of LG’s global business.

We spoke with some of our current expats in Poland, leveraging their global capacity to learn more about their jobs.

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself?

(Seung-cheol Song, Mass Production Technology Part)
Hello. My name is Seung-cheol Song, and I work on the mass production technology side of LG Energy Solution Poland.

(Hyeon-seon Yang, Electrode Production Management Team)
I’m Hyunseon Yang, a member of the Production Management Team in charge of general planning for electrodes.

(Jae-yeon Shin, European Sales Part)
I’m Jae-yeon Shin, a second-year expatriate working in the European sales part.

Q. Please tell us about your major and job responsibilities.

(Hyeon-seon Yang, Electrode Production Management Team)
I studied mechanical engineering, but I am in charge of general electrode planning. I manage production indicators as a production manager.

(Seung-cheol Song, Mass Production Technology Part)
I majored in chemistry and learned a lot about lithium, metals, and other topics related to inorganic chemistry in my major. Applying my knowledge from back then proved challenging. 

(Jae-yeon Shin, European Sales Part)
I have a background in chemical engineering and am now working in sales. Sales is a new business part that requires explaining many technical things to clients. Despite being in sales, many things I studied in college helped me communicate with clients.

Q. What are your team’s strengths?

(Hyeon-seon Yang, Electrode Production Management Team)
Being on the production management team allows you to observe the work of many different teams. If you work in a technical or production team, you will most likely focus on the projects for which you are responsible. However, working for the production management team is appealing because it allows you to learn about the work of other departments.

(Jae-yeon Shin, European Sales Part)
We have a lot of customers visiting us, especially here in Poland. Being on the sales team means I spend a lot of time with customers, so I hear their real stories more than if I were at the corporate office. Working here helps me a lot because I can gather different opinions from customers and communicate them to those who work in the local factories more effectively.

(Seung-cheol Song, Mass Production Technology Part)
I am currently in charge of improvement in the mass production technology team. Compared to other teams, we have more opportunities to define the problems we face in practice and discuss and think about how to improve them with the local team members effectively. I’m highly motivated in that regard.

Q. Do expatriates in Poland need to be fluent in Polish?

(Seung-cheol Song, Mass Production Technology Part)
I worked as an expatriate for a local corporation for three years, but I still struggle to say hello. I gave up early because I anticipated it would be challenging.

(Hyeon-seon Yang, Electrode Production Management Team)
Actually, I spent two weeks learning Polish before moving to Poland. I didn’t think it would be that difficult when I first started studying. But, all I can say now is the Polish greeting, “Dzień dobry”. Still, since we communicate in English more frequently than I thought, I don’t find it difficult to get by without knowing Polish.

(Jae-yeon Shin, European Sales Part)
I would speak more if I was confident in my pronunciation. It doesn’t come out of my mouth naturally. As a result, I occasionally find myself communicating in English. 

Q. What welfare benefit is your favorite?

(Jae-yeon Shin, European Sales Part)
There are numerous benefits available, including housing and transportation assistance. As a parent with children, my favorite is supporting their educational expenses. This benefit has an age requirement. My child recently started school in September and met the conditions of the child support benefit, so I did not receive an invoice to pay for the support. When I actually received the benefit, I was happier than I had anticipated.

Particularly, a department here is in charge of providing living assistance and local adaptation support to expatriates. I initially anticipated that living here would be difficult because I don’t speak English like a native speaker, and I don’t know Polish well. But once I arrived, the company’s Delegation Part helped me, so I didn’t have to worry about anything.

*Delegation Part: An organization that offers one-stop assistance for housing, cars, kids’ school residency permits, etc., to assist expatriates in adjusting and residing in Poland.

(Seung-cheol Song, Mass Production Technology Part)
We have excellent workplace amenities for our staff, including livable office space, rest areas, a large auditorium, and a cafeteria. I particularly don’t miss the Korean food because the cafeteria serves it so well.

(Hyeon-seon Yang, Electrode Production Management Team)
The learning center is one of my favorite workplace perks. There are training facilities on the first floor of the center building. When I attend training at work, I need help to stay focused, and I frequently get sidetracked by work. So it’s nice to be able to concentrate in a classroom setting.

(The story of the Poland expatriate continues in Part 2)

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