Balance, Adaptability and Focus: Keys to a Gratifying Personal and Professional Life
Justyna Witecka taps into the passion and discipline she honed through dance and sports to make her work exciting and meaningful.
Corporate Communications: Greetings, Justyna, it’s great to catch up with you. Please give us a glimpse into your background.
Justyna: I graduated from the Technical University of Radom, majoring in economics with a specialization in finance. During summer breaks, I participated in the Work and Travel program in the U.S. – I worked as a waitress and bartender and later as an assistant in a marketing firm. My summer jobs taught me the key skills of how to be organized, resourceful, easily adaptable to new surroundings and adept at multitasking.
My first job after college was as an export manager assistant at a cosmetics company, where I was responsible for getting products certified and exported to Eastern Europe. Regarding Prologis – I have been at the company since 2004! I still remember my job interview: a small Prologis office with only ten people working in the CEE region at the time. I had no experience in real estate, but my application to the company’s Due Diligence (DD) department was accepted because they were looking for someone with analytical skills. A few months after I joined Prologis, I finished my post-graduate degree in real estate valuation from the Technical University of Warsaw. A few years later, I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK with a Master of Science in property appraisal and management.
Corporate Communications: That’s quite the journey! Tell us more about your experience at Prologis.
Justyna: It has been a very good experience for me – challenging and demanding. One time, while a colleague was on maternity leave, I was the only person leading the DD department in CEE. A few years later, the circle came around and my colleague filled in for me while I was on maternity leave with my second child. We currently work together in the department and enjoy a strong professional and personal relationship – I consider her a great colleague and friend.
Corporate Communications: How does your work tie into the company’s strategy for success and innovation?
Justyna: I support financial analysis; develop cash flows for all assets in CEE; support the transaction business through robust due diligence and risk analysis; prepare investment memoranda for the company’s Investment Committee; and work with market officers on build-to-suit and speculative disposals and acquisitions. I am involved in every transaction in the CEE region on behalf of Prologis and our Strategic Capital funds. I am constantly looking for better and faster ways to expedite work. I have a great CEE Investment Services team that is very committed to work and is well-organized and responsible. We are always willing to help other departments. It is only through smooth cooperation between all departments that we can achieve success!
Corporate Communications: Hobbies/interests outside of work?
Justyna: I started taking ballet classes when I was six years old. In elementary school and for the next seven years, I trained in Latin American dance. During this time, I won many local and international awards. It took a lot of dedication, determination, self-denial and countless hours in the dance studio took to get to this level. In fact, some of the dancers and choreographers who were my competitors/coaches at the time are judges/dancers on the TV show, “Dancing with the Stars.” Sports, including volleyball and gymnastics, have been a passion of mine since I was young, so I can't imagine myself sitting on the couch after work. I am addicted to all kinds of exercise, which I do daily as part of my routine. I am interested in interior decorating and love TV shows about home design.
Corporate Communications: What is the best advice you’ve given or gotten?
Justyna: With my husband a marathon runner and my two boys football players, I believe sports are great for everyone. The teamwork, the commitment, the hard work – this level of discipline makes a person better at work and contributes to a balanced and enjoyable life. To anyone who asks, I say: Keep the passion alive in your life and always challenge yourself.