Meet the team: Eliza Korzeniewska
This series will help you get to know more about a different Hyphen team member, what they do and who they are away from work.
As an enthusiastic and cultured traveller, Eliza Korzeniewska is used to going an extra mile or two for something special. That attitude comes in handy in her role as our Operations Support Coordinator.
While there have been some unorthodox challenges, she is exceedingly efficient at dealing with daily queries from Hyphen contractors and her work is crucial to looking after on-site professionals. Eliza is also instrumental in organising our quarterly co-working weeks, which satisfies her love of exploring.
Here, we will hear about some of the more interesting problems Eliza has solved with Hyphen, her dream co-working retreat destination, and more.
Hyphen: You must have to undertake quite a wide range of tasks to ensure everything flows smoothly for a lot of people. How have you found your role so far?
Eliza: I am regularly in touch with many of our contractors, particularly those who do on-site work, and I enjoy these interactions a lot. The Operations team does a lot of preparatory work to ensure professionals get the best experience on the ground, but unexpected situations do happen sometimes. They bring some spice to the job and are a source of good anecdotes!
Hyphen: Can you tell us some of the more memorable stories?
Eliza: One instance saw us move a consultant and their very young family to the Middle East for four months for a project. We rented an apartment for them, but it flooded twice in that short time. Fortunately, the problem was resolved swiftly.
Hyphen: How do you feel when these sorts of incidents happen?
Eliza: We just have to be responsive and do the best we can to deal with the query quickly. After all, in that situation, it’s almost certainly more stressful for the person on the other end of the phone and you want to be supportive.
I remember we once had scheduled a consultant on a Thursday evening flight from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to Dubai, ahead of the weekend there. The consultant was on a business call right until the boarding time. They were so busy diligently dealing with the client call that – little did they know it – they had started to line up for the wrong flight without realising.
It just so happened that there was another flight from the same airport to the same destination at exactly the same time, just with a different airline. It was only when they tried to scan the boarding pass and it wouldn’t go through that the realisation came! It was too late to run to the other gate though, so they called me to say they had missed their flight and had nowhere to stay.
All flights that night were sold out as that was essentially the start of the weekend. Within 15 minutes though, they were back on their way to the city while I arranged an extra night at a hotel and sorted out another flight for the following morning.
Hyphen: Do things like that occur often?
Eliza: Fortunately, events like these only happen about three or four times a year. Considering the number of flights, hotels and everything else that we book, these instances are extremely rare.
Hyphen: What else have you particularly enjoyed since joining our A-team?
Eliza: Since we work 100% remotely at Hyphen, I love it when we meet up – particularly for the big team quarterly gatherings but also in smaller groups. We try to maximise our time together and make some great memories.
The nice thing with Hyphen’s retreats is that I get to live them twice. The organising experience is fun as Dora, Michael and I do so much research and preparation before we even arrive – then I still get to enjoy the retreat itself.
Hyphen: Which has been your favourite retreat?
Eliza: All of them have been memorable and we build them with that goal in mind. The Warsaw retreat was particularly special for me because Olgierd and I could host the entire Hyphen team in the city that we call home and that is so dear to us. Considering I am a city guide and he likes the gastronomic scene here, there was plenty to show and share.
Hyphen: Which other team member do you think would be the best at giving a group tour?
Eliza: Hmm, I really don’t think I could pick one person! I would really love to get a tour from every Hyphen team member in their home city and see their highlights, not just the tourist traps. That way you get to know people more deeply, see the broader context that they come from, and learn what streets they walk in their ‘offline life’.
Hyphen: Where would you pick to host a future co-working retreat?
Eliza: I would choose NEOM, the megaproject under construction in Saudi Arabia. Several sub-projects come under the main concept, but The Line really stands out for me – can you imagine having a retreat in this futuristic linear city?! Thinking about it gives me goosebumps. Trojena would be a close second – an ultra-modern ski resort in the desert would be incredible to experience. Both will take a while to finish but these would be my top picks.
Hyphen: Are there any other Hyphen experiences that have stood out for you?
Eliza: Oh yes, two memories stand out. The first one was my first in-person interaction with the Hyphen team, in August 2022. I had not yet started my job, but Hyphen invited me to join them for a weekend in Helsinki, towards the end of the Finland retreat. We all went to the Flow music festival and while I was enjoying good music and visiting food trucks with this fun group who would be my colleagues, I thought ‘Wow, what a cool company I am joining!’ It was a very strong first impression.
Another highlight was definitely the trip to the Middle East earlier this year. Olgierd and I spent a week in Riyadh and in Dubai. I was finally able to match names and email addresses with the real people. We got to shake hands and meet our vendors and contractors on the ground, which was so rewarding. It was also my first-ever trip to Saudi Arabia – a country I would have not even dreamt of visiting just two or three years ago. One added benefit of the trip is the acquired sense of orientation and distance between places in each respective city, which now helps me in my everyday work.
Hyphen: Let’s talk about life generally – what do you do when you’re not helping contractors?
Eliza: This will probably sound quite cliche, but when I don’t organise travel, I travel. My bucket list never shrinks! As my partner is an avid motorcycle rider, the summer weekends are filled with trips. We have explored a lot of Poland on the bike, and I watch the world go by from the backseat.
Every year, I try to organise one far-away trip to gain fresh experiences. ‘When was the last time that you did something for the first time?’ is a question I regularly challenge myself with. This year, it was a trip to Azerbaijan and Armenia, which was logistically challenging given the conflict in that region. It was fascinating to interact with people on both sides of the border and learn their different perspectives.
Cats or dogs: Neither. I love animals but I wouldn’t necessarily want to live with them – plus being away from home regularly, I struggle to keep plants alive.
Going to the beach or into the mountains: Both – I couldn’t pick between the two, I enjoy them both too much and appreciate variety.
Which superpower would you most like: Time travel – because of my interest in history. It would be super interesting to spend a few days in medieval Cracow, then fast forward to follow Queen Sisi through the corridors of Hofburg in Vienna.
Favourite pizza topping: Four cheeses please!