Meet the team: Magdalena Dziurzyńska
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.
Finance and creativity are two things that are not often associated with one another. Magdalena Dziurzyńska, our Head of Finance, is the exception.
She is more valuable to our A-team than a piece of pristine Polish pressed glass as she ensures this vital part of our business is agile enough to grow with our client base.
Integrating automation is freeing up our Finance team but it requires real creative vision to build processes capable of helping us on our growth journey, which Magdalena brings to the table.
Here, she opens up about how tech and our team enhance her Hyphen experience, her time photographing communist-era ornaments, and why she is no longer on the hunt for side projects.
Hyphen: This is quite a tech-heavy business and processes are constantly evolving – how does that affect the way you and the rest of the Finance team operate?
Magdalena: When I was starting with Hyphen, my position was called Head of Finance Transformation. When I joined, my first task – and this is still on the table – was to transform the finance function in a scalable way using the resources that we have and bringing new software and solutions that would help us in this process.
We are not a big group as the Finance team is just me and Faith – plus we receive support from Avi and work with our Operations team – but we have managed to scale and serve more projects and clients and that’s because we rely on tech a lot.
Of course, we have accounting software, but we chose the one that is most flexible when it comes to integration possibilities with all tools. Every month we add some automation integration, making sure that this is more of a one-click process. This means we don’t spend time manually processing transactions so we can be very supportive of other teams and add value by building relationships with our clients and contractors.
Hyphen: How much interaction do you have with other teams? Do you feel you get a chance to get to know people outside your regular stakeholder groups?
Magdalena: What I like the most here is the support you have at all times from every Hyphen team member – everyone is so responsive. Even if they are not close to what I am doing, they understand and value the role of Finance so it feels like a real team here.
Those relationships make working with Hyphen very comfortable and even though we are all remote, you don’t feel alone. Whenever someone has a problem, there is a whole ‘village’ of people who can help you so it’s a really supportive environment to work in, I love it.
Hyphen: Given the company’s rate of growth, how do you handle that constant state of evolution?
Magdalena: Since I joined Hyphen, the number of third parties we work with has increased significantly so we learned that we need to do things differently and adapt. Every new client we bring in is a learning opportunity and we have to be responsive so that there are no bottlenecks or surprises.
It involves some forward thinking and creativity to find solutions that are compliant, scalable, and applicable to all cases and I think we do that well.
Hyphen: You mentioned creativity there, which is fitting as you also helped to launch an interior design marketplace called Patyna – how did that come about?
Magdalena: Patyna started because my friend had a Facebook page years ago that pointed out that designs from the 1960s and 1970s – a period that was not very popular because it made people think of communism – were actually very good. Essentially, everyone’s grandma’s houses were full of future antiques. For example, Polish pressed glass is really appreciated worldwide and one cabinet was displayed in MoMA in New York. We wanted to save things that might otherwise have been destroyed.
I got involved at an early stage of this project and it was a very hands-on experience. I bought things and tested for bugs on the web page, and I even did the photography! Those things were all quite different to my usual roles, but I still designed processes and looked after the financial and operational side of the business.
In one respect, I think it was quite hard because this side job took up a lot of my time, but I really enjoyed that experience and it helped me to develop. I still have a lot of the pieces that I bought back then about 10 years ago and it was a very good part of my life.
Hyphen: Your last job before Hyphen was with a mobile games company – would you say you are someone who seeks out creative environments?
Magdalena: I have just met a lot of creative people and businesses, but it wasn’t a plan or anything. When I was on maternity leave and had a bit more time, I was helping those people from a financial perspective.
One person wanted to open a perfume company and asked for my support to build a budget for a pitch deck; another thing was doing the budget and helping the biggest alternative festival in Poland just to set it up. For them, it was like rocket science, but it wasn’t like I was running a business; for me, it’s more like a series of projects, just something small but developing.
Now that I have two little girls, most of my creativity goes there but when they grow older, maybe I will find some more time for something new. Right now, though, I’m satisfied with what I do with Hyphen – I don’t need to look for side projects to feel more rewarded.
Do you prefer to listen to music or podcasts? Definitely music. I like electronic music most, but I also have a playlist called Guilty Pleasures for relaxing purposes.
If you could only eat food from one country for the rest of your life, which would it be? That’s a hard one because Italian is my comfort food but the cuisine I like most is Greek, so I would say Greece. There are the salads, the pastas, the hummuses – plenty of things that I love.
Do you prefer phone calls or text messages? Phone calls, definitely, and I particularly like video calls. I don’t think you can reflect emotions properly in text messages, and calls are just more transparent. I’m old school like that!
Do you prefer big parties or small gatherings? I prefer small gatherings.
If you could have any superpower, which would you pick? I would like a time machine so that I could just stop time for everyone except me. That way, I would make my day longer, which I definitely need sometimes with all my responsibilities!