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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » October 29, 2010
Assistant Turned Senior Manager
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Assistant Turned Senior Manager
October 29, 2010   
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Senior managers at Apsys shopping malls include mentors who have trained their assistants to become managers of the developer’s other shopping centers, Adriana Rychter, the company’s HR manager tells Magdalena Fabijańczuk.

Can people carve out a career working at a shopping mall, climbing from a junior job to the very top?
Apsys is well-known for its reluctance to give managerial posts to people from outside the company. We have quite a flat organizational structure for a company that manages shopping centers. A mall is usually run by two assistants, a technical department and a senior manager. Assistants are college graduates who speak English and have many different responsibilities in the mall, but also good prospects for career development and promotion.

What responsibilities do they have?
An assistant is the manager’s right hand. Given that shopping centers work in shifts, the assistant is frequently left all by herself and has to solve the problems of tenants, customers and subcontractors such as cleaning and security companies. Every day in this job is a new challenge with new problems and solutions to those. It is thus vital for assistants to be good at dealing with tenants and the owner and so we look for that when we hire new assistants. We want them to be able to understand just what it takes to run a shopping mall.

When can an assistant look forward to a promotion?
That depends on the assistant. Sometimes, she will get promoted after just one year, but normally it takes two years or three. When we have a vacant job position for a manager in a shopping center we manage, we start searching for the new manager among our employees. We manage 17 shopping centers and have only one senior manager from outside our company. I am happy to say that the managers of our malls include several coaches and mentors who have trained their assistants into the managers of several other malls.

People born after 1980, dubbed “Generation Y,” are a constantly growing group of newcomers to the labor market. Is head-hunting for very young people the same as it is for people aged 30 and older?
Generation Y is totally different from the generation before them, as those older people had to struggle for a lot of things. The younger people leave their parents’ homes later and rely on their parents’ financial support longer. They are very well-educated, speak several languages and they want to rather than have to work. Generation Y values leisure time, family life and socializing. I am confident this generation will change the way companies approach a lot of things.
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