Piotr Krzemien is an Information Technology (IT) Helpdesk Manager at Goodwin University. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Piotr about his experience moving to the United States from Poland and building his career in Connecticut.
NAN PRICE: Why Connecticut?
PIOTR KRZEMIEN: My family moved here in 1999. I jumped right in and started ninth grade at East Hartford High. The first two years or so were a little rough because I was learning English, learning to understand everybody, and learning to fit in. But I adapted.
After high school, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself as far as continuing education. I decided to go to Manchester Community College (MCC), where I took some basic computer classes, which put me on a path toward earning my associate degree in computer networking.
I got my first IT job at Gerber Scientific, Inc. in South Windsor, where I worked for about three years. While I was working there, Gerber paid for me to attend school at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), where I was studying for my bachelor’s in computer networking. However, I didn’t finish because I got laid off, so I ended up taking a break until I got my next job.
My next job was at Goodwin. With that job I was able to return to my schooling but instead of continuing with CCSU, I took courses at Goodwin, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Management and Leadership and later my master’s in Organizational Leadership.
NAN: All along was it intentional for you to stay in Connecticut and build your career here?
PIOTR: Absolutely. Connecticut was a perfect fit. Honestly, after moving from Poland, enough had changed in my life. Having to relocate again would probably throw too many curveballs at me.
I realized that Connecticut has a lot of everything—good flavor, nice places to visit, close proximity to bigger cities if you really want to explore more, even easy access to the Canadian border, and it’s close to water.
NAN: You recently graduated from the Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) Quest program. Tell us about that experience.
PIOTR: Goodwin University fully pays for at least two representatives to participate in Quest each year. After I earned my bachelor’s and masters at Goodwin, they selected me to participate in Quest 2021. I’m a manager in my in my department and I had earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership. That was a big part of my leadership journey. So, it made sense when Goodwin to extended their offer me to participate in Quest.
I really enjoyed the experience, even though it was it almost fully remote due to the pandemic. I gained a lot of knowledge about leadership skills and community engagement.
NAN: What’s next for you in terms of building and growing your career here in Connecticut?
PIOTR: I would love to stay where I am because I see a lot of potential. I’ve been employed with Goodwin for more than 10 years now and I see some room for advancement and improvement in terms of how I can help with everything I’ve learned over the years.
Potential is endless in this state. Whatever you’re into, whether it’s IT, education, or advanced manufacturing, we’ve got it all.
In the future, I do want to get into the food industry and start selling some products part-time. At some point, I would love to own a little nook for myself and then see where that can go.