Witek Nawara: Growth Requires Teamwork
Meet Witek, Manager of Data Science & Analytics at Vinted. During our interview, he talked about his day-to-day work at Vinted, told us why growth is vital in personal and professional life and opened up about his curiosity for life.
What’s your name and job at Vinted?
I am Witek. At Vinted, I work as a Manager in the Data Science & Analytics team and the Leadership team of the Monetisation domain. The latter department is responsible for the added value from paid services and advertisements. These additional revenue streams allow Vinted to reduce buyer fees or shipment costs. And as a result, improve the proposition to all Vinted users.
When and how did you join? Why? (Be honest!)
I joined Vinted when it acquired Bloom, the company I had worked for before. It was an Amsterdam-based consulting company that combined strategy and data science to accelerate digital growth. We had been consulting with Vinted for almost two years. So I had first-hand experience of how the values and mindsets of the two companies aligned.
How is Vinted’s mission important for you? What extra efforts do you take to live sustainably in your life outside work?
My professional background is in sustainable energy. I studied nuclear physics, and my first job as an applied physicist was all about solar energy. I see sustainable consumption (next to sustainable energy) as a crucial element that we should embed in our society.
Personally, I have reduced eating meat and switched to one of the most sustainable energy providers and banks. Besides, I take trains instead of planes where it makes sense.
Tell us about your typical workday? Do you have a morning ritual?
There is no typical workday. But a week usually consists of having talks and discussions with my data team about the insights of analyses, as well as personal development.
With my leadership team, we have workshops to develop the domain strategy, identify growth opportunities, and build the roadmaps and organisation around it. And individually, I always look into our key metrics to understand drivers of change and the possible actions we should take based on those drivers.
What makes you excited to wake up and go to work each morning?
Vinted has large ambitions. The company grows and changes extremely fast, which requires a lot of flexibility and energy. But this is also what makes it very exciting for me. It is an adventure that I go on with very smart, motivated, and supportive colleagues.
How important is growth to you? What role does it play in your life outside work?
I’ve always been eager to learn and understand things. I enjoyed studying applied physics because I am curious about how the world works. Then my interest in how business and strategy work was the reason why I switched from my first role to my second job. And now, my personal growth is mostly about learning what drives and motivates people.
How does Vinted contribute to your growth? What work and side projects could you name that have taught you a lot?
No week is the same at Vinted. That’s why most learning and growth is on the job. Next to that, Vinted highly encourages learning and personal improvement. We have a significant learning budget for anything that helps you grow faster and better. You can use it for books, training, courses, or coaching.
Also, Vinted has multiple in-house training programs. For example, the Data Science and Analytics program, where you can develop technical, business, and people skills. Personally, I learned a lot from the leadership training series offered by Vinted.
Usually, when people talk about growth, they mean advancing to a higher, often managing position. What do you think about horizontal growth?
Well, we cannot live in a world with only managers, right? Within the Data Science & Analytics organisation, we have two tracks: the people-lead track and the individual contributor track. Both are equally important, have equal growth potential, and are rewarded based on the impact you make.
People say you can learn a lot from teamwork – is it true for Vinted? Could you give an example?
In my previous job as a consultant, I worked on most projects independently. At Vinted, we take a different approach. Here, working in a team brings me a lot of value because we learn from each other's backgrounds and experiences. We complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. This gives us a strong sense of achieving things together.
What has Vinted taught you that is not directly related to your job?
Vinted's headquarters and most of my colleagues are in Vilnius, Lithuania. The place where Vinted was founded. I've managed to learn a lot about its history, culture, and people.
By the way, do you use the Vinted app? If so, what’s your way of using it?
Yes, I started using it when I joined Vinted. By now, I’ve bought shoes, shorts, a sweater, a jacket, and swim shorts via the app.
One fun fact about you?
I participated twice in the Dutch Championship of jigsaw puzzles. With a team of 4 people, we had to complete a 1000 piece puzzle as fast as possible while competing against 40 teams. Too bad we did not win, but it was quite an experience!
Your favourite place in the world?
The mountains are the best place in the world. I enjoy hiking a lot and took up mountaineering a few years ago. The mountains never stop to amaze and impress me. Being there can be a humbling experience and gives a feeling of fulfilment when you reach a summit or complete a part of the journey.
Aiming high daily is not easy – how do you relax?
Sports make me feel good and relaxed. I like to swim, cycle, and climb. Additionally, I play the piano. It was during the pandemic that I started taking piano lessons. Now I try to play every day.