Victor Wicks, an Associate at L.E.K. Consulting, moved from California to Wroclaw in Poland. Here he tells us about the reasons for this move, his experiences in a new environment, and shares advice for those looking to work internationally.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up working with L.E.K. in Europe?
Although I had lived in 5 countries (Taiwan, the U.S., Brazil, France, Italy and Switzerland), I mainly grew up in Southern California from where I moved to study International Economics and graduate from the University of Notre Dame. While at college, I was introduced to L.E.K. by Notre Dame friends who had accepted full-time offers, and I was drawn to the company’s collegiate spirit and focus on community building within your home office. Conveniently earning my EU citizenship during my senior year at college (through my Portuguese grandfather) I couldn’t pass up the chance to immerse myself into a brand new professional and personal experience. 

Why did you decide to work in the Wroclaw office?
When considering L.E.K.’s open positions in Europe, Wroclaw stood out to me because a childhood friend had studied abroad there. She loved her experience in the city, and, since I was interested in experiencing a new country and culture, I decided to apply. I was also excited to be able to use my French, Spanish, and Portuguese on the job and outside of work while learning Polish. 

Can you describe the support provided by L.E.K. when you first moved to Wrocław?
From the get-go, L.E.K. offered an incredible support system. Aside from the professional growth opportunities, I was introduced to local customs, taken to the city's best pierogi spot, and given much-needed help with apartment hunting and learning Polish. It’s this kind of community support that makes relocating for work so much easier.

What has been your experience working with a diverse team at L.E.K.?
It's been enriching on multiple levels. I've had the chance to work with people from over ten different nationalities on projects across more than ten countries. This diversity hasn't only helped in understanding global markets but also in appreciating varied cultural work approaches. 

In Wroclaw, we mainly focus on healthcare and industrials. What I particularly enjoy about our cases is that our teams and our topics are typically international. So, on any given case, I’m likely working with two other European offices, studying 4 different European countries’ markets, and using my French, Spanish, and/or Portuguese.

How do you spend your leisure time in Wrocław? 
I love the city's European quality of life and its vibrant activities. During winter, nothing beats walking in the snow to the historic center's Christmas market for some local cuisine. My favorite local treats are pajda sandwiches and oscypek grilled cheese. Outside of Wrocław, I've taken advantage of Europe's budget airlines to visit five countries stretching from Wales to Turkey. But a top visit was right here in Poland to the Tatra mountains (a wallet-friendly version of the Alps!).

What advice would you give to those considering work in a foreign country?
My advice is to be open-minded and proactive in integrating into the local and professional communities. Not only does it ease the transition, but it also provides opportunities to grow personally and professionally. And don't underestimate the value of building your language skills.

How are you giving back to the community in Wrocław?
I'm passionate about sharing my culture and helping others grow. I organize American cultural events and educational classes through a local library supported by the American embassy. It's a way of contributing and connecting deeper with the community here.