Boxer Spotlight: Rafal Szczepanski, Senior Engineering Director and Poland Site Leader

Boxer Spotlight

At Box, we believe great ideas can come from anywhere in the company. We enable Boxers to champion their ideas and drive their career, supporting them in any path.In this new series, we spotlight Boxers across EMEA who showcase what #LifeatBox is all about.With that, we’re excited to introduce you to Rafal Szczepanski, a Senior Engineering Director and Poland Site Leader, based in our newly opened Box office in Warsaw.

Why did you choose Box?

One of the many reasons why I chose Box was because of the fantastic team. In my early conversations with recruiters, I immediately knew that Boxers were intelligent individuals who are engaged in what they do. Additionally, Box has a great product, a great vision and a great problem to solve...I wanted to be a part of this! I believe for any company to be successful in the 21st century, they need to be strong in digitalisation: seamless processes and water-tight security are essential otherwise companies risk ineffectiveness and security problems. Box creates opportunities to streamline organisations data flow and ensures their data security.

What is your favourite part of opening this new office in Warsaw?

The second product and engineering hub in Warsaw will have a speedy feedback loop when it comes to product creation, giving us a global advantage to lead to a faster pace of development and provide larger customer value.

It's also common at other companies that engineering teams not know who they are building the product for. This customer anonymity negatively affects the quality of the end product. This is different at Box! Our engineers are connected with the Customer Success team so tightly so they have a better understanding of Box's customers- they can see who is using our product and how they are using it. 

....and the biggest challenges. 

Opening a new office in the middle of a global pandemic does raise a few challenges! At the moment, we cannot have physical interactions and have to do everything via Zoom which is challenging for team building. I think we're learning how to be more adaptable by creating a lot of engagement virtually through things like team meet and greets with HQ and virtual events. Secondly, Box's footprint in Europe isn't as large yet. Although, Box is well-known worldwide, it is not as well known in Poland. This is something we are currently solving by hiring really talented people that will add to our culture and continue to influence why Box is a great place to work. As we build the Box brand and experience in Poland, I think we'll really be a shining example here.

How does Box ensure the Poland Boxers feel a sense of belonging? 

All our current new hires have joined existing teams in the US so they can hit the ground running! This means our new hires immediately have context on what is happening at Box, our customers, and the key technical challenges to solve. They also have a natural flow of culture from our Box Employee Resource Communities (ERCs), Engineering team events, and EMEA events.  

We are also building Box's local culture and community now in Warsaw. We are finding that a culture of self-improvement and knowledge-sharing is a great place to start! One thing we are virtually replicating is the natural circumstances where people can meet and interact with each other. Our drop-in coffee mornings allow us to connect as a whole office.

What opportunities do you see for Box in Warsaw, Poland?  

For Box, the Warsaw office brings a great opportunity to reach the talent here. Through accessing a fairly large talent market in Poland, it will allow Box to have a faster pace of innovation. We have fantastic engineers in Poland! In the Silicon Valley, the high density of tech companies means accessing great talent is harder. 

Box can also bring the Pay-It-Forward culture of Silicon Valley to Poland. Currently Poland is well known for talented software engineers. However, there are not many great product organisations in Poland. Box can be a trendsetter in the region and show Poland how to build great products that customers love! 

Why should someone join the Box Warsaw team?  

Firstly, our product. Box solves challenging business and scale problems. You learn how to build a product that customers love and meets our incredible scale requirements. 

Secondly, the Box culture. Box is very open when it comes to creating an environment where individuals can thrive. We hire diverse talent, we hire exceptional talent, we take care to hire individuals that share our Box values. The teams at Box are ambitious and collaborative; this creates a synergy effect where 1 + 1 does not make 2, it makes 10!  And in true Box fashion, we 10x everything we do.

Thank you, Rafal, for taking the time to be a part of our Boxer Spotlight series. We look forward to seeing what you'll do next at Box!