In our interview series “PAIR Faces”, we ask colleagues questions about their role at PAIR Finance and get to know them personally. This time we spoke to Olga Stanczyk, Legal Counsel at PAIR Finance.
I come from Poland and was born and raised there in Warsaw. In 2015, I was 24, studied law and left my home country for an Erasmus year at Humboldt University in Berlin. That changed my life forever. It was never my plan to move away from Warsaw. After my time in Berlin, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, because I fell in love with both the city and German law, because I found it much more interesting than Polish law. So I decided to move to Berlin after graduating from Warsaw University – maybe only for a year. That has now turned into almost eight years.
During my legal traineeship, I worked for a few months at a great fintech start-up in Berlin. There I got my first insights into the exciting fintech scene and also heard about PAIR Finance for the first time. Because I found my time there very exciting, I looked for a permanent job as legal counsel in exactly this industry after my second state exam. Now I’m here and working at PAIR Finance in my first job as a fully qualified lawyer.
I am responsible for internationalisation and ensure that PAIR Finance always acts in a legally compliant manner in foreign markets such as the Netherlands. I also support our data protection team with my legal knowledge and liaise with our data protection officer. I often conduct internal training for my colleagues from other departments. I always try to explain complex legal issues as simply as possible. I’m still surprised how much fun it is! After all, I used to be shy when it came to speaking in front of many people – especially in German. Now those days are definitely over.
I always take most pleasure from the moments when I manage to explain a legal topic in such a way that others really understand it. Then I have the feeling that I am doing my job as a fully qualified lawyer really well. When someone says to me, “Oh, that’s not complicated at all,” that’s the nicest reaction for me.
After I moved to Berlin, there were a number of big challenges. When I came here, I didn’t speak German very well, let alone legal German. I first had to learn the language and all the technical terms. My next challenge was to pass the first state exam without ever having studied in Germany. I learned German law for one and a half years at home from textbooks alone. But it worked out, I passed!
After that, the legal traineeship was waiting for me. I was the only foreigner in the group, and I didn’t have a German law degree. I had the feeling that I had to show that I was the right person in the right place. I think every migrant woman knows this when she tries to take up a profession in another country that is usually practised by locals.
My life takes place between Berlin and Warsaw, where my family and best friends live. Volunteering has also been an important part of my life for years. I am a member of a Berlin collective for women’s rights. In addition, I really enjoy cooking and baking. I often bring cakes to the office – everyone is then welcome to try a piece of cake and I always ask for honest feedback!
My favourite place in Berlin is definitely Mauerpark. I especially like that karaoke is organised there every Sunday. I sit in the audience as often as possible. One day I will sing something there too. The problem is that I haven’t been able to decide on a song for years.
Would you like to work together with Olga on the future of the world of finance? Then we are very much looking forward to getting to know you. Find our job openings here.