Expats in Relocation: Barbara Koziel

Here is another in our series which introduces you to expats in relocation. This month, we’d like you to meet Barbara Koziel. Originally from Poland she now works as part of the CORT team based in Chicago as a Corporate Services Consultant.

Barbara Koziel and her family

When did you come to the US?

I came on January 27, 1990. I was 10 years old and in 3rd grade.

What was the most difficult thing you experienced with your move?

Leaving my grandparents, friends, teachers behind. Also my dog, “Reksio”. I remember leaving my home town in Poland, and the dog chasing the van we were to drive to the airport (it was so sad).

What do you miss the most from home?

I miss the small town feel. Everyone knew each other and my village was full with kids. We were always outside playing.

How did you get into relocation?

I always gravitated towards jobs that involved coordinating services and taking care of people… I was a case manager for the IL Department of Aging prior to joining the relocation industry. A friend of mine recommended relocation as she was already working in this industry. When comparing our roles they seemed quite similar (arranging for services, following up to make sure clients are well taken care of, settling issues/problems).

How long have you been with CORT?

Since May of 2005.

What do you like the most about your job?

Working with international clients from all over the world. I enjoy doing 30, 60, 90 day “check ins” and hearing that my international family is doing well in the new location. I especially like to know that CORT had a role in their settling in and the family appreciates our services.

I’ve got 24 hours on the ground in your home city, what should I be sure to go and see or do?  

Well, I’m from a small farming village. I would recommend walking around and enjoying the scenery. Grabbing binoculars and viewing the Tatra Mountains, which you can see very well from my village… they are gorgeous!

Is there a local/regional food item that is both awesome and unique to your?  

“Oscypek”… it’s a cheese made from cows or goats milk. It’s delicious!