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Jacek Mrozik finds satisfaction in simplicity and sharing

Fat paychecks, multimillion-dollar budgets and international travel sounds alluring for many. For Jacek Mrozik, assistant professor in MSU's College of Business, it represents a life he left behind.

"I travelled to Paris probably 40 times, but worked from early morning to late night. I only saw the Eiffel Tower because my hotel was right across the street," he recalls.

A native of Poland, Mrozik's destiny was to be a world citizen. He went to the UK to obtain his bachelor's degree. During school breaks, "home" was wherever his father, a United Nations expert, was stationed—mostly African countries. After working a year, Mrozik got his MBA at Clemson University in South Carolina. Mrozik felt Europe offered great opportunity, so after graduation, he returned to Poland

For four years, he worked for Company Assistance, created by Bain Consulting, as a marketing consultant for distribution, pricing and promotions of fast moving consumer goods -- items often found in a grocery store.

He then worked for Netia Telecoms, advancing to marketing director in charge of planning, research, pricing, mass-market sales, branding and product communication. During his tenure, the company grew from 30 to 3,000 employees.

"It was exciting. There were smaller companies that we bought and rebranded to our name," he said. "We went through difficult times too; the Internet bubble and bankruptcies."

Orange FT, an international telecomm operator, recruited him to lead national and help with international marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He had a stimulating career with many responsibilities, but in time, politics left Mrozik burnt out and disillusioned. He completed his doctorate three days before leaving Orange.

"I was tired of politics and not doing anything meaningful that had any value," he said. "I decided I didn't belong there and didn't want to do things I didn't believe in."

He packed up his family and returned to Clemson for post-doctoral research in international consumer behavior and pricing. When his research wrapped, the Mrozik family had specific criteria for their next home: climate and culture.

"We just love winter," he admitted. "My wife was tired of the hot weather in (South) Carolina. Also we felt the small town atmosphere was more accommodating for newcomers, and we had the perception Midwestern culture was closer to our beliefs. So we decided to go to Minot."

Although Mroziks arrived at the same time as the 2011 flood, they found people to be very helpful and kind.

"We live on a smaller budget, but as a family, far better. I have more satisfaction with students," he said. "It's good to see that people like what I do, rather than be in a corporate structure with no satisfaction.

"I feel it's the time in my life to start sharing instead of competing. Being at Minot State is a good way to share."