Leveraging opportunities

paulina costa zyskowski, b.b.a.'11

Paulina Costa Zyskowski in a black suit standing in front of a metal wall with illustrations around her“The best opportunities are the ones that we create for ourselves.” That’s the mantra that has guided Paulina Costa Zyskowski in her professional life. The senior account manager at Kalsec Inc.—the leading global producer of natural spice and herb flavor extracts, colors, antioxidants and advanced hop products for the food and beverage industry—is consistently ranked in the top 10% globally for performance, responsible for 12% of the company’s domestic business and 7% of the global portfolio.

Driven by her fervent passion for continued intellectual growth, Costa Zyskowski has expanded her leadership capacity throughout her career. The youngest employee to be hired into the commercial team at Kalsec, Costa Zyskowski has worked strategically with leadership to position herself for roles that benefit both the company and her professional development. 

“By having a holistic understanding of the corporate strategy, and its shifts and nuances, I have found niches where my strengths are maximized and valued,” she says. “Through constant communication, I have been able take on special projects that have provided me opportunities to become a well-rounded, resilient and effective professional. Continually striving to challenge myself has allowed me to take an innovative approach to building my own map to success.”

And that map to success is a world map in Costa Zyskowski’s case. Asked to support the company’s international team in onboarding three newly hired business development managers in Cambridge, she worked to guide the team members through a leadership and strategy transition. 

Her goal for the assignment: tackling known morale, efficiency and effectiveness concerns that were hindering the culture within the European salesforce. Making no assumptions, Costa Zyskowski chose to live a week in the life of the business managers, going through the daily tasks and testing the support systems that were already in place. Issues with supporting roles, double entry efforts, ineffective systems and time management constraints were readily apparent. By experiencing these challenges firsthand, Costa Zyskowski was able to empathize with the needs of the European sales team. 

Several of the ideas Costa Zyskowski formulated during that international assignment became part of a larger strategy to support Kalsec’s international growth. 

“The most rewarding part of that experience was being able to make a positive impact on my colleagues’ professional success,” she says. “Knowing that I was able to empower our team members as they started a new chapter was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had in my career. I left humbled, knowing that I had received even more than I was able to give. My aspirations to continue my professional growth in management stem largely from this experience.”  

Costa Zyskowski was able to embrace her skills in employee development by hiring the first team member that directly reports to her in 2019. She has assisted that new employee in surpassing her goals by 125% in the first year. 

Now, as Costa Zyskowski creates opportunities for herself, she is able to do so for others as well.