Friday, October 12, 2012

Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski, '04

Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski looks back on his time at Marymount College with great fondness. Now the Director of Communication for Waze, Michal, who attended from 2002-2004, describes his experience at Marymount as life-changing. “I can say with great certainty that Marymount was the place where I was meant to go. The friends I made - many of whom I still see every week - the classes, even the dorms I called home, were all part of what were easily the most defining years of my life,” Michal says. “Marymount is about bringing people together, each with their own different reason for being there, and giving them a safe, uplifting environment surrounded by staff and faculty that would do anything for them.”

As the Director of Communications for Waze, Michal runs Public Relations and Messaging, which he describes as being “exciting and life-engulfing every day.” Waze serves a community of an estimated
seven million drivers, using a smart phone application that gives real-time information about traffic, road conditions and hazards, and provides free turn-by-turn directions to avoid potential delay. Recently, Michal and Waze have partnered up with ABC in Los Angeles to deliver live traffic data everyday. Waze has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC, and Fox, and is growing everyday.

These days he’s chasing about every dream he’s ever had. Besides Michal’s success with Waze, he helps run and produces the San Francisco-based TEDxAlcatraz show, a unique event of short talks, demonstrations and performances on a variety of subjects. These events take place at Alcatraz which started out as a prison but has now been transformed into a national park and very popular tourist attraction. Apart from that, Michal also works with the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

Looking back to Marymount he describes the community as a whole to have had a big influence in his life and how every person affected and changed him in some integral way. When asked if he had any advice for current students at Marymount he said, “Savor every moment at Marymount, and learn as much as you possibly can, everyday, from every person. Marymount can teach you about everything that’s important in life. You just have to listen."

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