A professional skier by age 10 and instructor by age 16. An international student intent on becoming a CEO. An avid traveller. Meet Jakub Kulakowski ‘20, a second-generation Dolphin traversing across continents to make his home at Le Moyne College.
Kulakowski is a first year, international student from Poland majoring in finance and information systems. An avid skier, Kulakowski began the sport when he was only five years old and began competing in professional competitions only a few years later in Poland, Italy, and Austria. He participated in the International Winter Olympic Games for Non-Public Schools in Poland. As trying to balance his studies became more difficult, Kulakowski gave up competing full-time and instead became a First Stage ski instructor, feeding his passion for learning and discovery.
His father, Boguslaw, was a part of the first MBA class at Le Moyne and graduated in 1995. Boguslaw also studied at Maria Sklodaska-Curie University in Lublin, Poland, and Delft Technical University in Delft, Netherlands. Kulakowski’s grandfather saw an advertisement from the U.S. government giving Polish students an opportunity to study business in the United States, and encouraged Boguslaw to apply. “My father thought he’d give it a shot, and was accepted to Le Moyne College,” says Kulakowski. “That is why I am here today; I knew about Le Moyne from my father’s experience.”
Boguslaw has led a successful business career after graduating from Le Moyne, serving as the Director General of T-Mobile Poland at the age of 33; as Vice President of ITI Corporation Sp z.o.o., a television broadcasting and media corporation based out of Warsaw; as CEE of Qualcomm, Inc. Poland, a telecommunications technology company; as Managing Director of Raiffeisen Bank in Warsaw, Poland; and as an independent consultant with Ernst & Young Associates in Warsaw.
Because of his parents’ stress on global engagement and travel, Kulakowski attended international schools his whole life. His mother founded his preschool and elementary school, the International School of Warsaw, so that her children might have an opportunity to practice English and be a part of an international community. “She wanted us to speak English fluently while living in Poland—and it worked!” says Kulakowski. “My mother also noticed that there was a need for a bilingual school, and wanted the school to connect what she thought would make the school successful—a high English speaking level and high academic standards.” Kulakowski also attended Meridian International Middle School and Nicolaus Copernicus Bilingual High School, one of the top high schools in Poland.
He spent his last year of high school as an exchange student in Winchester, Virginia at Mountain View Christian Academy, a private, non-denominational Christian school. “As an exchange student, I wanted to come to America because I like Americans’ attitudes,” says Kulakowski. “People are more outgoing and friendlier. As an exchange student, I thought that was an awesome feeling.”
With his prior experience as a high school exchange student, his father’s own experience as a Dolphin in the 1990s, and the support of various family friends in Syracuse, New York City, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta, and in Winchester, VA, Kulakowski joined the Le Moyne family this semester. He’s started meeting and working with some of his father’s previous professors and friends, including Dr. Bernard Arogyaswamy, Dr. George Kulick, and Dr. Martha Grabowski. Kulakowski plans on continuing on to a Ph.D. program after graduation and would like to follow suit after his father, becoming a CEO of a telecommunications or technology company.
An avid traveller with his family, Kulakowski has travelled to 27 countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Seychelles, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Vatican City. “I want to start exploring Latin America and South America more,” says Kulakowski after rattling off an already impressive list. “I went to the Dominican Republic on a service trip with Mountain View Christian Academy as a student. I want to become more involved with that at Le Moyne, and am thinking about joining the summer service trip. I’m taking classes now so I can speak Spanish well when I get to those countries.”
When Kulakowski isn’t traveling the globe, skiing, or studying, he loves sailing (holding a Yacht Skipper License), windsurfing, and playing Ping-Pong on the table in the Nelligan Hall common room. “People don’t know that I used to play club Ping-Pong in Poland, so when I play against them, they don’t know what to expect. Let’s just say this: I usually win.”
As the season starts to turn over into winter and snow hits the ground, Kulakowski is facing an unfamiliar feeling: being unprepared.
“I left my skis at home. And I don’t want to rent,” he explains. “I’ve got really great skis. I’ll just have to remember to pack them on the way back to the US after traveling home to Poland to see my parents over the winter break.”
“I can’t wait to try skiing in New York.”
Madden School of Business,