Réka Mihalik

Conquering long-distance relationships in any language


Réka Mihalik

As someone who speaks six languages, including my native Hungarian and a little Latin, I know what it takes to make connections with people from all over the world. That is true too for my work at ExxonMobil, where my team is separated by borders, but connected by technology.

And, while I may not be able to go on a coffee run in Budapest with my coworkers in Prague, the connections we make together via technology and video chats are no less important. Maybe they’re more important.

I am a support supervisor, overseeing a team split between Budapest and Prague. Our team works with customers purchasing products manufactured by our fuels and lubes business.

I am devoted to making sure my colleagues are supported and encouraged. Regardless of the form of communication, my door is always open and that availability to people, both new and familiar, is something I have prided myself on since my childhood.

As soon as I started to read, I couldn’t resist learning. I wanted to absorb everything, particularly new languages. Today, I speak Italian, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. I’ve also dabbled with Latin and German.

I started to learn languages in elementary school and then through high school, when I started with Italian and then Spanish, followed by French. One language brought another into my life.

That drive to learn something new, to challenge myself through change, spreads today at work. As a supervisor, I am continuously learning about the organization and dedicating myself to improving the experience of my team and others around me.

Two years ago, for example, I joined the company’s Women’s Interest Network committee in Budapest as a way to help advance the opportunities and allow the sharing of experiences among members.

That too is what I strive to do each day for the members of my team within the Fuels and Lubes Customer Service Group. I take seriously the weekly one-on-one sessions I have with each coworker and every two weeks, we hold a similar, virtual team meeting as a way to lift their profile inside ExxonMobil, as well as address any concerns they may have at that time.

Despite our distance, we’ve created a community through our work and Internet network.

For those wishing to speak in a different language, I’m open to try any of the six I now know.

Probably not Latin, though.