JDer Lab #4 with Alex Rudnicki: Breakthroughs and "leveling up" at JD

JDer Lab #4 with Alex Rudnicki: Breakthroughs and "leveling up" at JD

by Kelly Dawson

JD.com’s more than 280,000 employees come from a wide range of backgrounds and areas of expertise. In the next installment of our JDer Lab series, we speak to another JDer about what it’s really like to work for China’s largest retailer.

 

For Alex Rudnicki, associate director of platform ecosystem and corporate development at JD.com, there’s a certain kind of day that hits the sweet spot: when a breakthrough happens after months of pulling to get there, he told us.

“It could be [with] a new partner or a new business; it could be an existing partner and a new business. I love that kind of brainstorming and especially making that breakthrough where both sides are like, ‘Yes, we should totally do it,’” he said. “It’s just an awesome feeling.”

A second breakthrough often follows when management finally signs off and the project becomes more than an idea, he said.

Rudnicki has experienced his own share of breakthroughs in his time with JD.

After four years in Silicon Valley, Rudnicki came to China in 2017 for the Tsinghua-MIT MBA program. During that time he interned with JD as a project manager in international partnerships, eventually taking the leap to join the company full-time after graduation.

He spoke little Chinese at the time. In fact, when he and his wife first arrived in China he had about “five hours of Chinese class under my belt,” he told us. “I had just learned that there are these things called ‘tones’, which is about as rookie as it gets.”

Over time he’s leveled up his Chinese language abilities, now attending daily meetings and reporting to managers in Chinese. “I’m not really sure how it happened,” he said. “That will be something I’m proud of for the rest of my life.”

The openness and kindness of his JD coworkers have played a big role in making the process easier for him, he said. “I’ve been really impressed with how open people are, and especially coming in as a non-Chinese person in a non-Chinese company which doesn’t have many foreigners. It has been really eye-opening at how welcoming people are, and willing to forgive, whether it’s a language mistake or a cultural misunderstanding.”
Additionally, Rudnicki thinks JDers are some of the hardest working people he’s ever encountered.

“Coming from San Francisco and Silicon Valley where people work really hard, I think that there’s another level here,” he said. “It impresses me day in and day out to see the energy that people put into their work. I thought I was a hustler, and I constantly have to raise my own bar here.”

 

(kellydawson@jd.com)

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