Trading Places: Italian engineer comes to Dublin to put Intel inside the internet of things
Massimo Orsini, physical implementation engineer, Intel
With people from all over the world choosing Ireland as a place to live and work, we speak to those that have put down roots in the country. This time, we talk to Massimo Orsini, physical implementation engineer at Intel.
Where are you from?
I’m from a small town of around 60,000 inhabitants in southern Italy. Crotone is located on the Ionian Sea coast – thinking of the ‘boot’ shape of the Italian peninsula, my hometown lies at the midpoint of its sole.
It’s a city with a long history, as it was a colony founded by the ancient Greeks almost 2,700 years ago (some archaeological finds from the area are on display at the British Museum in London). In more recent times, it has been an industrial city for decades.
These days, Crotone is trying to re-invent itself, capitalising on its natural resources: the sea, with its beaches of fine and soft sand; the sunny weather almost all year round; and the mountains and ski slopes less than two hours’ drive from there.
I left my hometown when I was 18 to attend the university in Bologna, about 1,000 km further north; then I moved back to the south, in Sicily, when I started working as an electronics engineer. And, finally, back again to the north: Dublin (definitely much, much further north!)
How long have you been in Ireland?
I moved to Dublin in October 2011, nearly two-and-a-half years ago.
Why did you move here?
I love changes. This was a great chance to experience not only a different way of working, but a different way of life. Spending a few days visiting a new place as a tourist is interesting and fun, but living in a place and sharing the everyday life of its people is a unique opportunity. Fortunately, the kind of job I do gives you such opportunities, if you are available to move.
What work do you do?
My field is the design of digital electronic devices. It is definitely team-based work because it requires a myriad of different skills. In Intel, I work in the Quark group, named after the new family of microprocessor systems which is the core of the Intel proposal for the internet of things.
How would you describe your working environment?
Multicultural, challenging, friendly. One of the mottos by which Intel likes to describe itself is ‘Great place to work’. It sounds like an ambitious promise but I have to acknowledge that the company makes a big effort in trying to make the environment around you something different from a bare workplace from which to escape as soon as possible. Recreational facilities inside the campus, social events, small details and attentions are just some of the ideas put into practice.
Within my group and my working habitat, the thing I appreciate the most is the engagement in the goals of the group, which makes every member of the team feel as part of a story that is being built.
What do you like most about your job?
Designing, in the broadest sense, means thinking about something that did not exist before. Design is by definition the search for a new path: a goal is set and we have to understand how to get there or, rather, to invent a way to get there. Therefore, even if your tasks remain the same, the challenge is always totally new.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
Not really. This was not my first move and, in the past, I had already lived abroad, though only for a few months. The lifestyle is, of course, different from southern Europe, but this is in no way a drawback. On the contrary, it is an enrichment.
Dublin is a lively city that offers many opportunities and its nightlife makes me not miss the movida of the Italian cities.
But if I feel homesick or if I need a getaway, even for few days, the number of flight connections make Ireland and its capital way more central than imagined. And last but not least, people in this country are generally friendly and sociable.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
I could not say I was surprised, but certainly the thing that I still appreciate the most is the friendliness of people.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
The company supports so many social and sport events which can be good opportunities to socialise. There are nights out with the team on a regular basis and a fair amount of flexibility in working hours, which helps to balance work and personal needs.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
The friendliness and kindness of people, the Irish countryside, the number of parks and green spaces in Dublin (I live between Phoenix Park and the Memorial Gardens – both lovely), its liveliness and its pubs. And, of course, the good beer!