Cesar Zambrano, channel enablement administrator, Bentley Systems
Cesar Zambrano, channel enablement administrator at Bentley Systems

Leaving Venezuela behind for a Dublin tech company and Irish friendliness

26 Jan 2016

Cesar Zambrano, a channel enablement administrator at Bentley Systems, hails from sunny Venezuela. Somehow, he wasn’t put off by the Irish weather when he moved here for work in 2013, and the country’s traditions of music and friendliness have made him feel at home.

Where are you from?

I grew up in a city in the southwest of Venezuela called San Cristobal. It is a relatively small city in the north of the Andes mountain range, meaning it is surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains.

Although Venezuela is a medium-sized country, San Cristobal is still just a one-day road trip from the Caribbean Sea, the desert, the cordillera [mountain range] and, if you try hard enough, even to the Amazon. It is a gorgeous country.

How long have you been in Ireland?

I have been in Ireland since May 2013.

What prompted your decision to move here?

Originally, I came to Ireland to study English to prepare for a master’s degree. I had the options of the US (where I was before coming to Ireland for college), the UK and Ireland, but there was always something about Dublin and the Irish culture that caught my attention, so in the end I decided in favour of Dublin.

What’s your role in the company?

In Bentley Systems, we sell our products through a channel programme. Our channel partners act as re-sellers of our software for infrastructure solutions. We run the programme from Dublin, with the help of managers from each of our most important regions. Overall, we are a team of 16, and six of us are based in Dublin.

My main role within the channel partner programme is to keep our partners fully enabled and trained. We organise sales and technical trainings, which could be online (webinars) or on site. I am also in charge of maintaining our training platform, updating it with all the relevant updates about our products.

How would you describe your working environment?

Great! It is amazing to be surrounded by a team of smart, proactive and successful people who are also fun and easy-going. It creates a great work atmosphere.

It is also a diverse team, which ensures a lot of different accents and languages – I find that fascinating.

What do you like most about your job?

I am delighted to work for a company I believe in. I love the passion my colleagues share for what we do, and our products.

It is a global and challenging job, which I find fascinating. I offer support for different regions and it is really interesting to get to know such different working cultures to mine.

After a long time talking to my colleagues in other regions through webinars and emails, I finally got the chance to meet around 100 of them in London at the Year in Infrastructure Conference in November last year, and it was a great experience.

Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?

I do not think I found anything particularly difficult about living or working in Ireland. Perhaps the hardest part at the beginning was making sure not to be run over (the whole driving on the other side of the road thing), and walking and cycling everywhere took me a while to get used to. Now I would not change it for anything.

In the working department, I think I have been extremely lucky. Since day one, I just felt so welcomed in my team and we started developing a unique work synergy that I had never had in any other job before.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

My first summer here was quite shocking in a good way, since I was expecting cold and rain (even summer in Ireland can be cold for a Caribbean person like me). However, I arrived at the end of May 2013 and that first summer here was incredible. The weather was amazing and the city was so vibrant. That is when I fell in love with Dublin – it was love at first sight.

How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?

I am really pleased to say that I found a bunch of people at my work place I can call my friends. They have definitely made it easier to build a home away from home. Going to the pub on a Friday after work or organising a barbecue every single time we get one hour of sunshine are common activities. They are a great bunch.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

The music and how friendly it is. Irish people are some of the kindest people I have ever met.

Also, the black stuff…

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