Christina Tuataga, business data analyst at Fidelity Investments, tells us why she chose Ireland as a place to live and work, and how snow still amazes her.
Where are you from?
I am from Auckland, the business capital of New Zealand, aka Aotearoa – the land of the long white cloud. It is about three times the size of Ireland and very well known for its All Blacks rugby team and sheep.
How long have you been in Ireland?
I have been in Ireland for almost 10 years now.
Why did you move here?
My sister moved here initially. She had followed an Irishman she had met in New Zealand. “You should come over,” she said to me over the phone – and continued to tell me all of the great things about Ireland. Not once did she tell me that it was colder than any cold I would have ever felt before, and that I would see more dark than light during the winter months. That, I found out for myself when I arrived in January 2005 … smack bang in the middle of winter!
What work do you do?
I work as a business data analyst within the strategy and planning office. As the lead provider of business metrics and data analytics, my role closely monitors progress towards organisational goals and assists in key business decision-making. Through regular reporting and dashboards, we analyse staffing activities, maintain good capacity management and assist in cost recovery. In general, my team supports the Fidelity Ireland organisation in accomplishes its KPIs through various undertakings and initiatives.
How would you describe your working environment?
Busy, ever-changing, diverse and fulfilling.
What do you like most about your job?
I guess my role suits my strengths. I’m an analytical person by nature and numbers have always been ‘my thing’, so data analytics makes sense to me. I’m also organised and need variety, which you definitely get within the strategy and planning office at Fidelity.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
After getting over the shock of winter … you definitely realise how much of a support your family is to you when you are no longer surrounded by them. The most difficult part of adapting to living and working in Ireland was focused around my daughter, who had just turned seven when we arrived. Small things like having someone available to collect her from school if I was running late at work suddenly became hard to manage. It was a pretty tough first year here, and there were so many times I thought I’d made a huge mistake. But like anything, you learn to cope, and find reliable support.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
The culture certainly surprised me. New Zealand is a very cosmopolitan nation. Its population is made up not only of British and European descendants and the native Maori, but also migrants from the surrounding pacific islands such as Fiji, Niue, Samoa and Tonga. Being different was the norm. Also, small things like the way you paid for things also surprised me. When I first arrived, I was so used to paying for things by card, but in Ireland cash was the norm. And of course the Irish phrases. It took me a while to stop wanting to say “sorry, what do you mean?”
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
What makes me feel at home would definitely be the cultural diversity within Fidelity Investments. Also having dedicated sports and social clubs within the organisation, which is not something I was too accustomed to before moving to Ireland.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
There are so many things I love about the country I now consider home. The people, my work, the quality of education and the ease/low cost of travelling abroad. Believe it or not, the cost of living in Ireland is not nearly as expensive as it is in New Zealand! I also love the social tradition of meeting friends in the pub for food and a drink – being in a perfect setting to not only catch up with your friends but also giving you that opportunity to meet new people. Finally, when it snows! While everyone else is complaining, I still see snow through a child’s eyes. Coming from the warmer North Island in New Zealand, I never saw snow falling and sticking.