Data analyst from Italy on feeling at home in Ireland

21 Oct 2015

Giuseppe Tortorici is a senior data analyst in Aon’s Centre for Innovation and Analytics. He speaks to about life at the company and his love of Dublin.


Where are you from?

I am Italian, from Agrigento, a small city in Sicily, in the very south of the Italian peninsula, and, before moving to Dublin, I had been living in the north of Italy, near Turin.

Sicily is a beautiful place, full of history and charm. My family owns a holiday house in front of the beach and I used to spend my summers there. I have many good memories of that time and I try to go back there whenever I can. Sicily is less expensive than the rest of Italy, the food is delicious and the people warm; overall, it is a very good spot to spend the holidays! Though in Agrigento I would feel isolated as it is three hours to the nearest airport and every time I have to go back there I spend almost an entire day travelling. I prefer to live in a big city that is well connected and has more opportunities.

How long have you been in Ireland?

I’ve been in Ireland since 2007.

Why did you move here?

I was here before, for six months in 1999, when I came to improve my English. The English language has always fascinated me and so I took every opportunity I had to learn it. Back then, I was studying in the mornings and doing volunteering work in an art gallery in the afternoons. I fell in love with Dublin and, when I left, I promised myself that I would return to live here one day. In 2007 I was working as an engineer in a multinational company in Italy and I was selected with 10 other colleagues to work for three months in another country as part of a rotation programme. As part of this, I had to choose the project and the country I was most interested in and my choice was obviously Ireland. While I was here, a job position opened in the very same group I was working in. I applied and got it. When the three-month programme ended, I left Italy and I moved to Ireland for good.

What’s your role in the company?

In ACIA (Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics) I am a senior data analyst in the Strategic Projects Team; part of my role is to mentor junior data analysts and to develop dashboards and content that supports the business in making decisions.

How would you describe your working environment?

My working environment is very diverse and dynamic. My colleagues come from all over the world and we have the opportunity to work with different cultures and see the different ways people have of approaching work. You get to know interesting people that, despite the fact they have different experiences and backgrounds, have a passion for big data and data analytics in common.

What do you like most about your job?

Recently, we adopted the Agile methodology and we get to work on interesting projects, which are fast-paced and have tight deadlines. In this way, even though it is challenging, we have the opportunity to see a project completed in a relatively small timeframe, which, in my opinion, is rewarding.

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

Irish culture is different from the Italian one and there are certain things that I miss, such as having long meals with friends al fresco on a Sunday afternoon, drinking a short espresso in a nice square or walking for hours on a sunny day without having to bring the umbrella with me. Apart from this, I love Irish people, and Dublin is a very friendly and handy city to live in. I feel at home here. Adjusting to work in Ireland has never been a problem for me as when I moved here I knew the city very well, I had a job and I had three months to get familiar with the working environment.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland?

When I arrived in 2007, I was surprised to see how much the city had changed from the last time I was here. The Dublin I knew had grown a lot and had become very rich: shops and restaurants were constantly packed and it was very difficult to find accommodation. Things are not so different now but I have had eight years to adjust.

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

Being part of an organisation such as ACIA, which is so diverse and friendly, helps to give me a sense of belonging that I would not have otherwise. Even if my roots and family are in Italy, at work I have colleagues and friends that I see every day, I have my routines, my habits; this contributes in some ways to making me feel more at home.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

The people.

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