View of young woman in beanie hat standing in back patio of garden on overcast day. Behind her the house and garden are decorated with Elvis paraphernalia.
Ksenia Morozova. Image: New Relic

‘Ireland has made it possible for me to dream much bigger’

17 Sep 2019

Ksenia Morozova moved to Ireland from Russia to pursue opportunities she feels she wouldn’t have been able to access at home.

Ksenia Morozova, an associate solution engineer at New Relic, has no illusions about some of the pitfalls about Dublin life. “Living conditions in Dublin can be tough,” she explains. “Let’s be honest, the rental market is no fun at all at the moment. Many of my friends have experienced rent hikes, evictions and sub-standard accommodation, which are all a real part of the Dublin rental landscape.”

Yet for her, a lot of this is outweighed by the amazing career opportunities she has been able to avail of in Ireland − opportunities she doesn’t feel are as readily available in Russia, where she is from.

Here, Morozova discusses what inspired her decision to move to Ireland and how New Relic has supported her career development.

Where are you from and what’s it like there?

I’m originally from a city in the south of Russia called Volgograd. It was a [FIFA] World Cup venue back in 2018, but most recognise it by its former name − Stalingrad. It’s a fairly big city, about the size of Dublin, with approximately a million people living there.

Contrary to what most people might expect from a Russian city, it doesn’t snow all the time. In fact, summers are the more challenging part of the year, with temperatures reaching plus 40 degrees. That said, winters are also testing and temperatures routinely reach minus 20 degrees. So it’s a far cry away from Dublin’s never-changing micro-climate that seems to sit at 12 degrees all year round.

There’s sadly not much to say concerning professional opportunities in my home city. For most of my peers, all roads lead to Moscow, St Petersburg or abroad.

How long have you been in Ireland?

It’ll be five years since I came to Ireland this September.

What prompted your decision to move here?

I was initially driven to Ireland purely out of admiration for the openness of people here, as well as the breath-taking landscapes and cultural heritage. I initially came here to participate in a short-term volunteering project at the National Ecology Centre in Co Meath. I just loved the general vibe of the small seaside town I was living in and how different everything was to what I had experienced up to that point. Everyone said the summers were miserable but, compared to the blazing heat of the Volgograd summer, I was more than happy to embrace the constant rain and chill.

After that, I ended up volunteering long-term in Ireland and, after doing an Erasmus project as a youth worker for a year, I retrained as a software engineer and entered the tech sector.

What’s your role in New Relic?

My full title reads associate solution engineer at New Relic. In short, the role combines sales and technical skills into one. We are expected to solve challenges and issues facing our customers with the help of New Relic software − finding the best route to address a problem, as well as enabling clients to utilise our platform to allow them to bring maximum value to their customers.

How would you describe your working environment?

I find my team to be really supportive and, as my job involves a lot of self-development, my teammates are always there for me to explain concepts I’m not familiar with or hit me up with some sound advice or examples of best practice.

I also feel I’m able to grow professionally as my managers provide me with feedback at all times and I know my overall effort is valued.

What do you like most about your job?

Work-wise, I really enjoy how varied one day can be with the next. There’s no set routine and as customers vary so do their goals and questions. Additionally, I really appreciate that this position affords me the opportunity to engage in continuous learning.

Even though I only started six months ago, I already know so much more about modern infrastructure and architecture than when I first began. New Relic really invests in their personnel. They sponsored my AWS practitioner certification, which is a real asset for my career, and are always encouraging me to go even further.

In terms of extracurricular activities, I love how New Relic supports our desire to give back to the community. As I’ve already mentioned, I have a passion for volunteering and was delighted to find out the company encourages us to do so by giving two additional days off for community work.

I’ve volunteered in some capacity every year since 2011 and it’s important for me to know that my company will support initiatives like this. For example, this year I hope to go to an international volunteering camp in a rural area of Japan to organise all sorts of activities for local kids.

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

On the one hand, living conditions in Dublin can be tough. Let’s be honest, the rental market is no fun at all at the moment. Many of my friends have experienced rent hikes, evictions and sub-standard accommodation, which are all a real part of the Dublin rental landscape.

On the other hand, the work opportunities in Ireland are truly amazing. It’s a city of 1m people and I’ve been fortunate to work for at least three different internationally recognised companies here. It’s a truly unique place for professionals and simply incomparable with my home city.

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

Our office is pretty multicultural. This makes it easier to fit in as well as to learn about other cultures and places. We’re also are very, lucky to have the People Ops team organising various social events for us every month, such as quizzes and other fun activities. They always come up with something very creative. For example, last month we had a retro arcade games night which, as an unrivalled fan of pinball machines, I was very excited about.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

Ireland is a place full of rewarding connections and opportunities. Back in my hometown, I could never dream of getting a degree in computing, never mind landing an amazing job with a company that is a world leader in its field.

The tolerance and accepting nature of the Irish people is also deeply impressive and a massive asset to the country. In Russia, I never even explored the prospect of programming as I was always told it was a male-orientated profession. In Ireland, I’ve come to know so many strong, intelligent women that I’ve begun to re-evaluate what I myself am capable of.

Overall, Ireland has made it possible for me to dream much bigger. Looking back at my journey from point A to point B, I feel very proud of how far I’ve come and it’s only just the beginning.

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