Ireland – Dublin in particular – is seen as a magnet for tech talent from around the world. But what is it actually like to upend your life to move here?
Ireland is a haven for tech employees, with numerous careers opportunities at some of the biggest names in the industry. That’s partly what drew Lucia Navaza to a job at Deloitte. But what has her experience been like?
Where are you from?
I’m from a small village called Monterroso in Galicia, in the north of Spain.
It is a small but beautiful village of about 4,000 people. There are stunning green landscapes and a quiet river flowing next to the village. When we were young, we used to swim in the river and I still do when I return for summer holidays.
Life in the village is much more relaxed than in the city, but there are plenty of activities for a healthy and active lifestyle. There are great facilities for sports, beautiful hiking trails and plenty more besides.
One of our favourite things to do is go for tapas and wine with friends. There, everybody knows each other and there is a wonderful feeling of community that you don’t get in large cities.
How long have you been in Ireland?
I moved to Ireland nine years ago.
What prompted your decision to move here?
Mainly, it was to study English. I wanted to live abroad for a year and improve my English.
I knew Ireland was a great country for technology companies. I had just finished my degree in engineering and computer science, so I was hoping I could get some international experience in the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Europe.
What’s your role within Deloitte?
I am a senior manager in the technology service of Deloitte.
My role is very diverse. I tend to change projects every few months, and my duties change depending on the project. In general, I will work on the architecture, development and business analysis of a project. This can be very demanding, and requires a wide range of skills and years of experience to be successful.
In addition to this, I do a lot of people management. I mentor junior and senior team members, and provide career guidance and support for a number of colleagues in the wider technology practice.
How would you describe your working environment?
It is a diverse and collaborative environment. We all focus on the same goal. All levels of the organisation are available to you. You are surrounded by people from different backgrounds with years of experience in different fields and technologies so you get to learn a lot.
What do you like most about your job?
I like that I can use one of the best tools around – technology – to create solutions and see them come to life in a matter of months. The creative and innovative part of my job is very important to me, and I have been very lucky to work in projects where I can use those skills.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
It was at the beginning. My English wasn’t great, so I had to study a lot and adapt to the ways of working in Ireland. It is not easy, either, to live away from your family and friends, but I enjoyed the work that I was doing – and I was learning, which was the most important thing for me at the time.
I have to say people in Ireland are very patient, and the effort spent at the beginning paid off.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?
Well, I thought Galicia had bad weather, but I was wrong! Summers in Ireland are tough.
Apart from that, I was surprised at how many similarities I could find between Galicia and Ireland. We both have Celtic roots and I think we enjoy the same things.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
When you work that closely with people, they are kind of a second family – they have your back. Plus, I’m not the only Spaniard on the team, which helps bring a bit of home to work.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
The people. I find the Irish very welcoming and kind, and always ready to laugh. Also, I can’t leave out the opportunities that Ireland can offer in terms of work, primarily in the technology space.
And I like the beer of course!
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