Nathan May of Viasat is smiling into the camera against a set of shelves in the company's office in Dublin.
Nathan May. Image: Connor McKenna/

How this network engineer embraced moving from San Diego to Dublin

29 Jan 2020

Network engineer at Viasat Ireland, Nathan May, discusses the ‘approachable, available and incredibly accessible community’ he has experienced in Ireland.

When Nathan May moved to Dublin from San Diego nine months ago, a few things about Ireland pleasantly surprised him. From the “very friendly, social atmosphere” to the public transport, he told us about the elements that made the transition much easier.

Here, reflecting on his time so far as a network engineer with Viasat Ireland, May talks about the role his employer and the wider tech community here played in his life-changing move.

‘A social scene is incredibly important when you’re trying to make a new home’

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

Most recently I moved from San Diego, California, which is famous for its beaches, surfing, sunshine, the Gaslamp Quarter, Legoland, and as the city that the Anchorman movies are based in. But I was born and raised in Georgia.

What prompted your decision to move here?

The culture. I’ve found Ireland to have a very friendly, social atmosphere, but it’s also at the heart of the global tech sector. There’s such a great community for technology professionals that you can immerse yourself in and be part of a community. Even after a very short period of time in the country, I felt like part of the ‘family’ in both Ireland and Viasat.

What’s your role in Viasat?

I am on a globally distributed network team that ensures Viasat’s employees can communicate and collaborate effectively with each other, as well as with the world around them. I am proud to be a part of the effort to ensure the IT department operates efficiently everywhere.

How would you describe your working environment?

The work itself can be very demanding at times, but the office here in Dublin offers many options for me to get the job done efficiently while enabling a good work-life balance. I think people try and create an environment to help people succeed, whether it be through flexible hours or working from home options, or support infrastructure and even the social aspects, which make acclimatising that much easier.

What do you like most about your job?

My chance to make a difference. I ensure anything that comes across my desk gets resolved, ensuring that other Viasat employees are better empowered to do their jobs. The feeling of having personal impact matters.

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

I think the biggest adjustment for me was getting acquainted with public transit. It wasn’t a realistic option in California. Everyone drives there, and Dublin has so many options to get around.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

I was aware that there was a concentration of tech companies here, but I didn’t realise the extent of it. What’s great about it is how there seems to be this community that’s approachable, available and incredibly accessible. This isn’t always the case in incredibly large countries or states.

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

The office is full of professional and friendly people who make me look forward to coming in every day. There’s also a pretty good social scene, which is incredibly important when you’re trying to make a new home. And the fact they’ve extended the welcome to my wife is great, too.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

The people! Whether from co-workers or other acquaintances, the kind and friendly demeanour I see everywhere I go makes me appreciate our choice to be here.

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