Interviewed by Merliin Vellend.
At the time of her recruitment, Denise was employed as a Paid Media Coordinator for a multinational corporation in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is now living in Tallinn, Estonia and works at Global Gaming as a Programmatic Media Coordinator.
Why did you choose to come and live in Estonia?
I was looking for a new professional experience and an opportunity to work abroad, so I created a profile on Jobbatical, a site that I’d learned about after seeing an ad a while ago – it was one of those spur-of-the-moment things that you do and then forget about. After a year I checked it again and updated my profile, and within a few days I received a newsletter mentioned two interesting opportunities – one of which was the Global Gaming job.
Before applying, I did some research about the country and the company, which seemed really interesting, and soon I’d learned that Estonia was considered an important IT hub in Europe. After a few interviews I sent my documents to the company and they helped me with the visa. And just like that, I was moving to Tallinn.
What did you think of Estonia before coming here?
After a bit of research and some reading on social media, I’d learned that Estonians were known to be introverted and cold. After spending some time living here, my opinion has changed. Yes, Estonians can be introverts sometimes, but so am I. But as for them being cold, I actually found that when you get to know an Estonian better you find a very loyal friend who is always full of kindness and always ready to help you.
What do you like the most here?
Because Tallinn is a small but cosmopolitan city, I feel much safer here. Virtually no pollution, free public transport and much lower expenses here compared to my life in Sao Paulo. I’m still learning more about the culture and discovering something new every day. Because of the Cultural Step initiative I’ve visited a lot of museums for free. And a few weeks ago I had a warm welcome when I went to the animal shelter to serve as a volunteer.
How do you find the Estonian weather?
I’ve learned to love the weather here in Estonia and I’m always delighted to see the snow during winter, all the magnificent red leaves during autumn and, to be honest, last summer was hot enough for me to get sunburnt at Pirita beach.
How has living here had an impact on your life?
Moving to Estonia has given me the opportunity to strike a better balance between work and personal life – partly because I work fewer hours, but also because it takes me 30-40 minutes to commute to work, compared to the 3-5 hours each day I spent commuting in Sao Paulo. My living standards are pretty much the same, but I spend so much less (public transport, for instance, is free). So not only do I have more time, but I also have a bigger budget to spend on local cultural events and travelling around Europe. So although I miss my family and friends and the culture, music and food we have in Brazil, I’m happy with my choice, since living here brings me the peace of mind and life balance I was looking for at this point in my life.
We’re happy to have you here, Denise! We wish you good luck with everything.