To us, quality means recruiting and retaining the best and brightest, regardless of their origins or diverse backgrounds. In our previous interview, we spoke with Ivans, who is originally from Latvia. This time around, we’re featuring Luís, our Data Engineer, from Portugal. Join us as we delve into his inspiring story of thriving in a foreign country, both personally and professionally.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Luís Mateus Ribeiro, a 25-year-old Portuguese Data Engineer currently working for Mediaan Conclusion.

So, what made you move to the Netherlands?

During my studies, I always wanted to move and work abroad. The world is too big to limit myself to Portugal and I wanted to expose myself to different cultures and markets to grow as much as possible, both professionally and personally. I chose the Netherlands because I wanted to stay close to home and in a well-developed country with many opportunities in my field. After a holiday visit to the Netherlands and a strong recommendation from a good friend who lives in Rotterdam and works in a similar industry, I took the plunge. I reasoned that it was best to embark on this adventure while I was still young, to minimize possible regrets and setbacks.

What made you choose to work at Mediaan?

I have always been interested in technology and keeping up with all the trends and improvements. From a professional career standpoint, one of the most effective methods to achieve this is by being employed at an IT firm. This is because it gives you the chance to work on various projects with the latest technologies, especially when you can start from scratch.

In my case, I was at the point in my career where I wanted to gain more experience in architecture work within a cloud environment and pursue more projects in that direction with the possibility of branching out. That intention fortunately matched a position Mediaan Conclusion had for a data engineer. After my interviews, I realized it would be a company that offered many learning opportunities with a healthy work environment, so the decision was quickly made.

What support does Mediaan Conclusion provide to make your reallocation smoother?

Upon securing my new position at Mediaan Conclusion, I made the decision to relocate to Maastricht. I chose this city after a recommendation from a Mediaan Conclusion colleague who moved from Italy a year prior and highly recommended Maastricht as a very international and expat-friendly destination. The relocation process itself went smoothly, with the exception of finding suitable accommodation, given the high demand in my chosen city. Fortunately, the HR team gave me some good tips on that. They also put me in touch with my colleague from Italy prior to the move and assisted me in planning my registration and obtaining health insurance. I couldn’t have wished for better support!

How are you adjusting to a new place?

As with any big change in life, there were difficulties. I think the one that affected me the most, especially coming from a southern European country, was the people. Being more used to the oversharing and friendly culture of Portugal made it a little hard to get to know the more reserved and socially introverted Dutch. Fortunately, once I started working and got to know my colleagues at Mediaan Conclusion, I was able to easily form strong and healthy friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life and that served as a catalyst for all my other interactions and experiences in the Netherlands, so I am very grateful to my new friends.

What is the difference between working in the Netherlands and in Portugal?

After working in the Netherlands for a year, one major aspect that pleasantly surprised me was the work culture. Personally, I’ve found that the Netherlands offers a better work-life balance, emphasizing trust and open communication among colleagues. This has allowed me the flexibility to manage my tasks effectively, even when unexpected appointments come in between. It has also given me the chance to explore new experiences and hobbies like bouldering and cycling.

Additionally, the Dutch approach to the “no hierarchy” concept stands out. Unlike my experience in Portugal, where it was often discussed but not fully practiced, in the Netherlands, there’s a more genuine commitment to this idea. I’ve also noticed that in the Netherlands, your profession doesn’t define you as much. Maybe this one isn’t a common occurrence, but I always felt that in Portugal people often judge others by their occupation. Here, as long as you’re pursuing what you love, which I certainly am, it’s considered perfectly acceptable.

What would you advise people who are considering moving, but have doubts?

For anyone who is considering moving abroad and has doubts, I can say that something that really helped me is to remember that there are very few times in life when you are 100% sure of something and that every great reward comes with a great decision. The beauty of life is that you can try anything you want, so don’t be afraid of that!

Are you seeking a new career opportunity in the IT industry, particularly in the Netherlands? Perfect! We have several job openings that might be interesting for you! Check out our job page. We hope to welcome you as the new Medianer!