My name is Anna, I am 26 years old and I come from Milan, Italy. I have been living in the Netherlands for 5 years now. I did my Bachelor in ‘Politecnico di Milano in Aerospace Engineering’, then the Masters in Aerodynamics at the TU Delft. I started working for ALTEN after graduation.
What made you decide to work and live in the Netherlands?
“I decided to move to the Netherlands for my Master because I wanted to have an experience abroad. And TU Delft was a very good option for my field of study. Then I decided to stay here to work because I got a nice offer from ALTEN and I couldn’t say no.”
Working at ALTEN
“A few years ago, I went to the Delftse Bedrijvendagen. This is a job fair at university where lots of companies have a booth to present themselves to the students. I left my CV at the ALTEN stand and was contacted by one of the recruiters.
So, now I am a software test engineer at ALTEN. I have been working at an international pioneer in the aerospace sector in Leiden for a year and a half on a project. We are building an instrument that will be launched on a satellite and will measure the presence of aerosols in the atmosphere. I make sure the software in this instrument works correctly and I am also the operations engineer. This means I know how to operate the instrument and its operational constraints.
I like that I work on something new every day, there is always a new challenge and something to figure out. This is a challenge sometimes, because there is not always someone who knows the answer to your question. So sometimes you have to come up with a solution yourself and that is not always easy. But I can manage.”
Facing challenges in the Netherlands
“At first moving to the Netherlands was a bit difficult. But luckily, I met many international students that were in the same situation as I was, in the first weeks I was here. That made it easier to face the new challenges every day.
The main challenges at first were for instance going by bike and having to look at Google Maps in the rain with an unresponsive touch screen. And then: mice. I really hate them and they seem to be everywhere.
What I do like about living and working in the Netherlands, is that the work/private life equilibrium is very balanced. I like that personal issues are respected and it is normal to prioritize personal life sometimes. In Italy this is not always the case and often people have to work many hours per day without being paid for all of it. On the other hand, in Italy the weather and food are definitely better.”
My advice for people who are considering relocating
“Moving to another country can be very satisfying, but make sure you have a safety net/support system, otherwise it can feel quite lonely. If you are new to a city go to the international meet ups to create a network of people that have the same “problems” as you and it will be much easier!”
Are you interested in a consultancy job at ALTEN, just like Anna? Please check our website for all the possibilities.