Intap’s blog series tells the success stories of internationals living, working and studying in Dresden. This vibrant, dynamic city is home to thousands of internationals, and every other week we will meet a new international who is doing something amazing here in Dresden.

Where are you originally from and what makes it special?

I am from Italy, specifically Sicily. What makes it special is the sun, the sea, the delicious food, the history, the architecture and the local traditions. The people are welcoming and warm. It is my land, and despite having left many years ago i cannot severe this relationship.

What brought you to Dresden?

My husband’s job. I was pregnant and working full time in London, and it was the case of choosing whose set-up would have been best for the family. Dresden won.

What is your educational background?

Architect with specialisation in sustainable heritage.

Where do you work and what do you do?

I am just starting my new job at an architects’ practice in Neustadt, as an architect.

How did you get to know your current employer?

I applied for the job, aware that they were looking for people. I was invited to an interview and that was that.

What skills or academic talent do you think helped you to secure your current position?

I have several years experience working in different architecture practices in the UK and Ireland. I worked on projects of varying size and cost. Master plans, educational buildings, housing, interior fit-outs. I believe my varied experience shows flexibility and adaptability in the way i work, which could be suitable for many different employers.

Who is your personal role-model and why?

I admire all women who have managed to make their voices heard, and who, struggled as they may have initially, finally came into their own and shone in their life and their career. I love J K Rowling, i love Coco Chanel, and i generally take great inspiration from women adventurers, those who have reached the limits of the world, and achieved what few even aim for. And i love Michelle Obama who really is the epitome of successful, sensible, beautiful and a good person. She also said a phrase i never forgot, when speaking to her daughters: ” If I had worried about who liked me and who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn’t be married to the president of the United States”. As simple as this phrase may be, it symbolises the struggle and the social pressure of lots of young women and is the starting point to the discussion on the equality of sexes and finding your worth for what you can do, not what you look like.

Which German custom do you find interesting or strange?

I find strange the passion for Abendbrot. As an Italian and passionate about my food, as well as curious to try new things, i find unbelievable that almost an entire nation should be happy with eating mostly bread with cheese and ham virtually every single evening of their life.

Where is your favorite place to relax in Dresden, and why?

Walking along the Elbe, on a summer day, catching the sunset having a picnic with friends near a beer garden.

What would you suggest to internationals looking for employment in Dresden?

Ask for advise with your CV, find a friend who is willing to help with perfecting it and improving it. Research online about working in Germany, and what to expect / what is expected in a job. Maybe look for the specific job that you want to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to neighbours and friends. Be positive that your international skills may be recognised and useful to many growing and upcoming companies. And be frank and honest about what you can do / want to do.

My attitude is that as i live here i need to speak the language. Show interest and dedication to fitting in. This is important in any country, in my view. And it will facilitate your getting to know the local ways.

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