New job, new city: My journey from Italy to Paris with Contentsquare
Stefano joined Contentsquare in September 2021 as a Sales Development Representative based in Paris. He relocated from the North of Italy (near Milan) after finishing his Master’s Degree. He likes the fact that his job is very entrepreneurial; “I’m my own boss but with a manager,” he explains. “I like that I can be independent as long as I reach and over-achieve my objectives”. Here’s his story…
What made you decide to relocate for your role at Contentsquare and where did you relocate from?
I wanted to move to a city where I could get international professional experience in a tech start-up as the options are limited in Italy.
When Contentsquare offered me a job in Paris, I thought “why not?” as I had visited the city as a tourist. I was also supposed to live in Paris during my Master’s but I couldn’t due to Covid. So, I took this opportunity and relocated!
What has been your journey since relocating? What was it like to settle in?
Since I am used to living in different metropolitan cities like London, it was not too difficult to settle in during the first days.
I contacted my future teammates to get some help in finding accommodation as this process can be time-consuming in Paris. I was very happy to receive a lot of help from my colleagues who sent out a Slack message in one of the channels asking if anyone had a place for me to live in for a few months. This is how I found my current apartment which belongs to a woman who is living outside of Paris until the end of this year. This arrangement is very useful as I wanted to find a temporary place to stay while I looked for my perfect apartment in Paris. It worked out perfectly! #teamspirit
What are some of your favorite things about living in Paris?
I have traveled extensively and I can say without a doubt that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen. The landscapes, sunsets, buildings and everything is gorgeous.. You’d be surprised at exactly how beautiful Paris can look at certain hours.
Are there any new and exciting activities that you have found?
I haven’t had the chance to explore many activities yet, but what I find really cool about Paris is there are so many free cultural things to do. Free entry to all public museums is amazing as Paris has some of the best museums and other cultural activities in the world. I also love various sports, so I really appreciate the Gymlib offer that Contentsquare offers—it allows me to try out different activities at a reasonable price.
What about the food and weather?
The weather has been great so far—sunny and warm! It is quite similar to the north of Italy, so it is not too different for me. Since I am from Italy and the cuisine is delicious there, I hold a very high standard when evaluating the quality of food. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find great food in Paris, especially because I have so many diverse cuisines to choose from.
The office in Paris is located centrally in the 8th arrondissement, which is very close to the Saint Lazare station so I can discover new restaurants every day. I especially love a restaurant in Montmartre which serves traditional French cuisine.
What have been some of the challenges of relocating, and how were you able to overcome them?
For me, I face some trouble with the language barrier in Paris as I have a beginner level of French. However, I do not see it as something negative. Learning a new language is always interesting, so I plan to tackle this challenge by enrolling in a French course.
Do you have any funny stories about the culture shock of moving?
Once, when I went to a restaurant, I wanted to ask for water which in French is written as “eau”. I asked for some “l’eau” but the person at the counter was unable to understand me due to my accent. “How many different ways are there to pronounce such a simple word?!” I thought while laughing. Another culture shock is not being able to find the same groceries that I am used to in Italy, but this is to be expected since it would be the same issue in any other country.
What’s a piece of advice you wish you would have received before relocating?
The apartment rents are high considering it is one of the most popular metropolitan cities in the world! The process can also include providing many documents. I advise speaking to as many people as possible to have a detailed idea about the different steps of applying for apartments and knowing about the different areas so that you can easily find the perfect apartment that fits your needs and budget.
If you had to pick 3 reasons to encourage people to move to Paris, what would they be?
The first one that jumps to my mind is definitely the beauty and charm of the city. Paris is also an extremely dynamic city—everything from culture, cuisine, and fun, is found in abundance. It is also the best place to meet people from all around the world. “You have a 100% opportunity to do anything you want at any time in Paris”.