What expats say: Dancing traditional polka and waltz
Vidal A. Castillo is working at IBM Global Delivery Center, one of the largest employers in Brno, in the position of the Project Manager. Vidal is an open minded person who seeks new experiences and has a focus on career and personal advancement. As he says, this is also why he chose to settle in the region of central Europe.
Brno is sometimes described as a provincial town, as it is not the capital city. Why have you decided to settle down in Brno?
Actually, it was because it is not as hectic as the capital city. Also because of the convenient location, as it is so close to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and other major beautiful cities. Finally, as I got to know the culture here a bit better I have realised that I really like the charm around wine harvesting, traditional celebrations, and friendly people
What expectations did you have before coming here?
I wanted to gain international experience, be involved in the economic development of the Central Europe region, and over time to be integrated to the Czech community, their culture and traditions.
You seem to have come here to stay…
Well, I did not specifically choose the Czech Republic, but I had visited Europe during my university studies, lived in Northern Germany for almost a year and created personal ties there. During my time in Germany I visited Poland and liked their people. This created a basis for my decision to seek a job in the country. I was eventually offered a job in Brno and it was a good opportunity for my career.
Did you find it difficult or easy to make connections and find friends here?
People define me as outgoing, sociable and friendly. These words can also define the people in my country, the Dominican Republic. I personally like being with people and get to know others by discussing, debating, and sharing ideas. One of the hobbies I started in Brno is Toastmasters, where I have these opportunities and networking at the same time.
You are a member of Toastmasters? Can you tell us more about it?
It is a way to help me improve communication and presentation skills. I really like to be with people who share my interest and I can find that among the people in Toastmasters. The people there are very friendly and open and I am looking forward to go every week to meet the people in the club.
What are the things/services that you are missing here?
I miss more High Level education opportunities, like a recognized MBA that can be studied here instead to go to Prague or Vienna. I also miss the presence of more professional associations like the PMI (Project Management Association). All in all there is a gap to be filled for professionals who are searching for development opportunities without traveling to other major cities.
What are the things you appreciate here?
As I enjoy traveling and understanding culture and social diversity, I appreciate the convenient distance from Brno to other major beautiful cities. If I want to visit other places in Europe, the airports in Brno, Vienna, and Prague offer very convenient connections and offers.Another thing that I like is a good beer. In the Czech Republic you will find a large offer of good quality beers with long years of tradition; the best place to enjoy it is in a traditional Czech pub with the locals who will teach you how and where you should drink it. The one thing that I have enjoyed the most are the local wine celebrations in the Moravian region called “hody”, together with the locals, where I had a chance to try their customs, dance the traditional polkas and waltz, taste their wines and feel the charm of the kind and friendly people in Moravia.