There has always been only one city in Andrea’s future. Berlin. The charm of the nineteenth century together with a modern and futuristic architecture. A city that Andrea has always dreamed of, imagining the RAW Tempel, the ancient industrial complex for the repair of trains, which today has turned into a real temple of urban art and lively center for free time and nightlife, the medieval district of S. Nicola (Nicolai Viertel) or the up-market district of Prenzlauer Berg, an expression of the continuous changes of this city over time.
And he dreamed of cycling through this city on his way to work, a fascinating cocktail of history and architecture from which he was always attracted: “… I love Berlin – he tells us – a multicultural, dynamic city, with many start-up, full of companies in the digital and hi-tech industry; a city that I immediately felt mine, very open to young Europeans but above all a place where companies offer real possibilities for professional growth even to Junior profiles like mine. I am in Berlin thanks to a friend who simply told me … come, here work is fine!”
Andrea, 29 years old, has always had an international vocation: “I think that the context in which to look for job opportunities for my generation is no longer our city or our country – he tells us -, the right context is Europe. Precisely for this reason, after studying Economics and Tourism Management in Genoa, I moved to England to follow a Master degree in Marketing. Luckly, I already knew the Project Your first EURES job, I had been told about it some time before at the Employment Center of Imperia in my hometown. After my bachelor’s degree, I regularly visited the YfEj website, to inform myself about the benefits available for young Europeans and about the vacancies offered on the EURES portal. To anticipate the times and realize my dream of working in Berlin, I started looking for work while still in Leeds, England to complete the Master”.”
But how happened that Andrea found the right job offer in Berlin? He proudly tells us that he did not limit himself to a “passive” job search through the massive sending of his curriculum, but that he exploited the possibilities of the YfEj project to attract the attention of the companies he contacted: “… today I am testimonial of this experience, but I can say that my role has been that of a real promoter! In fact, during my job search, to make my application more interesting, I always pointed out to potential employers with whom I came into contact the existence of a project like YfEj because if it is true that it represents an opportunity for the jobseekers, it is above all an advantage for the employers: in the emails through which I sent my CV, or during the interviews, I reminded my interlocutors, for example, that SMEs that hire European mobile workers for a job, traineeship or apprenticeship, may receive a financial contribution to cover part of the costs of through an integration programme for the young newly recruited worker.”
Andrea, determined in his choice, decided to leave England just after finishing his Master’s degree and go directly to Berlin: “… I arrived in Berlin without having a job yet and was hosted by a friend for about a month; However, I had done interviews online and was waiting for the outcome. Among them, one had gone particularly well with a company that deals with the digital testing of Apps and websites; company that then offered me a traineeship. As you know, any application must be tested before reaching the market and so software updates; we test all possible scenarios to limit bugs and errors in an application … they range from payment tests to profile creation tests, usability… an interesting job for which, after three interviews, I got my place as Intern Sales Analyst”.
And it is precisely in the matching phase that Andrea promoted the YfEj project to his potential future employer: “… I was supported by my reference YfEj Adviser (Bernadette Greco) – says Andrea – who got in touch with the employer providing assistance for my recruitment and explaining the potential and benefits of the project. In particular, I was able to benefit from a relocation grant that allowed me to face the first accommodation costs; a refund for a basic German course, a benefit essential to start learning a difficult language even for a foreign languages enthusiast like me and finally a subsistence allowance specific to trainees”.
The cost of living in a new country can be the major obstacle for a mobile trainee, as the income they receive may be insufficient to cover housing, food and transport costs. For this reason, Your First EURES Job supports trainees in their experience in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland, by guaranteeing a residence allowance to compensate for their salary, for a maximum duration of 3 months: this measure aims to guarantee a supplementary income whenever there is a proven difference between the actual salary (due from the employer to the trainee) and the average pay paid to any worker having his or her function and level of responsibility equivalents in the host country.
“In the first month I did intensive training and then a tutoring phase and finally I completed individual tasks in the sales and marketing area. The working environment is fantastic, youthful – Andrea says – both the Human Resources department and the individual technical areas, have been very close to me in explaining and motivating me at any working step. I will never forget the first day at the office, with the large desks around which everyone worked in harmony with a continuous exchange of information and ideas … and at the end of the day, a ping pong game with my Manager! The traineeship was supposed to last 6 months, but then, as we know, came the health emergency due to coronavirus. We were provided by the office with an office chair and a second monitor to make our work comfortable from home in Berlin until the end of the year. However, I also had the opportunity, in the summer, to work in smart mode from Italy. I would say that I have absorbed the impact with the health emergency, I maintained a high level of productivity, but of course I feel a lot the desire to interact, face to face, with colleagues”.
A high level of productivity that guaranteed Andrea an unexpected but desired goal: “… as soon as I finished the traineeship I got great news, I was hired! This leads me to make a reflection that I would like to share with all those who are thinking about a mobility experience. We often feel stuck, in our aspirations, by economic problems, but projects such as YfEj give us the opportunity to face the first important expenses and to lay the foundations to improve our knowledge of the host country. I believe that opportunities in Europe really do exist, but we must emancipate ourselves from the different work dynamics or the limits imposed by knowledge of languages, because these are obstacles that can be overcome. My advice is obviously to never give up when facing these difficulties … because actually, in the great continent that is Europe, what we face are not difficulties, but only differences!”