Different Country, Same Passion @Scout24: Meet Elena De Col
Elena De Col works as a Visual Designer in the Creative Studio Team and is originally from Italy. In the interview she told us why she joined Scout24, what her biggest challenge has been and her advice for someone who wants to move to Germany.
1.Where are you originally from and what is your job at Scout24?
Elena: I come from Trento, Italy, a city in the north between Verona and the Austrian border. I work as a Visual Designer in the Creative Studio Team.
2. What is the biggest cultural difference between your home country and Germany?
Elena: As stereotypical as it might sound, it’s the way people think about food. In Italy, every household has 2 meals a day and most of them will take the time to set the table if they are home and properly sit together. Lunch is between 12 and 14 and dinner between 19 and 22 and that is that. Food is generally prepared fresh. Also, breakfast is very small and pretty much always sweet. Every German household I have been to seems to eat at a different time and have different rules. In fact, breakfast is savoury and Sunday breakfast is grand and abundant, dinner is much earlier, and they have the so called “kaltes Essen“, which means eating a slice of bread and calling it a day/meal.
3. How many languages do you speak?
Elena: I am fluent in Italian, English and German. In addition, I have some basic French knowledge.
4. What has been the biggest challenge moving to and working in a new country such as Germany?
Elena: Aside from bureaucracy, learning German and finding a new home, the greatest challenge was punctuality. In Italy, public transport is notoriously late, so generally there is a 10–15 minute tolerance to the punctuality window, while in Germany public transportation is very punctual. You are expected to communicate in advance if you will be late and by how much and it is generally considered rather rude. It was hard to adjust at first but these days I have embraced it and I end up abiding the same rules even when I am not in Germany.
5. How does your individual background influence your work at Scout24 and with your team?
Elena: Having worked a lot in startups, I am used to a faster pace and to a high level of flexibility.
6. What do you enjoy about your job here at Scout24?
Elena: I have highly skilled colleagues with a vast variety of experiences who are more than willing to share their expertise with me and at the same time value my own skills.
7. Do you miss anything here that you had in your home country?
Elena: Mostly food. Cheap, well- made Spritz. I also miss buying high quality shoes for much lower prices.
8. Which advice do you have for someone who wants to move to Germany or who just recently moved to Germany?
Elena: Learn the language. There is so much more to experience if you speak at least decent German. Ask extra, specific questions, it will help you a lot. Your German is officially good once you are able to get a doctor’s appointment via phone call or people stop complimenting you for it.
9. Comparing Scout24 to other employers you had in the past, what distinguishes the company from them?
Elena: Scout24 seems to put a lot of effort into diversity and fairness. To me, it seems that as an employer, it focuses on the “long game“, which suggests employment retention is a priority. Perks are also more concrete than what I have seen in the past, I am very grateful the job application didn’t list “fresh fruit and free drinks“ as a good reason to work here and had instead 30 days of paid holiday.
10. What’s the best thing about living in Berlin?
Elena: To me, it’s the art scene. Traditional museums are well curated and have acceptable prices, there are several art galleries and small festivals, not to mention the wide arrays of indie/underground art markets, initiatives or performance art shows one can attend, often for free or a small fee. It’s a place that encourages creativity and appreciates its products.
11. What are the three things you like most about Germany?
Elena: Christmas markets, recycle culture and good work/life balance.