Katy works and plays as a Talent Acquisition Manager at Wooga in Berlin. Originally coming from Poland where she graduated in psychology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, she studied and worked within the area of business administation and human resources: recruitment & trainings in Portugal and Spain. She also has an experience of living and working in Brazil where she set up a project for the LGBT community in the country capital: Brasilia. Based in Berlin since 2014, apart from working and playing at Wooga, she loves to exlore the city's treasures and describing it on her lifestyle blog called simply: Berlinering. Otherwise, she's travelling all over the world and gathering ideas for her stories on Lusofonetica.
Would you recommend moving to Berlin to someone who is working in IT?
And not only! I consider Berlin as the most creative, dynamic and progressive out of the European cities. I had the opportunity to live in many exciting cities all over the world and still I have to admit that Berlin is a very special place. Sometimes also the timing is very important when it comes to the decision about relocating, and these days with the exciting start up scene as well as the great quality of life Berlin makes it definitely a place to be. The German economy is very stable, work-life balance well respected and the city has just so much to offer, whoever you are and whatever your interests are.
How is the start-up scene in Berlin? We also know you went to the Casual Connect conference in Tel Aviv; how is the start up scene there compared to Berlin?
I have the feeling that many companies become more and more mature and consolidated, and their products recognized worldwide, making Berlin the hub for various headquarters. Working at Wooga, one of the world's most popular mobile game developers, I can definitely say that it feels like a very international place: with 300 employees representing 43 nationalities we develop games that are reaching casual players all over the world. That's why I was very interested in participating in Casual Connect conference in Tel-Aviv, as this city is a very important point on the map for companies serving a casual audience. Obviously, Silicon Wadi (aka Tel-Aviv start up scene) is smaller than Silicon Allee (Berlin), but there are interesting things going on as well.
You are currently working at Wooga. How's working for a gaming company compared to the other experiences you had in the past?
Come on, what can be more fun than working in games? It's just so much better to work in a company with a product you enjoy yourself. But seriously - it's equally challenging, since the market is very competitive and we set ourselves ambitious goals, trying to excel various challenges. What I find special at Wooga is the extremely open and friendly culture as well as the independence we give to our teams. My goal is to hire great people and then make sure that they can then perform at their best in the environment they love.
As a Recruitment and Talent Development Consultant, what are the main challenges you face in hiring International candidates?
Even though Berlin has already become a popular expat destination, for many, especially more passive candidates, it is not an obvious choice.. They are afraid of things like the complexity of the German language, or bureaucracy and in general of the cultural shock which normally happens no matter where you move. Basing on the experience of the candidates I brought to Berlin and on my own experience of course, I think it's not as difficult as they say! To make it even easier, as a company, Wooga offers different levels of German classes up to 4 times per week (apart from the typical practice we offer learning in theatre games or yoga classes), a relocation package as well as starter sessions which make the newbies more familiar with both the company and Berlin itself.
Do you have any tips or pieces of advice you'd give to someone who's thinking about relocating to Berlin?
Don't think about it... just come over, the timing is perfect! But seriously, be open-minded, and willing to learn, discover, as there is plenty of things to see and do. Some knowledge of German will definitely help out too, but if you don't know it, you won't have problems with finding your way with the basic things. However, bureaucracy issues, flat searching can get pretty frustrating in the beginning so make sure you're prepared and somewhat proactive. Otherwise: viel Spass!
Big thank you to Katy Peichert for answering our questions!
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