Name: Dewi Habraken
Title: Senior Director
TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR MOVE…
I moved from Amsterdam to NYC as part of my ongoing career journey with JTC. It was an amazing opportunity that came my way as the Group has expanded its presence in the US over the past few years and the region remains a significant growth market for us. I had already achieved some success within JTC in my business development role, and this move allowed me to take on a broader remit covering not just the Netherlands but also our EMEA business.
WHAT WERE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS?
I was mostly excited! However, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of nerves in the mix. The move marked my first time in NYC, and the thought of living in such an iconic city was both thrilling and a bit intimidating. I was used to the lovely lifestyle that Amsterdam always offers however, I heard that the energy and fast-paced life in NYC would be next level – and it sure is!
WAS IT HARD TO PLAN THE MOVE AND GET SETTLED?
Planning the move was a journey, to say the least. The visa procedure turned out to be quite challenging, taking more than a year to navigate with several additional requests from the USCIS and piles of paperwork to complete. However, I’m incredibly grateful for the support I received from our HR team and all my JTC colleagues, who contributed with references and ideas to help push it over the finish line. Their assistance made a significant difference and eased the process massively.
HOW DID JTC SUPPORT YOU?
JTC has been hugely supportive throughout this journey. When it came to the visa application, as I mentioned, it presented its fair share of challenges, but thanks to everyone’s support and guidance, it became manageable. Moreover, regular check-ins from my line managers and colleagues have been great – besides work-related topics, this has also been very helpful for items such as navigating through a new healthcare and benefits system, which is very different from what I was used to in Amsterdam.
FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT IS THE NUMBER 1 THING TO SEE/DO IN YOUR NEW JURISDICTION?
I’d say exploring the iconic sights of NYC is a must: the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, and the Empire State Building, among others, are nice first ‘tick off the list’ attractions. Taking a run in Central Park is another fantastic experience and exploring the diverse bars and restaurants (with a tip of the hat to Anthony Bourdain’s recommendations – still relevant!) is a culinary adventure. And, of course, catching an NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB game or a Broadway show is a must do experience.
WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE?
The importance of trusting your proven capabilities when navigating new challenges in a different region. Furthermore, it’s essential to maintain discipline concerning business development, even in unfamiliar territory, by staying consistent and dedicated to proven strategies while remaining flexible to tweak those strategies to the region’s difference if they do not (fully) work.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
As a global firm, the opportunity to move to a different region brings connections to the rest of JTC to a whole new level. Gateway really is a valuable way to gain and bring new perspectives and ideas to the business, and overall, a great personal and professional development experience.