#MyCareerInDonegal – Stephanie Visser, Data Scientist @ Pramerica

Sep 24 2018

Stephanie Visser, South Africa to Donegal 

Why Donegal? 

I attended the ‘One Young World’ 2014 conference in Dublin – I really enjoyed it here and was intrigued to come back and experience more of the culture.  Thus, when my partner received a job offer in Ireland, I was immediately on board to move over. However, until that moment I had never heard of Donegal, let alone Letterkenny, but as soon as I started doing some research  I completely fell in love with the place. Working in a town such as Letterkenny absolutely provides you the ‘best of both worlds’. I cherish the fact that I can go for a walk after work with my dogs and see some farm animals and the most beautiful countryside, whilst the next morning my drive to work only takes 5 minutes to a great corporate job!

The Benefits of Donegal

This will probably be different for each person, and for me the reference/comparison point is Johannesburg South Africa. Here is what is best for me about Donegal :

The most breath-taking nature scenes – and all from your own window! You don’t even have to drive far. Great accessibility to outdoor walking trails and other sightseeing spots (and so safe!)

The town is ‘just right’ – It is small and people are friendly, it reminds me of ‘small-town living’ back home. Regardless of being a small town with all the benefits of that, it also boasts some ‘city-benefits’ such as good education opportunities, good shopping and entertainment, close to big cities (or at least when comparing to small towns in South Africa which can sometimes be 600km away from big cities!)

Work life balance is great!  Taking into account I used to spend up to 3 hours a day commuting to and from work (…less than 30km in total) and it now takes me just 5 minutes – that has improved quality of life exceptionally!

I came over with my dogs, and compared to what my friends who went to other countries had to go through, the process was relatively affordable and light on trauma for myself and the pups!

Helpful and friendly faces were some of my first impressions of Letterkenny!  At the office, people are generally very eager to help and be involved. Personally, I can say that in a short space of time I have made valuable friends from various backgrounds!

Any downsides / compromises?

What I miss most about a big city – dining out!  (options are limited and relatively expensive…for approximately 30E in South Africa I can experience a true fine dining event…here it gets me a pizza!)

Meet Pramerica at Career Zoo Dublin on September 29th, CHQ and Dogpatch Labs, or at Tech On The Wild Atlantic Way, Sligo 12th October.