It’s been a whirlwind. Leaving the family home. Relocating from New York. Starting a new job. Nick Bonvan joined DAZN one month ago. He wanted to try something new and sample life in another country.
It’s been a crazy few weeks! I was curious to find out about his story. I caught up with him. Here’s what he had to say…
How did your journey start at DAZN?
I’m New York born and bred. I’ve lived there my whole life. I wanted to try something new but I wasn’t sure where. I did some research online and the Netherlands intrigued me. I’d never been there before so decided to visit for a couple of weeks. I fell in love with the place straight away. My heart was set on the move. The next step was to figure out how to make it happen.
I saw a Software Engineer role advertised at DAZN in Amsterdam. It seemed perfect, so I applied. I went through the interview process. It was so smooth and everyone I met were so friendly too! Shortly after, I was contacted by the recruitment team and was told that I had got the job. I was so pleased! I then started the process of relocating – DAZN have a partner agency that can help with that.
Getting a VISA took a while. Once that was sorted I began looking for places to live. If I’m being honest, I was nervous that I would be spending my first few months in this new city sleeping in hotels. However, the agency helped me find a place so quickly and I moved in as soon as I got here! Miraculously, everything turned out fine. I just can’t believe it worked out so well.
How has your first month been at DAZN?
I was really excited to join DAZN. Perhaps a nervous excitement! This was all new to me. I was working in a different language, on different tooling and on different technology. The only thing I brought with me was the fact that I knew how to code. Everything else was new.
There are two things I first look for when joining a new company – the first thing being how they treat people from smaller, marginal communities. On my first day, I did diversity and inclusion training, and it was all about employees at DAZN feeling comfortable to express their true authentic self at work. If your company doesn’t tell you that in your training, you should probably leave. The second thing I look out for is how people who don’t know you, treat you. Are people friendly and willing to help? It’s easy to help your friends, everybody helps their friends, but how do you treat a stranger? As soon as I joined DAZN, everyone was super friendly, really helpful and answered any questions I had. I knew this was the environment I wanted to work in.
On day one, I was given a buddy who helped me get onboarded. I couldn’t believe it. In all my previous companies, I was thrown at 20-year-old code and told to get on with it. Here, I had a ‘buddy’ - crazy! He was amazing, he answered any questions that I had, walked me through the architecture and introduced me to my 30, 60, 90 day plan to get me integrated into the company.
Over the last month, I’ve been given the space and time to read and learn. This is exactly the support that everyone should be given when joining a new company. I’ve spent days reading the code and looking at the architecture diagram. My team have given me a lot of room to do my own thing and get orientated which is so valuable. It’s been great, it’s allowed me to understand the way things are done round here. My team have been extremely supportive, my peers are there to help and mentor me and that seems to be a big focus here which is so valuable.
What is life like in the Netherlands?
The move has been completely insane, but life here is amazing. You don’t realise how different things are in a new place until you’re there. It's all the things that I didn’t even think about, like where do I buy toothpaste from? Where is the pharmacy? What brand of cleaning detergent do I buy? Right now, my shirt feels like chalk because I’ve bought a bad detergent!
Also, everyone here speaks English, but everything is written in Dutch. I’m kind of an introvert so speaking to people makes me feel a bit awkward. I want to respect the people and culture of the place around me, so I will absolutely learn how to speak Dutch.
I’m absolutely loving life in the Netherlands - the beautiful views, the friendly people, the great location. Everything I need is on my doorstep! I try to get out and about every day, even if it is just a walk around the city, that’s something I never used to do when living in New York. Moving to the Netherlands is the best decision I’ve made!