World wide workplace: one office, 80 nationalities, a multitude of stories – part II 19 Dec 2018

by Robin Nierynck

World wide workplace: one office, 80 nationalities, a multitude of stories – part II


If you missed Part I of our world wide workplace series, be sure to have a read and find out more about our Heroes’ experiences, which country has a culture of free lunch, and what has been dubbed as Delivery Hero’s “weirdest starting day ever.”

It’s not always easy to uproot your whole life and move to a different country, but it can be an enriching experience that stays with your for life. With over 80 nationalities in our Berlin HQ alone, our international workplace is a great strength when it comes to developing products and solutions that work for everyone.

But work aside, with such a vibrant mix of cultures and countries, there are bound to be some good stories. We caught up with our Heroes from all corners of the world, and asked about their backgrounds, experiences and observations. Some of their answers might surprise you!

Ying Du

Ying moved to Berlin in 2013. She is working as a Paid Social Specialist at Delivery Hero and takes care of all things social media marketing.

Where are you from?
I’m from Guangzhou, China. It’s a city close to Hong Kong and we share a Cantonese culture and cuisine.

Why did you move to Berlin?
I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Beijing and I wanted a change of environment.
I always wanted to do my Master’s abroad, and the low tuition fees in Berlin were a definite plus.

Ying Delivery Hero

What languages do you speak?
Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese, and English.

How long have you been at Delivery Hero?
Only a month and a half!

What’s your favorite food from back home?
Definitely Dim Sum.

What’s your favorite German food?
HARIBO

What do you love about Berlin?
It’s such an inclusive, diverse city. You can dress up like no one sees you in the street.
I like Berlin a lot, I feel like people are more equal in terms of social status and they live their lives the way they want to. It’s a very diverse culture, and great parties!

…and what don’t you love?
Seeing as people wear whatever they want, sometimes it gets a bit disturbing. It’s great that people dress how they want and don’t care what other people think but sometimes it’s a bit much, everything has two sides. And – as many people say – people in Berlin are not so polite.

What’s the biggest difference compared to where you grew up?
People here are more free and individualistic. In China people are more guarded.
I miss the food from back home, but thanks to the international scene here you can find lots of different world cuisines. I’ve found one or two good Cantonese restaurants that I go to a lot, like Aroma in Charlottenburg.

How would you describe the company culture at Delivery Hero?
It’s a very people-focused environment, I feel like I’m joining a big family. My team has a very streamlined management process, there’s a flat hierarchy and you can always voice your ideas and be heard.

Do you feel like you can bring your own culture to Delivery Hero?
Food is always the easiest place to start! When people go on holiday or go back home there’s a tradition of bringing back local snacks, which I really like. I’ll definitely be bringing some Cantonese snacks back!

What’s a custom from your home country origin that your co-workers don’t get?
I think in China it’s more common to hang out with colleagues in your spare time than it is in Germany. I made some great friends when I was working in China and we still keep in touch and go travelling together. Germans seem a bit more reserved and keep their work and private lives separate.

Islam Azab

After moving to Berlin in October 2017, Islam started as a software engineer in the datafridge team in February this year. Islam and his team collect data from our different platforms to make it available for all our central services and entities.

Where are you from?
Alexandria, Egypt.

Why did you move to Berlin?
I moved with my wife, she started a job here and we moved together.

Islam Delivery Hero

How many languages do you speak?
Arabic, English, and ‘ein bisschen Deutsch’; I’m taking German lessons at the office.

What’s your favorite food from back home?
I have a lot of favorite foods, most of them involve fish. In Alexandria we have a lot of seafood, which is prepared in many different ways – cooked, grilled, fried. You won’t find this in Berlin unfortunately.

What’s your favorite German food?
I like Schnitzel, maybe because it was one of the first things I tried. I would recommend it!

What do you love about Berlin?
I like basically everything about Berlin. The most important thing is that there are people from everywhere, a mix of cultures and food from all over the world – which is nice for me because I love food. There is nature, there are tech meet-ups, social activities… if you like having fun, Berlin is one of the best places in Europe to do that.

…and what don’t you love?
Finding an apartment was one of the worst things I have ever faced in my life so far. It took around 5 months and was really stressful. If it wasn’t for this Berlin would be perfect.

What’s the biggest difference compared to where you grew up?
Something that’s really funny for me is that you are expected to speak German from the first moment you arrive, from day one. Even when you go to take a German lesson everything is in German!

How would you describe the company culture at Delivery Hero?
It’s really international, I’ve met a lot of people from different places, even at the interview phase. When I started working, even though I work in a small team, the central tech team always made us feel welcome and included. I had this feeling of belonging even when I just started, which I love because it reminds me of the warmth I had back home. It helped me to have a real “looking forward to Monday” mentality. It’s fun, you learn, and it’s great to work together.

How do you bring your culture to Delivery Hero?
There is a welcoming and warm environment. I like the culture days, they are a nice initiative that allow you to understand people better and see the common culture we share.

What’s a custom from your home country origin that your co-workers don’t get?
Usually around Ramadan the most common questions are around fasting. You can have an open conversation about it and share your experience. People sometimes find it weird, but mostly they’re curious and interested to know more, especially about how to do it practically.

Eloise Fulmer

A Talent Development Manager, Eloise started at Delivery Hero in 2016. Together with her team she works to create a working environment where people develop professionally and personally. This involves career pathing, setting up training curriculums, team coaching, learning tools, etc.

Where are you from?
Atlanta, Georgia (United States).

When did you move to Berlin?
In 2012.

Eloise Delivery Hero

Why did you move to Berlin?
Love! We met while I was doing an exchange in Germany and had a long distance relationship. After University I decided to move to Berlin. It was a city that worked for both of us, and I could find an English-speaking job.

What languages do you speak?
English and German.

What’s your favourite food from back home?
Grits: it’s the most delicious breakfast/dinner, although it’s typically eaten at breakfast. It’s made from corn and you put different ingredients in it like cheese or bacon. It absorbs the flavours and is amazing. It has a very distinct texture so not everyone is a fan. And I miss peanut butter!

What’s your favourite German food?
I like Knödel.

What do you love about Berlin?
There’s always something to do. There’s always something going on: events and networking opportunities, and you can always get free food!

…and what don’t you love?
I miss the nature from back home. There are no mountains, nothing to climb!

What’s the biggest difference compared to where you grew up?
People are really open-minded here.

How would you describe the company culture at Delivery Hero?
I like that there’s always a new challenge, you can’t get bored. There are always opportunities to learn and everyone has the same goal, which is that we want to make Delivery Hero better. I also like that it’s so international, you get to know different perspectives and different experiences.

Do you feel like you can bring your own culture to Delivery Hero?
It’s a mindful process, I think people are aware and open to it and are trying to help each other to embrace our differences and cultures.

What’s a custom from your home country origin that your co-workers don’t get?
We celebrate Christmas on the 25th not on the 24th like here in Germany. And on New Year’s Day we eat certain foods to represent prosperity: black eyed peas (represent change) and collard greens (represent the money bills). That could just be a Southern tradition though, as this is all grown locally.

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