Lilla Fésüs, Lilly, a native Hungarian, has been living in Vorarlberg for 3 years and has been working at Fusonic in Götzis for 19 months. In an interview she tells us about her career, the way from Budapest via Vienna to Ländle, her job at Fusonic and life as an expat in the region.
You can find out more about her job, her view of her new home in Vorarlberg and how she approached the challenges that came with it in the full interview.
Lilly answered our questions:
Lilly, what does your business card say?
Lead Software Developer.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
The diversity of the problems, the path to the solution and creating something tangible. No two days are alike and I never get bored. The flexibility is also not to be underestimated. Both in terms of time and space, you have as much flexibility in this job, and in Fusonic in general, as in few other professions.
What limitations does your job bring with it?
I don’t see it as a limitation, but teamwork and the ability to work in a team are essential.
What is your workday like and what do you need to be able to do?
I have a lot of meetings some days, some days I can program quietly, and some days I have to help others with problems. Analytical thinking, curiosity and not being afraid of challenges are very important. Knowing where to ask or where to look are also important, as well as knowing a programming language or framework.
About your background: What kind of education did you have?
I studied media informatics at the Vienna University of Technology. The study combines IT in the fields of computer vision, computer graphics and visualization with training in the design of innovative interfaces.
What did you do before that?
Computer science runs in our family. My parents are computer scientists, my grandfather was a mathematician, and my first summer job was at an IT company. The only outlier was an internship at a bakery alongside my studies.
How did you find out about Fusonic?
Google. I wasn’t happy at my previous employer and after a difficult day, I Googled for front-end developer jobs in Vorarlberg. I found the job posting on both the homepage and laendlejob.at and applied the same day.
What ultimately led you to come to Vorarlberg
I wanted to gain work experience before finishing my studies and applied for all internship positions throughout Austria, including OMICRON. When the opportunity arose to work for OMICRON in Vorarlberg for 3 months, my mother encouraged me the most to accept the position. She said: “You are still young and free, go explore the world, because you won’t get that far so easily”.
When I finally got here, I didn’t want to leave. My short and conclusive answer to this question is: “I fell in love with the mountains.” This is a sentiment shared by many elsewhere as well: No matter who comes to visit, they go home with a heavy heart. I admit it’s a bit far, 6 hours to Vienna and 9 hours to Budapest, but it’s still closer than Australia. Besides, there is a very good and direct train connection. Sometimes I ask myself if we should have stayed closer to Vienna. But when I think about having to leave Vorarlberg, my heart gets heavy.
Before you came to Vorarlberg, you had already lived in Vienna for 8 years. How was the change from Vienna to the Ländle for you?
Liberating. I don’t miss the big city at all. The Rhine Valley in particular offers me the best mix of country and city. I can reach both nature and a supermarket in a short time. The people are friendly, people greet each other on the street, and life doesn’t just pass by anonymously here.
How long have you been here? How have you settled in?
For three years. We have built our life here. In the beginning we slept on a 120cm wide mattress, now we bought our own apartment. We moved with a van with the stuff we got as a gift from the family, now we have to book a moving service. I applied for and got Austrian citizenship here. I was just reborn here.
What does your community look like? Have you made any Vorarlberg friends?
Yes, both colleagues and neighbors are among my circle of friends. I see familiar faces everywhere and can talk to anyone.
Have you had any special help here in Vorarlberg?
Before we could afford a car, I liked to get a ride. From the Muttersberg in Bludenz to the train station after a strenuous hike, from Lauterach to Wolfurt in the rain with the front room furniture or from Lauterach to Dornbirn after the movie. I have experienced so many good things and would like to help others just as much.
What surprised you positively or negatively in Vorarlberg?
I experienced here for the first time that people let others go ahead at the checkout. The people of Vorarlberg are very friendly, open, nice and helpful. Somehow it’s also not as stressful here as in Vienna. I’m not saying there is no stress, but driving, public transport, shopping or even waiting in line is much more pleasant and calm here.
Were there any language barriers? How do you cope with the dialect?
It goes. I had to learn German very quickly – in 4 years – for the Matura. So I would say that I don’t have big problems with languages. Even the dialect is another language that has its rules and allows conclusions. Quite quickly I learned that ‘eu’ becomes ‘ü’, such as Leute -> Lüt, heute -> hüt. Besides, the younger generation doesn’t speak so unintelligibly anymore. And when I talk to someone in High German, they automatically answer in High German.
What do you particularly like here in the region, or what is not so special?
The perfect mix of country and city, the mountains, the people, the climate, the traffic. I’m a bit cautious about the cheese, though.
What could be improved for expats?
I found the CHANCENLAND VORARLBERG site very helpful. Especially in the beginning, I leafed through the printed edition more often.
What tips do you give to expats who want to come to Vorarlberg, or what advice can you give to professionals in a similar situation?
Be brave and open. Approach others openly, because help is really to be found around every corner here.
There is a lack of skilled workers in Vorarlberg. From an expat perspective, do you have any ideas or suggestions on how to get more skilled workers into the country and keep them here?
Eliminate prejudices. Vorarlbergers can also contribute a lot to this. When I rave about Vorarlberg, they resist the truth hand and foot. Vorarlberg is not the little hidden village behind the Arlberg that doesn’t exist for the rest of Austria. It is a hidden treasure, full of opportunities and experiences waiting to be discovered. Be it for adventurous, active, young people or for families. It is a land worth living in.