This month you’ll hear from Zsuzsanna Kliszek, a brand strategist who moved country to pursue her dreams and career. Now she’s the head of our International Women’s Network in Munich-Germany.
1- Thank you for accepting our invitation to answer some questions as an international woman of our network! To start with, tell us a little about yourself, the work you do, your hobbies, the most remarkable place you have visited abroad, things like that.
Thank you very much for this opportunity and invitation. I am originally from Budapest, Hungary, but since my childhood, I have been attracted to other cultures, languages and countries. That's why I decided to study languages like French and German, which eventually turned into marketing - and a passion to use these language skills to connect and serve these countries. Shortly before I turned 30, I made a big compromise and started working for a French financial company, where I could live out my passions: the French language and marketing. I paid a high price for this compromise: my experience ended in a burnout, where I lost my positive attitude and got serious problems with my health. At that time I had to understand that I am not really someone who can make such compromises and that instead I always have to fight for my goals. At some point, I stopped seeing my doctors and focused more on making a plan and quitting my job. I quit my job in May 2017 and never went back to the office. I spent months traveling, crossing item after item off my bucket list: live in Iceland by the ocean, see whales, learn to meditate at a meditation center, or learn to surf in Portugal, but most of all: love my life again. I would say this is how my real international journey and new life began. After this experience, I started my own marketing consulting company and continued to travel and serve clients all over the world.
2- Where do you come from and why did you choose Amsterdam as a home for you in the past?
I have always loved Amsterdam, but one of my best friends from my travels invited me to visit her in her hometown. During this visit, I happened to meet on the street another nice Dutch I knew from Portugal and he offered me a project together for 3 months. The timing was perfect because I already knew I wanted to move abroad and I was also considering Amsterdam so I could try out what it was like to live in this city.
3- Now tell us a little bit about Munich. 🙂 For how long have you been living there and how is it going with adapting to the style of the city? Do you see any differences between there and your hometown?
Yes, the project in Amsterdam went perfectly and I also fell in love with the city. The problem was that in parallel I fell in love with someone from my hometown who wanted to move abroad with me and finally got a really great offer in Munich. I've also always studied German, so I thought then why not Munich. We moved to Munich at the beginning of 2019, so almost 3.5 years ago. Getting used to the style of the city was super hard in the beginning, but mostly because I compared everything to Amsterdam and I missed the atmosphere of the city. Then we discovered the beauties of living in Munich and slowly I stopped comparing and fell in love with this city. Today I really enjoy the slower life here, the weekend hikes in the mountains, the beer gardens with friends, or cycling along the Isar.
4- Socially: Do you hang out mostly with fellow countryman or is your social life more multi-culturally oriented?
I think I started meeting expats and getting involved in expat communities back in Hungary, so it was very clear to me that I would continue to do that when I went abroad. I really enjoy meeting and hanging out with people from different cultures, and it doesn't matter anymore if they are countrymen or multicultural. Of course, I also have some Hungarian friends here, but they are locals rather than Hungarians and have lived in the city for a longer time.
5- How did you get to know the Amsterdam International Women and how has been your experience with the network so far?
I discovered the Meetup in 2018 and was so excited to keep following the events and stay in touch with Paula. I think the community is the perfect solution to a problem in today's big cities and can really change the lives of these women. When Paula asked me in 2019 if I wanted to start a similar group in Munich, there was no question that I would. Since then our community is also part of my daily life, the Ladies from there are my friends, I never feel alone in this city and call it my home. I will always be grateful to Paula for this great idea and experience.