For young professionals, international experiences are surefire methods to broaden your personal and professional growth.

Having exposure to diverse cultures, languages and work practices today is important when it comes to expanding our perspectives and understanding the world. But I’ve come to learn that it will also shape your career path in unexpected and rewarding ways.

I’ve been on the move most of my adult life. My journey began with a leap of faith when I moved from my hometown in Sicily to Milan to do a Master's degree in HR Management. From there, my career at Allianz Trade began when I joined the HR team in its Rome headquarters. Only a year later, I found myself back in Milan, taking on the challenge of being the only HR professional in the office.

Having acquired a taste for expat life years before as an Erasmus student in Ireland, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a similar adventure as a working professional. So, when my manager let me in on an exciting opportunity at Allianz Trade in Benelux, I jumped at the chance.

Today, I work as an HR Business Partner for the Credit Department, and I am responsible for Talent Management for the Benelux organization. This involves dealing with the nuances of distinct cultures that are different from mine. This blend of different nationalities, and the strong international vibe that comes with it, creates a unique atmosphere that I find utterly captivating. It’s proven to be an invaluable experience from which I’m learning and growing.

Here’s an example of one of the ways that I’m encountering new ways of thinking. In Italy, we have a tradition of exploring topics in depth and thoroughly discussing everything, perhaps due to our philosophical heritage. In contrast, Dutch culture tends to be more direct, straight to the point, and outcome-oriented. It's been an exciting challenge for me to adapt and learn about new cultures like this, while at the same time being able to infuse a little bit of my own culture, too.

Undoubtedly working internationally presents challenges. For instance, I've had to master expressing myself in a language that's not my own. Additionally, I've had to learn how to communicate my value and contributions within my international team, which, for me, has involved honesty, transparency and vulnerability – even if that means acknowledging when I need to dig deeper. 

One of the benefits of being part of the Allianz Trade mobility program, especially as an HR professional, is that I can promote mobility and changes to others while acting as a role model myself. So if you’re seeking an opportunity to become immersed in diverse cultures, learn new languages and continue to grow both personally and professionally, take it from me and go for it.

Questions? Connect with Marta

Marta Stimoli

Marta Stimoli

HR Business Partner & Talent Management

Allianz Trade in Benelux