Interview with Expat Derya Öztürk
What is your VIG story?
“I joined VIG Controlling in 2008. I was responsible for country controlling and country management for the Turkish market. In May 2010 I had the chance to take up the position of General Secretary at Ray Sigorta in Turkey. In 2016, I became member of the Board. In my job I act as a bridge between Vienna and Istanbul.”
In your view, what's so special about VIG?
“I really enjoy working for such an international group. I come from a cross-cultural background and I love being with such a diverse range of people. During my time in the Controlling Department in Vienna, I was in close contact with the different Group companies, so I had a wide range of responsibilities and challenges.”
As an expat, what does your typical working day look like?
“It’s hard to describe a typical day at work because apart from my regular tasks I don’t really have what you would call a ‘daily routine’. It depends on whatever I happen to be dealing with, so it varies all the time. And since we have employees working for relatively new Group companies in different countries, we always have to focus on new and unexpected issues.”
What has been your most interesting / most exciting experience at VIG?
“You’re always dealing with exciting and interesting questions. I spent time in both Austria and Turkey when I was growing up, and it’s fascinating to see how people interpret and evaluate different issues from their contrasting cultural standpoints.”
What was most appealing about becoming an expat?
“I was excited by the prospect of working at Ray Sigorta because it gave me the chance to influence developments directly instead of from a distance in Vienna. Of course it’s hard from an organisational point of view, moving abroad and looking for a flat, but VIG and Ray Sigorta gave me tremendous support on that front. So I was never worried about that side of things. I can speak Turkish and I was familiar with the culture, so maybe it was easier for me than for expats who move to a totally unfamiliar country.”
What was your greatest challenge? What your greatest success?
“Adapting, working on-site with my colleagues and gaining their acceptance was definitely a major challenge. But at Ray Sigorta they’ve welcomed me with open arms.”
A short statement at the end?
“Because of my background I feel right at home in both cultures, with all their different pros and cons. I’m very grateful to VIG for giving me the chance to work abroad for one of the Group companies.”