Meet the team: Gaia
This week we’re shining the spotlight on Gaia, one of our newest members who recently relocated to join our Design Team in Berlin. We caught up with her to find out how she’s settling in.
First thing’s first: WELCOME TO THE TEAM! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be in Berlin.
Hi! Well, I am originally from Trieste in Italy, which is in the North-East of the country, not too far from Venice. I’ve been to Berlin quite a few times as a tourist but coming back for brief holidays was never enough and I realized I wanted to make the leap and move. I love this city and have pretty much wanted to live here since I first visited. I found this career opportunity at 360 Digital Starters and saw it as my chance to combine two of my passions – Graphic Design and Germany’s capital.
That’s quite a leap! How was the transition from Italy to Berlin?
Luckily I’m an EU citizen so the move itself wasn’t too difficult. Finding a place to live, however, was much trickier. I spent months prior to moving writing to landlords and applying for apartments through rental services and different Facebook groups. There were many people offering short-term lets in rooms or apartments, but Germany requires that you stay somewhere with an “Anmeldung” – which is a type of legal registration requirement – and this part was difficult. Without an Anmeldung you cannot apply for health insurance, get a phone contract, or organize your pay slips, so it was pretty important to have.
I ended up looking through Google for “student dorms in Berlin” and found a co-living space for young professionals in Wedding. It wasn’t ideal as I couldn’t meet my flatmate prior to moving in, but it ticked all the legal requirements, and I am really grateful to have found it. Luckily the place and my flatmate are nice!
What a relief that you found somewhere! Now that that's behind you, how are you enjoying the city?
There is nothing specific that I love about Berlin, but more the place as a whole — the atmosphere, the sights, and the mix of people from all different backgrounds. Just last weekend, for example, I was walking through Hackesche Höfe (a complex of interlinked courtyards home to boutiques, cafes & art exhibitions) in Mitte and saw a street filled with street art. Everything was covered with graffiti and stickers, and there was even a mural from an artist I really like, called Ten Hundred, which I hadn’t even realized was there! It was definitely a nice moment!
Coming from a smaller town in Italy I am a little out of my comfort zone, but in a good way and I can definitely see myself living here for a long time.
That’s great. And how are you settling in to work?
I love it! There seems to be a really nice work-life balance, I enjoy being in the office, and I’ll definitely be coming here often. Everyone is so lovely, so nothing to complain about!
We love to hear it! So tell us a little about your role and how you came to be a Graphic Designer.
After high school, I studied languages and wasn’t sure what to do next. I was trying to choose between chemistry and graphic design, which are two completely different fields, and realized that I loved design that little bit more, so enrolled in a Graphic Design Bachelors program in Italy. I have always loved to draw, even when I was little, and have been drawing since I can remember.
Check out some of Gaia's great work above!
To round up, we have two final questions for you: 1. If you were stranded on an island and could only take one item of food, what would it be? 2. Which animal are you most like and why?
Oh number 1 is easy – for sure rice! You can eat it salty and sweet, with so many different spices. I could last on that for months.
And I think for number 2 I would choose a deer. I’m quite shy at first but, with time, I open up.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today, Gaia. It’s been great to hear about your experiences and learn a little more about who you are!