Foreigners working in Kaunas: attracted by English communication and corporate culture
Photo from left to right: Emma Young, Gökhan Ordu, Tomislav Trajkovski (from “Hostinger” archyve).
Companies in Kaunas are not only looking for talents locally, they often attract motivated foreigners who want to work in IT. Those arriving from various corners of the world admit that Kaunas appeals to them due to its rapidly growing IT sector with many opportunities, companies’ environment that encourages growth and fluently English-speaking locals.
Hostinger, a global web development platform and hosting company, currently employs people from the United States, Cyprus, Macedonia, and Turkey at the Kaunas office: three of them share the stories that brought them to Kaunas.
Internationality is a natural part of a global organization
Most of the time Hostinger appeals to foreign nationals because of its communication, which is conducted in English only: from job advertisements to various training seminars, events, and internal daily communication. An interesting detail – most of the company’s content editors work remotely, living or traveling around the world, in the European countries, Panama, Thailand, Philippines, Morocco, Argentina and elsewhere.
“Internationality has appeared naturally in our corporate culture, after all, Hostinger itself is global in every sense: millions of users worldwide, offices not only in Kaunas or Vilnius but also in Brazil, Singapore, the UK, and Indonesia,” Gabija Jasiulionytė-Marganavičė, company’s Staff Manager, says.
Since last year, the number of Hostinger’s employees has doubled, therefore, Kaunas-based employees have moved to a more spacious office where they can not only relax playing table tennis or enjoying a snack but also take their ease under the vitamin D lamp, bubble pool, try out a photo studio, juice bar, massage room, etc.
“We believe that neither location nor nationality matters if a person is motivated and has the right competencies. And most importantly, if they demonstrate a similar approach to the values and culture that Hostinger’s employees have shaped over time,” Staff Manager claims. Her works are probably best illustrated by the stories of three foreigners currently working for the company and living in Kaunas.
“I want to grow further with the company”
Tomislav Trajkovski, or Tommy, a 27-year-old Macedonian, has lived in Kaunas for two years. He moved for his wife, who is from Kaunas. A Senior Customer Service Manager says he is particularly fascinated by Hostinger’s culture so after spending a year with the company, he would like to continue to grow with it.
“Before moving here, I had to think well about work because at first, I was too focused on the suggestions that matched my experience. But then I tried to look at the situation more broadly – and that’s how I found myself at Hostinger.
One thing I noticed very quickly is that young Lithuanians are extremely motivated and enthusiastic, and the companies here are boldly trying new things and giving people the freedom to make creative decisions and take responsibility.
I’ve been to Kaunas before, so I can compare and notice how the city is getting more modern in terms of both its appearance and its cultural life – something that is very appealing to me as a young and energetic person!”
A programming hobby turned into a career
Somewhat different is the story of the American Emma Young. Soon after graduating from university, a girl from the US, Albuquerque, New Mexico, felt like she needed some color in her life, so she went to South Korea to teach. This was followed by trips around the world, not staying in one place longer than 6 months.
“During this period of adventure and travel, I discovered a new hobby – programming. Then I thought to myself – why not try my luck and turn this hobby into a successful career? I started looking for a suitable educational institution in the European Union. After submitting my documents to several of them, I analyzed the countries and cities in which those schools are located and finally chose Kaunas.
During my studies at Vilnius University, Kaunas Faculty, in the Information Systems and Cyber Security program, I have encountered Hostinger in hackathons and other events that bring together IT professionals. The employees of the company had left a good impression on me, which is why I decided to try to get a job there. After the selection process, I became a Content Editor. I love writing, creating and refining what has already been created, after all, this is what I studied: my first degree was in strategic communications. So, it is safe to say, that in my current job, all my experiences blended in nicely, like the details of a puzzle,” Emma says.
Lithuanian friends encouraged to come to Lithuania
Gökhan Ordu came to Kaunas from Istanbul, Turkey. He says that he was led to Lithuania by his desire to study social media. When looking for a suitable course, he discovered the New Media Language program at the Kaunas University of Technology.
“In my home country, I have a few Lithuanian friends who are not only very friendly people but also keep saying positive things about their country. So, it was not difficult to decide to come to Lithuania.
After living in Kaunas for the second year, I decided to find a job that suited me. After looking at many various job ads, I noticed that Hostinger publishes theirs only in English and that caught my interest.
I applied for the position of Customer Service Manager but after two weeks of training, I was offered another position in the SEO team as a Turkish interpreter. After some time and some studying, I became an SEO specialist.
Although I am a foreigner, I have never had serious problems with my lack of knowledge of Lithuanian. Here at Hostinger, everyone speaks English, and even if I don’t understand something in Lithuania, helpful colleagues always come to my rescue,” Gökhan says.
Hostinger settled in Kaunas 16 years ago and is one of the largest IT companies in Lithuania. Today, the company estimates that it has over 30 million users in 178 countries.