Our agency has grown enormously in recent years. Originally based in Munich and Traunstein, locations in Barcelona and Vienna have also opened in recent years. We have to take advantage of this opportunity, thought Anja from creation, and traded her place in Munich for the office in Catalonia for a year. There she continues to work on her projects, but at the same time ensures that the two locations are better connected. We asked Anja a few questions about her year in our Spanish office:
It has always been a dream of mine to work abroad for a while. Before I started my creative career, I had already completed two years of Spanish studies. The opportunity to continue working on my projects in Barcelona and at the same time to get to know a new city, to deepen my language skills and to gain new impressions was naturally offered by the DGTLS office in Barcelona. I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity! Originally, a stay of 6 months was planned.
Barcelona is a very lively, exciting and creative city, which really enchants - the time there passes very quickly, because this city just offers so much! I really like the flair there and I also really enjoy working with my colleagues in Barcelona. I suggested the possibility of an extension to my superiors and received only positive feedback - so I took the chance.
Currently I work at DGTLS as an art director. At the moment I'm involved in a larger UI/UX project and therefore work a lot with the project team from Munich. The project is not only extremely extensive and very interesting, it also allows me to get very involved with Figma, an increasingly popular UI/UX layout program.
I'm also involved in other DGTLS projects related to branding and web design. So I'm learning and working at the same time, living in Barcelona and getting to know new colleagues and a new city - a dream!
Looking for an apartment is not that easy! You can always find a room in a shared apartment, but apartments can either be rented through an agency or privately only with a NIE number (foreigner identification number). Unfortunately, this is currently difficult to obtain because the authorities in Spain are very strict. Everything does not always work as perfectly as in Germany, but you get used to it and ultimately take it with humor.
My language skills have already helped me a lot to sort out some things. Regardless of that, I think you should see every obstacle as a challenge. I think it's always nice when you grow personally and professionally through challenges.
In principle, little has changed in my project structure - I'm in charge of the same projects for which I was already working in Munich. Thanks to our communication structure, remote work is very easy to implement. In two years at Covid, we have gained a lot of experience that now makes this kind of work structure possible without any problems.
At the same time, I can introduce new colleagues in Barcelona to the agency more easily. Sometimes it's not easy for them, because apart from meetings they have little contact with the other locations - with the exception of summer parties. It helps if someone from Munich or Traunstein is working in Barcelona and can also provide a bit of fluff.
One of my favorite Matthew Karsten quotes is "An investment in travel is an investment in yourself." That's exactly how I feel about this experience. I am fulfilling a dream and yet I don't have to give up anything because I can continue to do my job without any problems. I was fortunately supported by all colleagues and superiors, so I can absolutely enjoy the stay.
I'm also looking forward to Munich again but for now enjoy the time in Barcelona!