Fresh tech transplants on how they're adapting to an Austin lifestyle

September 12, 2016
Austin demographer Ryan Robinson once reported that 110 people move to Austin daily. That's a lot, and it shows no signs of slowing down as Austin continues to earn national recognition as the place to be for lifestyle and career. 
 
We caught up with four new Austinites who joined our tech community through MVF within the last year to learn what some of their expectations were of the city— and if the good 'ole capital of Texas met and exceeded those premonitions. 
 
Rebecca Palomares, MVF Account Executive, moved from El Paso

Why and when did you move to Austin?

In College. I came to Austin with a group of friends and immediately fell in love. I really loved the "vibe" and how diverse the city is. There is so much to do from paddle boarding to yoga, to trying the latest restaurants and watching live music events on the regular. I knew I needed to be here. In September of 2015, I made it happen! 

What had you expected when you moved, and were your expectations correct?

I expected a fast-paced city with lots of things to do! Man, was I right!

What were you looking most forward to when you moved here? What were you least?

I was most excited for the music events and festivals. I listen to all genres and with Austin being the Live Music Capital of the World — I knew it was the place to be!

I was least excited about the traffic, however, I got lucky and recently found an apartment that avoids I-35 and all the major roads that get backed up. I can't wait to move in!

How has your company helped integrate you to Austin culture?

MVF is great because we are all from all over the country and different parts of Texas and even the UK! We're all very active and enjoy going to events and exploring Austin together.

What are the top three things you love about living here?

1. Diverse culture — melting pot with people from all over

2. Music scene

3. Always something to do

 

Bjorn Zellweger, MVF CEO MVF US LLC 

Why and when did you move to Austin?

I moved to Austin a few weeks ago to build my career and take on the fast growing opportunities Austin provides for our business.

What had you expected when you moved, and were your expectations correct?

I had expected a very young, vibrant and fast growing city, that mirrors our business, MVF, as well as lots of great live music, all of which were met entirely.

What were you looking most forward to when you moved here? What were you least?

I was most looking forward to the great food and music options and I was least looking forward to traffic and the extremely hot summer, but both have not been as bad as I first anticipated.

How has your company helped integrate you to Austin culture?

Our company has got an amazing team and culture and doing fun social stuff with the business, like NFL fantasy draft, football Fridays, Josh Abbott Band concert and company yoga. This all helped tremendously to integrate me to Austin.

What are the top three things you love about living here?

1. The people — Austin is young and growing and the people are very friendly and open to meet new people.

2. Food choices — Wholefoods HQ is the best!

3. Music options — almost every day of the week (ACL and SXSW).

 

Charlie Parkin, MVF Team Lead, moved from London

Why and when did you move to Austin?

MVF decided to open their US headquarters here, and I was asked if I could help launch the Austin office. I moved in July 2015.

What had you expected when you moved, and were your expectations correct?

I had heard Austin was 'the most liberal place in Texas,' which, as a Brit, doesn't necessarily have connotations of a very liberal place. I honestly came in pretty open, as I didn't know how it would stack against cities I've been to in the U.S. before, which are either cosmopolitan (NYC, SF, etc), or not at all (Kokomo, Indiana). The only expectation I had was that it was cool — that was fulfilled! The people are exceptionally friendly and welcoming, there are a ton of outdoor activities, and exposure to more networking events than any city I've been to.

How has your company helped integrate you to Austin culture?

We were the first two people, so being in WeWork and knowing no one else meant we were forced into Austin culture by virtue of only being able to spend time with new people we met here!

What are the top three things you love about living here?

1. The people — how welcoming/friendly they are.

2. The availability of events — both proximity and number.

3. The weather.

 

Sam Lastovich, MVF Account executive, moved from Minneapolis

Why and when did you move to Austin?

I moved to Austin for an incredible job with a thriving young company in an incredible city, and wanted to have an adventure.

What had you expected when you moved, and were your expectations correct?

I expected a new city, with a vibrant culture and a lot of events going on. It has far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Everyone I have met is incredibly warm and welcoming and there is always something to do. Not to mention the food — the food is incredible.

How has your company helped integrate you to Austin culture?

All of my coworkers have become my friends. Everyone is very inclusive and they are always going to fun events and planning ahead.

What are the top three things you love about living here?

1. People.

2. Events.

3. Food.

Images provided by participants and Shutterstock. Some answers have been edited for length/clarity. 

Does your tech startup have a story to tell? Let us know with a tip or a tweet @BuiltInAustin

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