Describe your role at the company, and briefly your background / experience of living and working in other countries.
– I am leading the Essential Health business in Pfizer Sweden. I started my career in the Turkey office of Pfizer 13 years ago, right after receiving my BS in Industrial Engineering. I held various marketing, sales and strategy roles in Turkey, which was followed by regional roles for Eastern Europe, Russia, India and Central Asia. In 2015, I moved with my family from Turkey to New York to take a strategy role in the headquarters and then just one year after, we moved back to Europe, this time to take my current role in Stockholm.
What expectations did you have before moving to Sweden?
– By the time we moved to New York, our son was only 6 months old. We faced some challenges being quite far away from our home country. Our main expectation about Sweden was to live in a family oriented country, while also getting closer to our home country.
How did it turn out?
– Beyond expectations, I can say! It has been exactly a year since we moved to Stockholm and this period just validated our assumption. Sweden is a great country to raise a family both from an environmental perspective, offering more nature than any other country, as well as from a social system perspective, supporting the families with governmentally funded day care facilities and with flexible schedules at work.
– Additionally, the essentials of daily life, such as transportation, social services and banking systems, are very well organized, convenient and easily accessible as the country is highly digitalized.
What is the best thing with living in Sweden?
– Having an instant access to nature! Whenever you want, wherever you are! Even if you live in the city centre, it takes only a short walk or minutes of biking to completely switch from city mood to a forest or beach mood, relaxing in nature.
Would you recommend others to move here?
– Definitely! Sweden came across as the first opportunity for me to apply in Europe. So, our move to Sweden was a combination of both luck and conscious decision. After one year of experience, I can confidently say, it’s one of the best countries a foreigner can live, if not the best. The top ranks Sweden owns as a country in various listings ranging from most sustainable, family oriented, to business friendly countries, is not a coincidence. Living in a foreign country has always its natural challenges, but Sweden provides the most complete set of conditions to turn any challenge into a pleasant experience.
What do you think of Sweden regarding equality and other social aspects?
– Equality is much more than a concept or a desired stage in Sweden. It’s the most fundamental value of the society and already visible in every aspect of the daily life. In general terms, diversity and differences are not only tolerated and welcome but more importantly they are fully integrated by the society, offering the same opportunities for anyone. The most impressive social and economic outcome of this is that the country manages to develop in a very holistic and homogenous way, as a whole community, which is not the case even in many other western societies.
In your opinion, which is the most beautiful place in Sweden?
– We are living in Stockholm city center and enjoy every corner of it. As also frequently referred to being one of most beautiful European capitals, it offers anything you would need, and never overwhelms you. It is amazing how the architecture of the city has been protected over hundreds of years. Walking on the streets of Stockholm through its historical texture, can easily be paused in a very cosy coffee shop or in a restaurant with a modern and stylishly designed interior and nicely end up at waterside where you can enjoy the view of another one of the 14 islands shaping the city.
Which is the best Swedish tradition?
– Fika! It’s also a perfect fit to my wife’s way of socializing with people. We always liked to socialize with our friends and families, especially during the weekends through brunches, barbeques and similar gatherings. So, we easily embraced this tradition, as another way of sharing moments with friends.