Teodora never imagined herself working at Meta or moving to Dublin, but now she wouldn’t have it any other way. She shares what was behind her choice to make a leap in her career, the opportunities she has in Dublin and what she finds most inspiring about the work she’s doing.
Changing course to study computer science
When I look back on my career, I see that one of my biggest challenges was figuring out what I wanted to do and getting started. I was passionate about economics, but my high school in Romania didn’t have any courses I could take. I traveled to the UK for summer schools and thought I wanted to pursue economics for a career. As I was beginning to think about university, my best friend told me about his work as a software architect. He was so passionate about computer science that I got goosebumps while listening to him. I decided to change course.
I applied to a university to study computer science, and I had to pass an admission exam. Lucky for me, there was a math option! While many students had computer science experience, the subjects were totally new to me. People were shocked that I didn’t know simple concepts like parameters or functions, and I was at a loss when I got my first homework assignment. I actually have been explicitly told that I don’t belong in the space and that I didn’t have a chance at passing, and from that moment on, I developed a drive to prove everyone wrong. My practical math knowledge helped me with the right intuition. My ambition helped me succeed not only in my studies, but also in my career.
Why I choose to work at Meta
My path to Meta started through a fight with a friend. A recruiter reached out to me about a production engineering role, and I didn’t move forward because I didn’t believe I would make it through each step. But the role matched up perfectly with my skill set, and I’d never worked for a company of this scale before. My best friend was furious with me for not giving it a shot! Ultimately, he was right. I went back to the recruiter, went through the process and landed the job. I’m so glad I did.
Now that I’m here, my biggest lesson has been about learning to be comfortable with discomfort. In previous roles, I relied on having all the answers to solve my problems. At Meta, we’re solving problems that no one has seen before—and we’re doing it at a massive scale. Problem solving drives me, and it’s an important personality trait for the work I do.
“I’ve also discovered that the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. ”
I’ve learned to be more self-aware about my unconscious biases too. Meta has taught me how to take a step back and put myself in someone else’s shoes before I act.
Meta gives you the opportunity to do anything you want to do. I’m interested in networking opportunities, and my manager supports me and helps me make changes so I’m able to pursue different projects. The trust I’m given keeps me here. When I’m trusted, I’ll work my best to succeed.
My life in Dublin: Culture, conversation, and community
Taking the job with Meta meant I would have to move from Romania to London or Dublin. I was excited about the opportunity to move! I didn’t know anything about Dublin, and many of my close friends lived in London. I thought the choice was simple, but visiting Dublin changed my mind. The city feels cozy, is walkable and it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been.
The best thing about Dublin is the culture. Big cities make me feel like I’m late for something, but in Dublin, I never see anxious people rushing around. The pub culture is different here too, as people truly love to chat and have conversations with strangers. I’ve adapted to the friendliness, and when I go back to Romania, everyone wonders why I’m so chatty.
I thought making friends would be hard, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m lucky to have moved with Meta because the company’s relocation process connects team members with others who are the same age and have similar interests. The built-in community is incredible, and I was able to find smaller communities for my other interests. I joined surfing, horse riding, tennis, basketball, boxing, cycling and board game groups—just to name a few! I love exploring and Dublin is a huge travel hub. I’ve been able to see the world with the community of friends I’ve built here. Forming friendships couldn’t have been easier, you just have to be proactive about making them.