Kate K. remembers the exact moment she decided to relocate to Cork, Ireland to join the Reality Labs (RL) team. “I had been talking with the RL team throughout the interview process, and I was so excited about the position and its endless possibilities,” she says. “I was being offered an opportunity to build a brand new lab.”
But despite her excitement, Kate also felt unsure if she was willing to take such a big leap for her career by moving from Portland, Oregon to Ireland.
Kate K. in County Kerry, Ireland.
“I visited Cork toward the end of the interview process and while there, talked with several team members in person. Their enthusiasm and openness were really inspiring to me,” she recalls. “I knew that Cork was a place where I could be comfortable while focusing on my career. I’m an ambitious person, and I saw this as a life-changing adventure.”
What is it like to relocate with Meta?
From understanding a new locale and its regulations to handling visa paperwork, establishing moving timeframes, and finding housing, relocating can feel like a daunting experience. While there are several Irish natives on the RL team in Cork, it also has many team members from around the globe.
“Before joining Meta, I moved around a lot in the US. But when I had the chance to relocate to Cork, I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is the first time I won’t have to get rid of half my stuff’,” Michaela W., process development engineer, laughs. “In the past, when I moved, I had to downsize until all my belongings fit in my trunk and then drive off to the new place. But with Meta, they gave me ample weight allowance, hired professional movers, and provided regular updates on where my belongings were and when to expect them. Not only did the team make it possible for me to keep all of my possessions, but they guided me through some of the more challenging aspects of an international move. They helped me understand the city and where I might like to live, set timelines for me, helped me with all of my visa paperwork, and communicated with me every step of the way.”
What’s it like to move to a new country for a professional opportunity? Michaela W. details her experience relocating with Meta and settling into life in Cork.
A community centered around arts, culture and nature
The city of Cork is appreciated for a number of reasons that attract people from around the world: rich diversity, close proximity to natural beauty, and a bustling arts and culture scene—with food markets worth writing home about.
Aziz T. on the Beara Peninsula near Castletownbere in Co. Cork, one of his favorite local places.
“I spent time in Ireland before accepting a role on the RL team, so it was easy for me to decide to move here,” Aziz T., hardware engineer, offers. “I love working with and living alongside people from all over the world, it’s a privilege. I meet new people every day, and I enjoy the Irish spirit and culture. Cork is a perfect mix of many things I love without the hassle of living in a bigger city.”
For Kate, Cork surfaces a sense of familiarity. “Cork often reminds me of a beloved American college town. Our office is in the city center and it’s a dream come true to be able to walk to work. We have an international airport here and we’re just a train ride from Dublin. I love feeling like I have a more urban lifestyle while still living within a short drive from the seaside.”
From art and culture to local food markets and outdoor activities, Ireland native Ellen O. shares her favorite things about Cork.
An inspiring local influence
From local fare to its welcoming culture, Cork’s way of life permeates the Meta offices—something Aziz says helped him feel comfortable from the start.
“Though I had a sense of what to expect, I was surprised by how many people at work get together outside of the office,” he notes. “I think this is closely tied to the culture in Cork, where many people have come from different places to start a new chapter in their career. The sense of community here is strong, something that’s really important to me.”
Meta in Ireland initiatives—and encouragement from leadership
to get involved with the local community outside of the office—further helps strengthen ties.
Niamh W., Process Integration Manager, discusses her passion for helping girls become involved with STEM subjects through Meta’s partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland.
“The team here in Cork is really special,” Ellen O. adds. “We’re a spirited, tight-knit community, and I’m so proud of the innovative work we’re doing together here in Ireland.”
This post, originally published on August 19, 2021, was updated on June 14, 2022, to reflect our shift to Meta and new details about team members, roles and responsibilities.