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Aussies of The Bay – Gareth Pan

Name, job, part of the San Francisco Bay Area you live in

Gareth Pan, living in San Francisco, Sales Operations/Strategy at LinkedIn,

When did you first come to the Bay and what’s the backstory there?

I first landed in Feb 24, 2016 after doing a table-flip of sorts, where I severed my lease, quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to SF. After realising that I actually needed a return ticket to enter the country (thanks US Customs!), I spent the next 11 weeks looking for work. I stayed on a mate’s couch for a while before moving to the cheapest single-room Airbnb I could find – it was about 9′ x 9′ and in the middle of Chinatown, but hey rent was expensive and the US dollar was sky-high, so it worked for me!

After getting an offer at LinkedIn in May, I went back to Sydney to sort out visas, say goodbye to friends & family and returned to SF in June 2016, where I have been since.

Hardest thing about moving here?

I have a 16 yo cat (his name is Theodore, but we call him Teddy!) that I had to leave behind with my mother. Was devastating for me but the bastard is probably ecstatic – after 16 years, I’m still not convinced he actually liked me. Aside from that, the usual conversion difficulties – celsius to fahrenheit, km’s to miles, kg’s to pounds etc.

Favorite Bay Area memory to date?

I remember about 2 hours after I landed in SF, I needed to buy a towel and some bed sheets. I was stressing about how and where I’d get all that stuff from until my friend pulled out his phone and was like “watch this!” and tapped a few buttons. 2 hours later everything arrived at our door. I’d later learn that it was Amazon Prime Now and it was ridiculous and embodied everything that makes the Bay Area what it is.

What impact has being Australian had on your life here? In dating? In work?

Being Australian here is great and I completely agree with everyone else’s comments – it’s so much easier to start a conversation with anyone by virtue of the accent alone! At work, even 2 years on I still get the joke “I wonder if you’d still have a job if you didn’t sound like that”.

Dating here has been… interesting. I definitely think all’s well that ends well though as I’ve since found an amazing local girl (shout out to Linda!). Looking back, I feel the interesting dating dynamic here goes back to the fact that a lot of Bay Area residents are transplants from all across the world and thus dating seems a little more transient.

Most American thing you’ve experienced in your time here?

Fantasy Football. I’d describe it like an office Melbourne Cup sweepstakes, but every week for 16 weeks. The amount of office banter that goes on during football season is out of control – the winner gets some money and a year’s worth of boasting + the loser has to carry a wooden spoon around the office for a month, which is priceless.

Best advice for anyone who is thinking of coming over?

Absolutely do it, I promise you will not regret it. If you’re gonna look for work whilst you’re here (i.e. not coming over with an employer), make sure you have your story buttoned up. Most employers here don’t know anything about your uni, your background, any Australian companies or the E3 Visa. Think introspectively and craft a coherent story on exactly why you came here with 2 suitcases and a dream. 🙂

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m actually going full ‘Murican and going to NYC to do an MBA this fall, so @Christian if you know a G’Day NY equivalent newsletter – hook me up because G’Day SF is an amazing resource!

[Editor note: http://americajosh.com/ does a good newsletter out of NYC]

 

Aussies looking for opportunities – 6th Feb 2018

Mayumi Kato – Product

“Hi G’DAY SF, My name is Mayumi Kato and I am looking for product or partnership roles in SF. I have 6+ years product experience in financial services & IT. Preference for small-medium fin-tech & tech. If you are hiring or able to make an introduction, please DM me at maykato@gmail.com or www.linkedin.com/in/mayumikato   Thanks!”

Christian Burgin – Product

“I recently moved to San Francisco from Melbourne, looking for a new role. I’m a product manager with 3 years of experience working in financial services and insurance.

I’ve delivered a seamless bank feeds experience to over 50,000 customers through integration with Xero, built an online insurance portal end to end which resulted in winning a $20m+ client and led the digital and technology strategies for NAB, one of Australia’s largest banks.

My preference is for a product manager role, but I realize there’s a lot of good I can do and a lot I can still learn in a huge range of roles. I’m reliable, determined and passionate about building awesome customer experiences. Here is my LinkedIn, and you can reach me at christian.burgin8@gmail.com.

Let me know of any opportunities – thanks!”

James Bennet – Comms, Storytelling & Media

“I landed in SF last month. Just finished several amazing years in India as the ABC’s South Asia Correspondent – finding, filming, photographing and producing stories from India and around. Phenomenal experience. Although as an outdoor-nut, I did battle breathing Delhi’s smog. Exploring this city and surrounds; bike riding, surfing and skiing feels like being reborn!

A lovely American lady lured me here. Keen to stay, I’m hungry to find the right outlet for my creative storytelling skills. I was a video journalist abroad so I write, shoot video and photos and edit etc, but I also love working with people. Having done all sorts of assignments I’m a handy stakeholder and project-manager too. I’m looking for PR/media/communications/content creation type roles.

I love the idea of tech than can solve human problems, so would also love to hear from organisations looking abroad who could benefit from my Government relations/developing world experience.

Contact info

(Former Correspondent) Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Cell: +1 628 224 2329LinkedInTwitter.”

 

Aussies of the Bay – Ankit Talwar

Name, job, part of the San Francisco Bay Area you live in

Ankit Talwar, Senior Accountant, Living in Mission Bay, San Francisco. Founder of discwallets.com

When did you first come to the Bay and what’s the backstory there?

First came to the Bay in Feb 2017, one year anniversary coming up this week! Working and living in San Francisco, USA has always been a dream of mine after university, after many years in Australia and spending last 7 years working and venturing across UK/Europe, my timing for the next challenge was perfect, I took the plunge and came over to the West Coast with dreams of learnings and greater successes.

Hardest thing about moving here?

The hardest thing about moving to SF has been finding a role and getting the E3 visa processed in time. Roles were ample when I arrived, explaining the E3 visa to employers was like pitching to a VC (it worked!) [Note by Chris, this infographic may help]

Favorite Bay Area memory to date?

My favourite bay area moment is actually everytime someone comes and visits me so I can explore the whole city with them, best moments are looking at the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach and the trail hike in Presideo (trust me it is magical).

What impact has being Australian had on your life here? In dating? In work?

Being an Australian is the best conversation starter I have ever non-intentionally experienced. Introductions are as easy as 1-2-3 being an aussie here.

The dating scene has being interesting to say the least, tried the app route with good success in meeting great people but feels more disconnected rather than simply meeting someone in person (watch Hang The DJ – Black Mirror episode and that is pretty much the SF dating scene here).

At work as an Australian I always have great banter with my co-workers, talks about travels, beers, life of living in Australia comes up every week.

Most American thing you’ve experienced in your time here?

The most American thing I have experienced is going to sports bars in SF, the passionate fans, the clothing (shoe collection is apparently a big thing) and chatters about stats make me feel like I am truly in USA.

Best advice for anyone who is thinking of coming over?

Best advice for anyone coming to SF is to come here with a purpose and an open mind of experiencing new cultures, new eateries, new exploring opportunities and bring the hustle of working in startups.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I leave this interview with a final note: Live, Learn, Explore, Remember You Only Have One Life To Make It Happen. So Don’t Wait.

 

Aussies of the Bay – Matthew Ho

Matthew Ho on Buffalo Wings, sailing and his favourite moments living in the Bay Area.

 

How many Aussies live in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Do you know how many Aussies are currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area? The final number might surprise you.

 

Aussies of the Bay – Kaitlyn Craig

Kaitlyn Craig talks Marin, sincerity and sarcasm in the USA and Bay to Breakers costumes.

 

Aussies of the Bay – Lauren Demarte

In this first edition of Aussies in the Bay discover what brought Lauren to San Francisco. Read about Frizzoes, the smell of Eucalyptus and the power of saying “yes”.

 

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