Moving to another country is usually a very big decision. In today’s blog entry we asked two of the newest members of the CD Projekt RED team to tell us their stories. Be sure to visit this blog’s section about Warsaw.
Bill Daly: The Road to Poland
My name is Bill Daly and I am a game developer from Austin, Texas. The following is the tale of how I ended up in Warsaw, Poland…
It started last May, when I received a link from a good friend and colleague to CD Projekt RED’s summer conference video where Marcin Iwiński announced their new Cyberpunk project and then extended an invitation to join their team. Having been a fan of Cyberpunk 2020 in my adolescence I was immediately interested and applied for open positions on that team in the character art department. About a month later I had accepted an offer to join CDPRed as the Lead Character Artist on the Cyberpunk project! I can’t explain how exciting this was! But that was only the beginning. I have a family of 5 and a home in Austin, Texas. So we all started going through our stuff, packing things up, having massive garage sales and donating anything we couldn’t sell. Things were moving along, but it would take a while before I could obtain my Polish work visa, so we were moving at a reasonable pace. My wife is a school teacher and started applying to some schools in Warsaw that she wanted to send our kids to, in the hopes that she could find employment and be with them at school together. Well, as luck would have it she got an offer almost immediately, but the only catch was that school started in 2 weeks! This pushed our move date forward by an entire month! All of a sudden the stress levels skyrocketed. Would we be able to get everything out of our house and get it sold or rented in time? How would we do all this while I was crunching 10 – 12 hours a day while we wrapped up one of our projects. At the time I put in my two weeks notice at Disney, I still didn’t even know where in Warsaw we would be living. It was very intense!
With plenty of help from our friends and family we managed to get out of the house 3 days before we were scheduled to move to Poland. Fortunately CDPRed has a top notch HR department and calmed our worries about finding a place to stay. So with the bare essentials covered, off we went to Poland. Surprisingly my children, ages 2, 4 and 5 all did incredibly well on the flight and acclimated to their new school quickly. Which was amazing since mostly all the kids speak polish. There was just one small hiccup, since we had moved earlier than expected, I still did not have my Polish work visa yet and needed to return to the states to apply for it. This meant leaving my family in Poland alone! It was not ideal, but we had no choice. Back home I still had many things to wrap up, while we had already made a lot of progress in our relocation, it was still far from over. Oh yeah, did I mention I also have 2 dogs to relocate to Poland as well?! Importing my dogs seemed like an expensive nightmare, but they are family too, so we had to figure it out. There was paperwork and vaccinations, micro-chips and crates, then more paperwork. I was so afraid of something going wrong and having to leave them in quarantine. Surprisingly though, no one really inspected the dog’s paper work, it didn’t seem to be a big deal here at all. Only in the states was I made to believe that importing pets to a foreign country would be a difficult and painstaking process. What a relief that was. Now the entire family is reunited in our new home, in our new country. We are really enjoying the city now and all it has to offer. There are plenty of family friendly things to do here, the food is amazing, the public transportation is reliable and safe, but above all the people are kind and accepting of our inability to speak much of their language yet. When we told our friends and family in Texas about our relocation the most popular response was “POLAND? What is there in Poland?”. I can tell you there is plenty here and it is fairly westernized, far more than I imagined. All in all if you’re brave enough to take the plunge and are looking for a great place to work and raise a family abroad, check out Poland you may be surprised at what you find!
Gene Rozenberg: New in Warsaw
Hello! My Name is Gene Rozenberg and I am a newly-arrived Audio Lead at CD Projekt RED. A few weeks ago my family and I moved to Warsaw and it has been quite an amazing experience! I have to say that none of my original expectations prepared me to how great this city really is. People are friendly, helpful, and surprisingly well-versed in English, Warsaw is beautiful and is filled to the brim with amazing places to visit, delicious food to eat and a variety of fun things to do.
I would be remiss to say that the move was not without its challenges. Learning to get around, where to shop, how to get a bank account or activate a mobile phone and a bit of a language barrier was somewhat overwhelming at first. Luckily for me, my new awesome friends at CD Projekt RED gave me a crash course in everything Polish and in a couple of weeks I felt comfortable and not at all stressed out. My wife loves it here. We live in a great, secure, family-friendly neighborhood which is perfect for her and our kid. She is a bit of a foodie and truly appreciates the delicious, home-grown and all-natural delicacies she can easily find at the farm stands or shops on virtually every corner of our neighborhood. My son really loves riding the trams and buses, as they closely resemble his most favorite thing in the whole world — “Choo Choos”.
CD Projekt RED, too, is a great place to be. It is a true multicultural company and the atmosphere is among the very best in the world. I am surrounded by smart, wonderfully talented people who are truly passionate about, and believe in the games they make, which is reflected every day in the great work they do. That is exactly why I am so excited to be a part of it all at CD Projekt RED!Tweet