Within our ALDI SÜD Group there is the possibility to move abroad. Yanet, Business Expert in our Global Business Coordination Team, took such a chance and was sent to Austria for a certain period of time by ALDI US. In this article, you can read more about Yanet's life, her tasks in the Global Business Coordination team and of course the challenges a move brings with it. So, here we go Yanet! :-)
Describe yourself in three words?
Yanet: If I had to describe myself in three words, I would say I am curious, caring and a planner.
Yanet, how old are you?
Yanet: I am 33 years young.
Where did you grow up and how?
Yanet: I was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois. My parents immigrated from Mexico to the United States in the 1970’s. My childhood consisted of playing tag with my cousins, making tamales with my aunts during Christmas time and listening to Backstreet Boys CDs.
Which language do you speak?
Yanet: I speak fluent English and Spanish, can understand German and Portuguese and studied Mandarin in college.
Tell us something about your personal life:
Yanet: I am here with my little family, my husband and our two boys. Jr is 14 and Eli is 5, they both attend the same newly built international school, which is only a 7 minute walk from home. They both have made friends with kids from around the globe
What education/training did you enjoy?
Yanet: The subjects I enjoyed the most in high school were History and Humanities. I majored in Marketing and International Business for my Bachelors.
Where did you work before you started your job at HOFER?
Yanet: I worked for ALDI US Buying Services in the ALDI Finds Coordination Team (shout out AFCT!).
How did the application process look like?
Yanet: The application process started by letting my direct leader know I was interested in going abroad after the opportunity was announced. I then had an interview with my now Personnel Leader and after a few weeks I found out I was accepted. I met with the Global Mobility team the US and they provided more details on the expat process, then COVID-19 began, and my start date was shifted from June 2020 to August 2020.
How did the entire relocation progress work? Did HOFER support you?
Yanet: Yes, HOFER facilitated with the entire process, from booking a trip to New York for my visa appointment, packing my belongings into a container, searching for a place to live, helping with transferring my US driver’s license to an EU license, finding a school for my sons, to offering a German course, I did not feel alone in the relocation process. I was also in contact with current US expats in Germany and Austria and their help and guidance was priceless.
What has been the biggest change for you due to moving to Austria?
Yanet: There were a few changes which took some getting used to. Not having to rely much on a car and being able to take public transportation to most places was a big adjustment. I live in Linz and while I need a car to drive to work, I can walk or take the tram to the grocery store, doctor, restaurants and even the mall. The biggest change has been the language, not just German, but understanding/speaking Austrian German. I studied German in high school for three years and felt semi comfortable with it, until I realized Austrian German was quite different. I equate it to the Southern twang in the USA. The relocation company, Google translate, and my colleagues have been an amazing help, especially when first arriving. I think back to when my parents first immigrated to the USA and am extremely thankful to have Google translate available at my fingertips!
So how do you like it in Austria?
Yanet: So far Austria has been fascinating. It is so interesting to learn its rich history, considering this country is smaller than Indiana! From the Habsburg Dynasty to its salt mines, it’s truly incredible what this country has to offer. Its proximity to other countries is also quite helpful, quick weekend trips to Slovenia, Germany or the Czech Republic are easy to plan.
Hobbies, favorite spots in Austria, how often do you go home?
Yanet: My hobbies include visiting zoos with my family, trying new foods and travelling to as many countries as possible while based in Europe. My favorite spot in Austria is St. Wolfgang. It is a small town with incredible mountain and lake views. The lake has beautifully transparent water and there is a food truck with the best bosna/wurst and they even sell corn on the cob with chili flavored salt (reminds me of elote). I have been able to go home just about every six months to visit family in Illinois and Texas.
When exactly did you start at HOFER and how did your first weeks look like?
Yanet: My onboarding included shadowing my team to get a better idea of our responsibilities. Attending training sessions to grasp an understanding of the different systems being used in AHEAD and overall just getting to know my new colleagues.
What is your job role at HOFER and in which Department do you work?
Yanet: I am a Business Expert within the department Global Business Coordination (GBC) Assortment. In the GBC we deal with the design and optimization of our buying processes - both, for Austrian Buying Services as well as for all other Buying Services departments of ALDI South around the globe. More specifically, I work in our "Assortment Planning and Controlling" team. Our focus is to plan our assortment development including all controlling processes. I am responsible for the Listing processes (i.e. when a product is orderable by the distribution center and store) as well as for Space & Experience - this is about where and how exactly a product finds its place on the store shelf.
Do you have a typical workday?
Yanet: Every workday is different in regards to the topic at hand, some days are full with meetings in an effort to finalize demands, creating and presenting decks to demonstrate to the countries the improvement we have made, other days could be focused on aligning with other streams to determine the best solution. Overall, the theme of every workday is: collaboration.
What would you want to tell potential (international) candidates?
Yanet: Take advantage of this opportunity to broaden your horizons both professionally and personally. You will make memories you never imagined.
A good day starts with:
Yanet: Hearing birds chirping outside my bedroom window, no traffic on my way to work, and watching the sun shine reflecting off of the snow covered Alps on my drive to work.
At my job at HOFER I like the most:
Yanet: My favorite part of my role at HOFER is coordinating with various streams, increasing process efficiencies all while building friendships with people from all around the world.
My favorite HOFER product is:
Yanet: My favorite HOFER product is fresh flowers. I enjoy how the selection changes depending on the season and they always make my home feel cozy.
Coffee or tea?
Yanet: I prefer tea (chamomile or home-made cinnamon) over coffee. Hot chocolate is always tasty as well, there is a hot chocolate machine in the Eberstalzell office that dispenses a variety of delicious options.