Interview: Clients Fernando and Adrien
“One of the main things I like about Barcelona is that it’s not a capital city.. even after living here for 11 years there are still so many places to discover.”
What made you move to this city?
Adrien: I am originally from France. My family is French but I grew up in the US. I studied in Edinburgh and I came to Barcelona on an Erasmus in my third year so I had to go back and finish my forth year. By my fourth year I said “Bye Edinburgh, hello Barcelona” because I wanted to be with Fernando.
I was looking for a job and sent my CV to a recruitment agency. They proposed me an internship and then from there I started working in recruitment. I started doing a recruitment internship. I also studied a masters in international relations at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI).
IBEI is an institute set up by Pompeu Fabra, IBEI and a few other universities. After I finished this and returning to recruitment I found a new job in Autodesk. Autodesk is an American multinational software corporation, specialising In 3d design but with a large sales and software centre for people of lots of different nationalities here in Barcelona. So I now work for them, recruiting the profiles that work at Autodesk.
Fernando: I was born and grew up in Brazil. I lived there until I was 22. When I came to Barcelona for an exchange programme. I was supposed to be here for just one year… I was working at an internship and I was offered a job. I ended up staying longer, starting my own company and already it has been 11 years.
At one point I decided I needed a change and wanted to work in something that had more purpose. Alpha is part of the Telefonica group – it is a moonshot factory. Moonshots are radical and ambitious projects which try to solve some societal problems using technology.
At Alpha I’m part of the Ideation and recently helped launching our latest project in learning. The idea is to disrupt the normal focus using long-term innovation.
How would you compare the work/life balance here in Barcelona in comparison to other cities you have lived in?
Adrien: Barcelona has a work-life balance that you would struggle to find elsewhere. Many companies are offering great benefits and there are lots of opportunities for career development but equally when you finish work, you leave work behind. You go and see what the city has to offer – you enjoy the beach, free events or the restaurants and even then there is so much more.
Fernando: I love this city. Since I first arrived to Barcelona I fell In love with the city. It was not too hard as a software developer to find work in Barcelona, the start-up scene in Barcelona is huge.
One of the main things I like about Barcelona, that it is not a capital city. I can go everywhere on a motorcycle but you can also take public transportation and be anywhere in 30 minutes. Even after living here for 11 years there are still so many places to discover.
Barcelona’s lifestyle is also very metropolitan unlike many other cities. Our group of friends are from everywhere.
What do you think of Clot?
Adrien: We really like this neighbourhood, we’re really happy here. A lot of tech companies are near Clot. Our apartment is conveniently close to our work and is more affordable than other neighbourhoods.
You don’t find the hustle and bustle of the busier neighbourhoods. It is more tranquil and local.
AHEAD helped us to realise that Clot was the perfect neighbourhood for us. We are also 200 metres from the park.
How was the buying process with AHEAD? Did you know what you wanted when you started looking?
Adrien: We knew we wanted 2 bedrooms so that we could easily entertain guests.
We were in a ground floor apartment before in Poble Sec with not much light so we knew more light would be an important factor with a terrace and closer to the beach.
Fernando: There are some decisions that you should make with caution but property in Barcelona moves fast and AHEAD introduced us to this apartment which was ideal. We really liked it. After we visited the flat Adrien said “we have to buy this flat”.
For example the first apartment that AHEAD showed us here in Clot we had really liked but already when we went to talk to the owner the apartment had been sold.
AHEAD definitely advised us using their knowledge and experience of Barcelona’s property market, where to look and what for.
We know the city quite well but for us it was important to have the trusted advice of AHEAD and their contacts to help with the bureaucracy of buying a property in Spain.
What was the outcome?
Fernando: Nobody saw this apartment other than us. We wanted this flat so badly and we got it! We even wanted one terrace and we ended up with two.
Adrien: There is a really neighbourly feeling not only in our neighbourhood but also in our building. Our neighbours downstairs water our plants and feed our cat when we go away.
Was this investment a good decision?
Adrien: Time will tell! But yes for now we are very happy.
Fernando: Between the first meeting that we had in July then 6 months later we had the apartment.
Adrien: I love working from home now. I love being at home. The comfort of our home now is really relaxing. I love being at home now more than any place I have ever lived in Barcelona.