In this series of ‘People’, I want to depict the lives of my sources for inspiration.
A digital marketeer, content creator, and freelancer
Emmanuel Ramirez moved from a comfortable life in North Carolina (US) to study in Rotterdam. After graduating from Erasmus University with a degree in Economics & Business, Emmanuel worked his way up to become a diligent digital marketeer, content creator, and freelancer.
I met Emmanuel through work on campus, and eventually, we became close friends and roommates. As a soon-to-be graduate myself, I have reached out to him for advice on getting started with my career and finishing up my studies here. However, I have rarely asked him about his backstory.
Why did you choose the Netherlands?
It’s a pretty basic story: Boy falls in love with a girl so he quits his job, sells his car, and leaves his family behind to follow her to Europe. We came here to study together but parted ways soon after arriving. By then, I had fallen in love with Rotterdam so I decided to stay anyway!
What were your biggest challenges?
Life in Europe just seemed so different at the beginning. It feels like time just slows down here. My life back in the US was so fast-paced, so it took some time to get used to my new-found freedom. It was especially difficult to adjust to the weather. When I first arrived, I found myself feeling tired all the time. The lack of sunlight, coupled with the cycling, really took a toll on me.
What is your best advice to future newbies?
If you’re a student coming from outside of the EU, I’d recommend you try to make some Dutch friends. Step out of your comfort zone and get acquainted with the locals. Dutch people are incredibly direct, but it can be unexpectedly refreshing once you get used to it.