A place to call home

Wellington is a far cry from David Doan’s home country of Vietnam but he’s proud to call it home

David Doan

David Doan had never laid eyes on Wellington until he flew in for a job interview.

He’d been living and studying in Auckland for the past 10 years after leaving his home country Vietnam to pursue his career.

When some of his friends began moving to Wellington to take up job opportunities, he decided to try his luck too.

Five months down the track David has adopted the capital as his new home, having successfully applied for a graduate civil engineer position at Wellington-based dam specialist Damwatch.

And he couldn’t be happier.

Summer view of Oriental Bay and Wellington CBD

“I’m a person who keeps to myself, it’s hard for me to adapt to new environments, but I did it easily in Wellington,” says David.

“I had never been to Wellington before my job interview, and my first impressions were positive – it’s an easy city to get around, it’s small, everything is close, and there’s an openness about it, there’s a lot of cultural diversity.”

David instantly felt at home here - he loves the fact that he lives a three-minute walk away from his work, he’s joined a cultural group and he’s about to join a badminton club.

“I have a good work-life balance, I have little travelling time to and from work which means I have time to pursue things after work.”

He’s yet to explore the city’s nooks and crannies on his newest purchase, an electric scooter which he brought just before moving here.

He also intends to venture further out into the region, with all of its tracks and trails just waiting to be explored.

It’s a vastly different environment to the one he grew up in, in the city of Hanoi with its more than $4 million people.

Originally, David had thought about a career in commerce but as he neared the end of high school those aspirations changed.

With an aunt and uncle living in Auckland at the time, he wanted to come to New Zealand to study and decided to pursue civil engineering at the University of Auckland.

“They are in Nelson now, but I wanted to come here because I knew New Zealand was a calm, peaceful country and offered the type of life I wanted to lead.”

Life in Wellington has pleasantly surprised him, compact and easy to get around, and allowing him to do things he’s never done, like join interest groups.

There’s an openness about it, there’s a lot of cultural diversity

David Doan

That has, in turn, created an entirely new friends network which has helped him to quickly settle in.

He loves his office-based job where he’s involved in team meetings, projects and working modelling.

“I am loving the opportunity to learn skills from my more experienced senior colleagues, and I hope I’ll get the opportunity to go out in the field next year.”

For now though life’s good in a city David now calls home.

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