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There was no hesitation when Michael Chinn was offered the chance to trade in his Southern California lifestyle for a something a bit slower in quaint Auckland. The Software Engineer welcomed the coffee culture, outdoor activities and work-life balance that New Zealand offers with open arms. We had a chat with Michael to learn a bit more about his big move.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Michael, I’ve recently joined Xero as a Developer in one of the product teams. I moved over from Southern California for this role and I’ve been loving it so far. In my freetime I enjoy following sports, attending game nights and traveling whenever I can. Luckily Auckland, New Zealand is a great home base for lots of weekend trips!
Why did you decide to apply to work at Xero?
I first became aware of Xero on a trip to Wellington with my wife in 2017. With my interest piqued, I began research and learned of the incredible story of Xero and the international respect it’s earned over the last decade. The continued growth and financial health were also a huge benefit. Moving internationally meant that stability of whatever company I chose was really important. So after interviewing in Auckland, seeing the facilities, culture, people and technology, I knew that Xero was the right fit for me. It made it easy to turn down all other offers and join the team!
What do you like about your role at Xero and what is it like to work at Xero?
I haven’t been here long, but I’m really enjoying working at Xero. My team was sure to create a welcoming environment and they helped to make my move and transition easy. Working at Xero offers an environment which makes employees feel empowered, with a big focus on personal development and setting clear expectations. So I feel supported to achieve my goals and ambitions. I would describe the technical design philosophy as sophisticated and nuanced. On top of all this, Xeros are knowledgeable, friendly and always happy to help. I really love it here so far, it’s truly a great place to work.
Why did you choose Auckland as a place to work?
The experience of living in another country has always been a dream of mine. When my sister-in-law forwarded me an article about New Zealand needing I.T. talent, it was a chance I didn’t want to pass up. On our initial visit my wife and I found ourselves comfortable in the easy-going demeanor of Kiwis and the lush landscape of New Zealand. We fell in love with the culture, weather and career options Auckland has to offer, which is why we landed here.
How did your international move go?
I was surprised to find that my move was very smooth. My visa was fast-tracked by Xero as they are an accredited employer. My wife was able to find companies to handle the shipping and customs for our belongings door to door. I would say the most challenging part was finding a quality rental in Auckland as we found the housing market is quite competitive.
How does the lifestyle in Auckland compare?
The Auckland lifestyle is slower and quaint, which is something I love. Coffee and physical activity are important to Kiwis. Small businesses are prioritised in New Zealand, leaving behind the corporate lifestyle for more personal environments. There is a real sense of community – you know the name of your barista and feel welcomed when you enter establishments. There is also wide diversity in culture, an easy bus system, more travel options, and city events year-round, making the lifestyle here exactly what I was looking for.
Along with a major life shift, how was it to transition into your role at Xero?
From the very start I have felt supported and welcomed by Xero. The organisation is complex and there is quite a steep learning curve. But they do everything they can to make the transition for new employees easy. My colleagues are quick to offer assistance and guidance. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to move into an exciting role for a fast growing company in beautiful, diverse country.