Continuing our series about members of our team, three colleagues kindly agreed to answer a few personal questions. Discover here what drives Funda Aydin (Network Operations & Business Analyst), David Chalaoui (Relationship Manager) and Michael Gubser (Senior Business Analyst).
You work for Swiss Life because of your skills, but also because you fit so well into Swiss Life’s international team. Where does your “international touch” come from?
- Funda: “I’ve been influenced by two cultures right from the start. I was born in Reims, the spiritual capital of France, surrounded by the history of kings and many champagne houses. However, at the same time, due to my origins, I grew up immersed in Turkish culture. My origins led me later to discover more about central and East Asian culture, customs and languages, where the roots of the Turkish language come from. My curiosity and interest in international environments then led me to seek a job where I could interact with a wide variety of different people. That’s why I chose Luxembourg and the Swiss Life Network.”
- David: “I was born in Morocco, and I’ve lived in Belgium, the USA, France, and now Luxembourg! I’ve always been surrounded by different cultures in my personal and professional life, and I have never known anything other than an international environment in my career (with global insurers and brokers). I don’t know what the future holds, but it will be international for sure!”
- Michael: “Let me think… my parents are Swiss, my grand-parents were Swiss, I grew up in Switzerland, never lived abroad… But my international touch is that I like languages and I enjoy exploring other countries with different cultures and landscapes. I also like to be on the road without a plan – and end up somewhere in another country where I’ve never been before.”
What do you like most about your job?
- Funda: “The diversity. We truly are an international firm, and our Network team includes so many cultural backgrounds: Danish, Croatian, Portuguese, Moroccan, Spanish, Belgian, Swiss, and more. Plus, we have Network Partners all around the world, which makes my job even more interesting every day.”
- David: “No matter how far technology progresses, I am convinced that business is now and will always be about human relationships. This is fundamental - and this is what I like the most. The other key point is related to the first: learning from others and also from myself, and trying my best to explore, understand and improve every day. I believe that we must never cease exploring.”
- Michael: “It is fascinating to see how social security systems, or insurance company systems, which are taken for granted in one market can be totally different in other markets and other partner companies in the Swiss Life Network. But what I like the most, which is linked to this, is the variety of people I’m in daily contact with. This means it’s never boring and I face exciting challenges every day.”
What do you like to do outside work?
- Funda: “I enjoy spending time with family and friends in my home town, as well as doing origami and 3D puzzles, and also learning more foreign languages.”
- David: “I’m a big sports fan. I used to practice many sports, especially football, boxing, rugby sevens and fitness, and I definitely need to reintroduce more sport into my daily routine. Most of my personal time is spent with my family, but when I’m alone I like to read and write as much as possible.”
- Michael: “My favourite way of spending time is being outside in nature. In fact, what I like most is to be in the wild, high up in the mountains far above the tree line and away from civilization. I love the total silence; sometimes the only sound is of marmots whistling, or the wind roaring between the rocks. This is why I like trail-running and hiking in the Alps. It’s even more exciting to cross borders on a small hiking path with - if at all - a sign indicating that you’re leaving Switzerland and entering Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein or France - or the other way around.”