Entrepreneurial stories

"In Breda, I found a rhythm that I could hold much better"

If there’s one common thread that runs through my interview with Alberto Pistis, it’s his human-centered approach to everything - from the way he views his role at Amgen to the way he describes the allure of Breda city life. It’s clear to me right from the start that Alberto is knowledgeable, passionate and proud of his work as a Finance Manager. And one theme emerges from our conversation: the underlying significance of doing meaningful work. “When I first joined Amgen, one of my colleagues told me to remember that behind every step I take, there is a person that suffers; and that motivates me because I know that everything I do may result in helping somebody,” Alberto tells me. It’s through the same human-centered lens that Alberto talks about living in Breda. “Moving from Milan to the Netherlands, I found a rhythm that I could hold much better. It’s not too fast and not too slow,” says Alberto. Working on a shared goal and living in a shared city seems to be the winning combination for Alberto.

Alberto Pistis Finance Manager, AMGEN

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you to Breda?

I am from Sardinia, in Italy. I’ve been working for Amgen in Breda for the past 5 years in the Finance Department. At Amgen we serve patients, so we have a mission that is both complex and simple. It’s simple because serving patients means taking care of somebody that is suffering, but at the same time people have different needs and every single one is unique, so we have to adapt to this. 

Relocating to Breda was an amazing experience because it was my first time living in the Netherlands. I had lived in Italy and Hungary before, and living here was very different, both in terms of how well organized everything is, but also how close you are to nature.

What do you enjoy about living in Breda?

I like spending time in the city center. It’s not too large and you can quickly walk from one place to another without having to waste your time in traffic. I have lived in other places before, such as Milan, and moving from one place to another took one hour by public transportation and even longer by car.

It’s just as easy to leave the city, disconnect from the crowd and connect with nature, which is typical of Dutch culture and the geographic configuration of cities here. So I also like going for a walk or a bike ride in Mastbos.

Do you have a favorite spot in the city?

I like to feel the city life in the heart of the Markt. Breda is also a very young city. It doesn’t have that reputation, but you can notice this when you go out on a Friday or Saturday night. 

I enjoy walking next to the water, especially when the winter lights are on. You can hear the hum of the crowd, but it is not exaggerated. It’s still livable. 

I also like Minervum, where Amgen’s headquarters are. When I come to work, I like to walk around, especially since they’ve built the new cinema and plaza here. It’s enough to recharge your batteries at lunchtime. 

In your opinion, what’s the best part about living in Breda for internationals?

In Breda, you’re very well-connected to the rest of the world. You’re one step away from many airports that can take you home, wherever that may be. I am from Sardinia, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean and I can always choose between three airports to go back home. 

In general, the atmosphere in Breda is very relaxed. Moving from Milan to Breda, I found a rhythm that I could hold much better. It’s more of a human-kind of rhythm. It’s not too fast and it’s not too slow. It’s not like the South of Italy, but not like the North of Italy either. 

I also think that in North Brabant, people are very kind and concerned about your opinion. And this is what I love about the Netherlands. Wherever you are, you can express your opinion. You will not be prevented from saying what you think.

Author

Mickey Gast

Watch the video interview

You can watch the full video interview here.

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