Hellmann Globetrotter: Svenja Wolf

Svenja started her exciting journey with Hellmann four years ago in Bremen, Germany. In June 2021 she got the opportunity to go to Hamburg where she took the position as Tradelane Analyst Asia Westbound. In November 2021, she moved from Hamburg to Houston in Texas, U.S.A., where she now works as Regional Sea Freight Pricing & Tender Manager for Hellmann North America.

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Hellmann Globetrotter Svenja Wolf

In her new position, Svenja works closely with the pricing teams in Houston and at the Service Center in Costa Rica. She is experiencing cultural diversity as well as Costa Rican influences on a daily basis. Find out why Svenja misses her bike and what kind of bread she is desperately looking for in American grocery stores.

Hi Svenja, what motivated you to move to Houston, Texas?​​​​​​​

In the past four years, I gained a lot of experience working with people from all around the world at Hellmann. Getting to know new cultures, lifestyles and people always fascinated me. So basically, connecting with my colleagues from all these different countries strengthened my desire to move abroad. The main reason why I moved abroad was to develop my professional aptitude and expand my knowledge. But I also wanted to improve my English skills.

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Has it been easy for you to adapt to your new work environment?

The pricing team here in Houston and also the team in Costa Rica warmly welcomed me, I felt fully integrated and understood from the very first minute. In the beginning it was quite challenging to not only learn about the American working culture, but also about the Costa Rican. Especially, my boss Nicole Herrmann helped me and is always very supportive. She is an experienced person who teaches me a lot about the U.S. market, and I benefit from her extensive experience.

In general,the people here are very open and friendly. Because of Covid and a recent tornado which hit the office, we worked from home in the past months. But we will soon have an office again and I am looking forward to spend more time with my colleagues in Houston.

What do you miss most from home?

Of course, I miss my family and friends the most. Although there are many ways to stay in touch such as WhatsApp or phone calls – to see each other in person is always the best. Besides that, Houston is huge, it is not possible to walk or ride a bike, instead, you take your car. So, I really miss riding my bike. And there is for sure some food I miss, good dark bread with grains and for someone like me from North Germany – “Franzbrötchen”.

Svenja misses riding her bike and "Franzbrötchen"

What do you love most about living in Houston, Texas?​​​​​​​

What I love the most is the diversity of different cultures and the multi-cultural exchange. I also like the people in Texas – they are super friendly, open-minded and helpful. The great variety of food is another thing I love. You have food from all over the world, especially Mexico. So it makes everyday lunch very interesting. Besides, most of the time the weather is perfect: Clear sky and sun! However, the hurricane season and the humidity can be very challenging during summer.

Perfect weather in Houston  

How does a perfect day-off look like for you in Houston, Texas?

I would start the day early with a morning run along Buffalo Bayou, where I maybe see a turtle or an alligator. Afterwards, I have some brunch with friends. In the afternoon I would explore something new in Houston or near Houston, maybe going to the NASA Space Center or watching a football game. In the summertime, I would probably spend a lot of time with friends at the pool and have a good drink in the evening with a view of Houston.

Left: The NASA Space Center
Right: At the Rodeo

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!
Is there anything else you would like to add before we say goodbye?​​​​​​​

Life is what you make of it! And if living abroad is your dream or you have the opportunity to work for Hellmann in a different country, take the chance! Living abroad is coming along with challenges in many ways, but that makes it so interesting. I want to thank everyone who supported me to come to the United States!

Thanks a lot for sharing your story with us, Svenja!

Katja Siefke

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