“I love Luxembourg City and living here [is the] best choice when you have kids, as city and nature are so close,” says Mevlüde-Aysun Tokbag. Originally from Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia, she studied law in Cologne and worked in Düsseldorf and nearby Mönchengladbach before moving to Luxembourg in 2005.
When she arrived, Tokbag joined the Wildgen law office and she’s still there, having been promoted to partner in 2013. Today, she co-heads both the banking & finance and investment fund practises and heads the firm’s German desk. She also started Wildgen 4 Women, which supports women as they rise through the ranks and into leadership positions in the banking, financial and legal sectors.
Her advice for expats? “Make sure to visit and discover some of Luxembourg’s most beautiful sights, enjoy the awesome restaurants and bars--a bit tricky in these difficult times, but never give up, times will get better… For the time being, get in touch with other expats, colleagues and/or locals via social media platforms and online communities.”
Not everyone is a born networker, but Tokbag says you should simply take the plunge: “Don’t be afraid and just see what suits you best. You should try to build up a professional network.” Sectoral groups such as ABBL and LPEA “provide an international platform, whereas for the Germans, for example, you may [want to] connect with IBF and DLWI.” She speaks English, German and Turkish.
Photo: Matic Zorman
Originally from Templemore, County Tipperary, Thérèse Collins (pictured above) came to Luxembourg on a 6-month work placement in 1994. She went back to Ireland to finish her finance degree, then returned to Luxembourg in 1995.
“It was your typical, ‘I’ll stay for two years,’ and here I am in 2021.” She is currently a director at Carne Group, an Irish-owned fund firm. When she arrived, Collins very quickly joined the Irish Club, which she says was a good way to build a support network.
She recommends that expats join a club or association, although not necessarily one tied to their home nationality, because there is so much diversity in the grand duchy. Collins is president of the Rose of Tralee Luxembourg, part of an international festival which celebrates Irish culture, and hopes the planned 2022 edition will be able to take place.
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