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Betsy chez Captain Train

Because I enjoy helping people, love travel and was developing a strong interest in tech start-ups in Paris, I sought a position in client services and was hired at Captain Train (now Trainline) in 2016, which turned out to be the perfect career choice!

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I was born in the United States, so that’s where I completed my studies and worked various part-time jobs throughout college. I studied theatre performance at the University of Toledo in Ohio – to then realise, after coming to France, it was no longer my passion!

I had always wanted to live in Europe, so I first came to France on an au pair visa. I knew very little about France and French culture prior to moving here and it wasn’t until after I’d moved to Paris that I became interested in tech startups and startup culture. Because I enjoy helping people, love travel and was developing a strong interest in tech start-ups in Paris, I sought a position in client services and was hired at Captain Train (now Trainline) in 2016, which turned out to be the perfect career choice!

Being at Trainline in a tech start-up is an entirely new experience for me. Being American, I do see some cultural work differences which took me off guard at first but it wasn’t hard to get used to the holidays and lunch breaks! There’s also a big difference in workers’ rights. As an American, prioritising work over play is ingrained in me: we have a reputation for being workaholics and I definitely come with American work ethic, but at Trainline I feel right at home in this regard, as my colleagues are very passionate about their work.

In my job, I’m constantly learning (to develop and maintain a vast understanding of the ins and outs of the European rail operators) and that’s a state I’m happy to be in!  I was also pleasantly surprised by the level of autonomy that we all have. The connectedness of the team is still strong, but we have freedom to get work done in our way or to work alone if necessary—as long as we remain productive and complete tasks in a timely manner, of course. In the start-up sphere, there’s a willingness to take interdisciplinary abilities into account and give someone the chance to excel in a new field or apply their diverse skill set. The boundaries are not totally rigid.

I also appreciate that you’ll run into people with varied backgrounds—there’s diversity and opportunity here!

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