My Twin Sister is Jealous I live in DSM USA
I moved from Paris to Greater Des Moines (DSM) in October 2015 and it’s the best decision I’ve made.
Growing up in France, my only exposure to U.S. culture was from watching movies and television. It piqued my interested and fueled a desire to learn English, so I could one day cross the pond. I took a flight to New Jersey in 2007 and set foot on U.S. soil for the first time working as a nanny in Princeton, NJ for a year. When I returned to France (with a better understanding of English), I began a career in the cosmetic industry. This led to an opportunity to work in New York City for 18 months from June 2011.
Discovering a Love for the U.S.
I once again returned to France but this time I was hooked. I had to find a way to make it back to the U.S. It took two years but after an acquaintance thought a job Kemin, a global nutrition and ingredients company, would be perfect for me. I applied and met with the recruiter in New York City, as we happened to be there at the same time. A few weeks later, I was offered the job.
I had earned a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry, a master’s degree in Cosmetic Science and Technology and an MBA in Luxury Brand Marketing which perfectly aligned with what Kemin was looking for at the time for their personal care division. In June 2014, I began my marketing role at Kemin from Europe and after I received my work visa, packed my bags and landed in the French sounding “Des Moines” in the Fall of 2015 to work at the Kemin’s global headquarters in DSM.
From Paris to “The Monks”
Even though America has a history of embracing French culture, I was surprised to find myself living in a French sounding city in the Midwest. An added surprise was how the locals pronounced it — it’s not the French way! But that’s okay!
Having lived in Paris and New York, I’ve quickly embraced my new city.
DSM is calm, safe and clean yet offers a city vibe. I love that it has a river running through it. When I landed, I was impressed. I was excited to learn about my new city and discover more to see what the city was hiding.
Compared to Paris, everything here seemed XXL! That generosity extended to the people. I have been very impressed with how friendly Iowans are. It has felt like people have laid the red carpet out for me.
This city soon turned into my home. Armed with my camera, I explored and discovered the Historic East Village, Historic Valley Junction and Ingersoll Avenue. I love how DSM has embraced locally owned shops, bars and restaurants.
It didn’t take long for me to feel like a local.
There’s always something to do in DSM — I have yet to be bored. I’m busier now than I have ever been and I can’t remember the last time I watched TV. Once I was freed of the burden of long commutes and incredibly expensive rents in New York City and Paris, I suddenly had the means and time to pursue my interests. I’ve found both of those places great to visit but I’d much rather live in DSM.
With minimal traffic, surprisingly stunning local art, shops and beers, I’m able to lead the life I want. When I call my twin sister back in Europe, she often remarks how she’d much rather be having coffee with me at Horizon Line, brunch at St. Kilda or a beer at GT race car bar.
DSM’s Vibrant Art Scene
DSM allows me to focus on my passions. The art scene here is incredibly vibrant and my film photography work was soon noticed. I’ve been featured in about 10 shows already. I had never considered myself an “analogue photographer” per se until I got the encouragement I received in DSM. You can check out some of my photos at #somewhereindesmoines and Tatiana Giacinti Film Photography.
Before moving to DSM, I had never done any volunteering. It’s not the French way. I now serve on two art oriented boards including the Polk County Heritage Gallery and Salon 4700 from the Des Moines Art Center.
Living in Paris and New York, I had never succeeded in feeling like I had created a community or felt like a local. I now have a favorite bar (Carl’s Place, in Sherman Hill), favorite coffee shop (Horizon Line) and favorite restaurant (Eatery A).
In DSM, I can be myself. I feel like I’m home.
Job opportunities and career resources are abundant in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Whether you're looking to find an internship, a job or to develop professionally, we have the resources to help you thrive.