From Cape Town to Tallinn: Meet Rita, Our Next Bondora Superstar

Bondora’s talented and diverse team includes Superstars from over 21 countries 🌍 But only one made the trip all the way from South Africa to join us! Introducing Rita van Eck – Lead Copywriter and feature of this month’s Bondora Superstar blog post. She didn’t have to walk 500 miles to get here, but it was still quite the journey. Keep reading to learn more about Rita and her move to Estonia!

Rita admiring Tallinn's snow-covered rooftops.
Rita admiring Tallinn’s snow-covered rooftops.

Bondora Superstars #18 — Gerrita “Rita” van Eck

👩 Bondorian since: 2020

✍🏻 Role: Lead Copywriter

📣 Team: Brand Marketing

So how did you get here…literally

Even though I joined Bondora in March 2020, I only came to the office for the first time in April 2021 – nearly 1 year later! The reason for this delay? I was stuck in South Africa. It turns out moving abroad during a pandemic is kinda tricky. Who would have thought 😜 After waiting for months, it finally looked as if I could make the journey to Estonia in December 2020, but then the Beta variant was discovered in SA, and I wasn’t allowed to fly anymore.

After two more months of travel restrictions, I decided enough was enough. I jumped through some crazy travel hoops and finally arrived in Tallinn on 3 April 2021. I was so thankful for all the support I received from my fellow Bondorians during that crazy time and that they didn’t give up on me! It was undoubtedly worth all the trouble to get here.

What’s your day-to-day like now that you’re here with the rest of the team?

Like most Bondorians, I say ‘tšau’ to everyone in the office as I make my way to the holy coffee machine. Once I’m caffeinated, I start my day. Usually, a few copy jobs are waiting for me, and I will prioritize tasks. I also attend the brand team’s daily stand-up. On a typical day, I will write or proofread a blog post, review email copy from Özgün, collab with Kristianne on Instagram captions, and send copy to Pille for translation. Once I complete one task, two more pop up in its place. No two days are the same!

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Crafting copy from scratch, working with other teams to make it perfect, and seeing it go out to thousands of people is super rewarding.

What’s your favorite Bondora value?

One team. Even though every individual takes ownership, in the end, we all work together to get things done.

What is your random, odd, or unique but useful talent?

I can drink a ton of beer. And yes, when you do it as well as I do, it’s definitely a talent 🤣🍻

If you could study anything again, what would you choose?

Probably something related to consumer behavior or marketing psychology.

Rita’s must-read book:

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Yuval Harari. It completely changed how I thought about life and our world.

Rita attending a festival in South Africa.
Rita attending a festival in South Africa.

Now let’s take a load off

Should pineapple be allowed on pizza?

If it’s on a Hawaiian or tropical pizza, sure. But if it’s added to a classic Italian pizza, I will be unhappy 😂

What’s your favorite TV show?

I’d have to say Game of Thrones. Even though it ended incredibly shitty, I was completely enthralled with it for years (I still am, actually).

What’s the phone app that you use the most?

WhatsApp – I love talking with friends and family. Staying connected is super important to me.

How many times do you hit the snooze button, or do you wake up immediately in the morning?

I snooze too many times! Even though I consider myself a morning person, the ‘getting out of bed part’ sucks.

If you could, what advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want.

What’s something you want to do but scares you?

Ice swimming in Estonia 🏊🏻‍♀️

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love listening to all kinds of music, cooking, and spending time in nature. I’m also on a mission to find the best cafés in the world.

Tell us your life motto.

In Afrikaans, we have a saying: ‘Wie nie waag nie, wen nie’. It roughly translates to ‘Those who don’t dare, don’t succeed.’ It’s a philosophy I always try to keep in mind: whether I’m trying something minor, like verivorstid (Estonian blood sausages), or deciding to move 12,000 km across the world.

And finally, moving from South Africa to Estonia is quite the transition. How have you adjusted to living in Tallinn?

Tallinn is a beautiful and cozy city, making the solo relocation less daunting. The most significant adjustments had to be the weather (Cape Town rarely goes below 5 degrees Celsius), living in an apartment, the super expensive red meat, and all the personal space! To be fair, Estonian weather in 2021 was absolutely stunning, and that in itself was a shock. I was prepared never to see sunlight and somehow ended up having the best summer (and winter) of my life!

And that’s all for today. We’ll see you again in March as we get to know 19th Bondora Superstar ⭐

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the individual and not Bondora’s official view.

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