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A Coffee with Cristina París García

A coffee with Cristina París García is not just coffee – it’s a tour of Europe. A native to southern Spain, life and work led her to Ireland, France and Germany before bringing her to Luxembourg. Cristina is Senior Business Manager at artevie, a Luxembourg and Berlin-based specialized HR consulting firm focused on building digital capabilities within client organizations. With a passion for art, culture and food, Cristina founded and manages MUS – Magazine Urban Seville –, a unique way to stay connected to her hometown as well as share all-time favorites and new discoveries.
(Featured Image: Cristina París García, artevie / Image Credit: Silicon Luxembourg)
What brought you to Luxembourg?

There are two reasons people come to Luxembourg: work or love. I came here in 2013 to work for a multilateral development bank before leaving for Berlin one year later. I soon moved back to Luxembourg…this time, for love!

How did you come to join artevie?

I was introduced to Christian (Lepsien, CEO and founder of artevie), and in just one coffee I immediately felt inspired by his enthusiasm, optimism and vision for the disruption of digital transformation. The startup world has always intrigued me and I was ready to explore something completely different.

You wouldn’t automatically associate “artevie” with HR. Can you tell us more about the name?

People always ask this question and we love that it’s such a talking point! With the name artevie (“art and life” in French), Christian wanted to connect human performance and creativity. Disrupting digital transformation can lead to a different model, but it’s important to keep an open and hopeful mind about change, especially in this unpredictable digital age.

Does artevie focus solely on recruitment solutions?

No, and that is what gives artevie its unique spin. We specialize in IT and can provide our clients with access to a sizable database for knowledge research and consultancy. Through this, they are connected with an expert best suited to answer their questions related to digitalization. Pay-as-you-go bespoke advisory might be a good way to describe it! On the recruitment side, in addition to permanent positions, we find temps, freelancers and interim managers for our clients (in record time!) on a flexible basis. Oddly enough, part of my role involves marketing Luxembourg as a great city to live and work in, and reassuring creative candidates that it’s not just-another-finance-hub. I also encourage clients to incorporate a more holistic approach to recruitment and navigate them away from more traditional methods.

What is the secret to recruitment success for startups and what do you consider to be the main challenges?

I believe 80% of recruitment success in startups lies in the founders’ commitment to being involved in the process from start to finish. I would say there are three main challenges: lack of visibility in the early phases with a dependence on word-of-mouth and social media; it can be tough to stay on top of admin, follow-up and feedback despite being an essential part of brand development; and lastly, ensuring that startups are matching the expectations indicated on job descriptions. After all, the best marketing investment will be the people who join your team.

MUS is a beautiful homage to your hometown. Is there a thriving startup scene in Seville?

Up until a decade ago, part of Seville’s charm lay in the fact that it had remained immutable to trends for so long. The city lacked innovation and was somewhat isolated in this respect. Now, however, there has been a surge in emerging “scenes” and initiatives in areas from handcrafts to food to technology, and spaces dedicated to innovation such as RES (www.espaciores.org). There is certainly no lack of talent in Seville; just limited infrastructure, less of an international mindset and little access to capital. Hmmm, everything Luxembourg has…Perhaps I need to start contemplating a bridge between the two ecosystems…

Art is one of your passions. Who are the Luxembourgish artists everyone should know about?

Michel Majerus is definitely one of them. He was fascinated by technology and the internet, especially by the instant dissemination of images and information on a global scale. He died tragically in a plane crash at just 35 years old, but his eclectic and innovative style continues to be relevant. Sophie Jung is another artist already turning heads and certainly one-to-watch.

Best coffee in Luxembourg?

Bloom for espresso. Ca(fé)sino for cappuccino.

Three words to describe your journey so far.

One-way ticket!

This article was first published in the Spring 2017 issue of SILICON magazine. Be the first to read SILICON articles on paper before they’re posted online, plus read exclusive features and interviews that only appear in the print edition, by subscribing online.

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