Beatrice Caponnetti: From Trieste to New York City Following Her American Dream

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Beatrice Caponnetti
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Interview MK

photography: Beatrice Caponnetti

Every Saturday we’re spotlighting remarkable local females who could change the way we look at the world. This Saturday is Beatrice Caponnetti’s turn, a Triestina who left her hometown for the Big Apple where she made her dreams come true.

Beatrice Caponnetti

Were you born in Trieste?

I was born and raised in Trieste and I moved to NYC two years ago to pursue my international real estate carrier that started in Italy in 2017.

Audacious!

In a way, I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. I started learning English in preschool – first at the International School of Trieste and then at the Petrarca Linguistic High School. Soon after that I started working for BNP Paribas, a French bank that purchased a big real estate fund in Trieste and that subsequently built a team called Fondo Alloro – Trilumi to resell all the units. A couple of years later, I moved to Engel & Voelkers, German Luxury Real Estate Brokerage, and met the person who changed my professional life. 

Beatrice Caponnetti

How did you end up in NYC?

I was inspired to move after working for Engel & Voelkers, an international luxury brokerage. The office manager pushed me to seek greatness in life and the search brought me to one of the most amazing cities in the world. I believe that we all need that one person to push us to the next level, and that’s what she is for me. She believed I could do more, and to this day (and probably forever) I will be grateful to her. 

How’s life different in US for a young Italian as opposed to your native Trieste? 

Oh, it’s completely different! The first six months in US were really hard. We always complain about our Italian ways, but I really did miss all the passion, affection and work-life balance that we have in Trieste. New York City truly never sleeps, and you quickly realize how you are just a number and how replaceable you really are. That said, I was lucky enough to have my partner with me, which helped a lot. Fast forward two years, sleepless nights of endless work, a lot of positive thinking and dedication, and we bought a townhouse in Brooklyn, have an amazing social life, and managed to recreate what home means for me. On top of that I was able to rebuild an amazing career in Real Estate in one of the hardest cities in the world, which I am proud of every single day.

Beatrice Caponnetti

Great job! You made your American dream come true.

Yes, but there are so many differences, the work culture, for example. Everyone is available around the clock, no matter the job, no matter the level in the corporate rank and, as I mentioned earlier, everyone is replaceable, which creates an additional level of stress. The Italian ‘indeterminate work contracts’ do not exist here so you could change, loose, or find a job in one day. On top of that, the actual work title and school degree are very important, and not only for the most exclusive society groups but almost everyone will ask those questions right after asking your name.

Is there something you really appreciate about living in NYC?

One of the really amazing differences is the variety of people. People from around the world move to NYC. And when I say all around the world, I mean it. Which makes the city a melting pot of different cultures, languages and food! There are so many restaurants in all of the five NYC boroughs. Great Italian food, breathtaking steakhouses, Asian restaurants with Michelin star chefs, Indian, Mexican, African (e chi piu’ ne ha piu’ ne metta, as we say in Italy). Diversity also means great tolerance for differences. In Trieste, if you decide to overdress or underdress, you will get stared at, commented on, looked at… In NYC I’ve seen people walking around dressed as Batman in the middle of the day (and it wasn’t on Halloween) and no one blinked!

Beatrice Caponnetti

What would you want to tell your fellow young Triestini?

The message that I would like to transpire is that NYC is truly full of opportunities and an amazing mix of cultures. It might look like in the movies but living here is very different and hard. It comes with many sacrifices and a huge workload. It’s not for everyone. But as they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Is there something you can do now that you couldn’t back in Trieste?

New York City offers so many opportunities that Trieste unfortunately doesn’t have for young adults with big dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that Trieste is an amazing place to live and build a family. But when it comes down to salaries, job opportunities and even recreational spaces, Trieste lacks.

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Maria Kochetkova
Editor-in-Chief of InTrieste, Maria writes about culture, politics and all things Trieste in-between capo-in-b and gelato breaks. Email her at editorial@intrieste.com

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