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Orbis in NYC: 8 Questions with Jack Foster

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Hannah Jane Roue


Jack joined us in September 2018 at our London office as a Senior Consultant. In April 2019, he moved over to New York as our Head of Data Science. We gave him some quick fire questions about his move to the Big Apple and the contrast between London and New York. 


So you specialise in Data Science – is that something you are personally interested in and passionate about?

For the last 4 – 5 years, I’ve been building out a large network in the states and it has been great to come over here and finally meet some of the people I’ve been talking to for years.

A lot of my interests revolve round AR/VR, RPA, Deep Learning and I have had the privilege of meeting recognised influencers in the data science world.

It’s important that I go to networking events to get the inside scoop and latest tech, start-ups, pioneers  etc. In my first week, I was invited to speak at Rutgers University in front of their cognitive science team. I will be holding my next event later this year.

Why did you choose to focus on the US market and what can NYC offer which London does not?

The US Market in the Data Science field is exceptional as the education and talent is phenomenal out here.

The buzz of Silicon Valley, Austin and NYC is very exciting, and people are very open out here and being here in NYC allows me to be fully immersed and find out the next new thing. 

I've realised it's a very app-driven way of life. Everything comes to your doorstop, shopping, food, laundry.

Are there any differences between the two offices, and if so, what are they?

Yes - a total difference, we are smaller in NYC and everyone is very close in their collaboration and complement each other well.  The London office has it's own verticals with specialists offering a diverse set of roles.

The view is pretty incredible, it is amazing to have the whole Manhattan skyline behind you, it's very inspirational.  We also have 3 dogs that keep the motivation up!

I must say, I miss the London office folks, some real kind hearted people there who make it easy to integrate into the team!

What has been the most challenging part of relocating to the US, and how did you overcome that?

Not having a permanent place to live for 3 months. One of the challenges in NYC is accommodation as inventory is very low and I will be paying almost triple than what I paid for living in London. Also, what I didn’t realise is that everything is unfurnished! 

Now I have finally found a place that is furnished after getting in touch with my cousin’s girlfriends – friends – nieces – daughters – roommate ..etc You get the point, people already living in NYC are more than happy to intro you to others as everyone is in the same boat.

How do the people in NYC compare to Londoners, and how does the lifestyle compare between New York and London?

They’re a different breed of American! So fast paced – you can feel the energy

What’s been the best hidden treasure you’ve discovered in NYC so far?

You can’t get away from the food here! Since moving over here, I think I’ve discovered another chin from the amount of food I’ve eaten. But, as a foodie it’s important to try the local American cuisine and what no better way to start than China Town. 

As an obsessed Asian food fan, I love how different it is over here. Panda Express – Honey Walnut Shrimp is the one!  Also, Insomnia Cookies – the best Cookie I’ve ever had! There’s a few in East Village Manhattan and it is like putting a cloud from heaven in your mouth.

But, truth be told, there’s a lot of hidden treasures I’ve experienced since being here from Speakeasy’s to secret rooftops retro arcade bars and hidden beaches.

What are the local restaurants and bars like?

For the last month, I’ve lived in a hotel, so I’ve been eating out every night and if I can drag myself out of ChinaTown the other restaurants are great. 

I like live music and there’s some good jazz bars round Washington square which are good... Make sure you get there in happy hour, I’m still getting used to their weak beer and tipping so maximise your drinking hours...! 

Name one thing from the UK that you miss the most and one thing from NYC that you wouldn’t want to leave behind?

If the Chinese food was bad here, I would say that. However, I obviously miss my family and close friends who can’t be replaced.

One thing I couldn’t leave behind is - Brown Sauce. In fact, Joe Davies, Kristie Craft and Aran Quinn made sure I didn’t leave the country without a bottle of brown sauce in my hand. I now don’t leave the house without it.


Fancy joining Jack in New York? Contact Jo for a chat about our available roles


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