Andrea found herself a community thousands of miles from home.
By Lissa Miles
Andrea Hoerger, born and raised in Munich, Germany and lover of coffee culture, can often be spotted at Bubby Rose's Bakery and Cafe in Victoria, BC enjoying a coffee and chatting with friends.
Andrea works for private homecare agency Classic LifeCare in Victoria doing Community Relations.
“Victoria is small, so once you break in and find your community, it’s nice to walk down the street or into a coffee shop and see familiar, friendly people,” she says. “I live close to the ocean near Cook Street Village and it’s a lovely place to be.”
Andrea describes her job with Classic as relationship building. She creates brand awareness, but does it in a very soft way, rather than being pushy. She says she wants to be respectful while letting people know how great Classic is.
She visits clinics, hospitals, various societies and conducts health-related workshops at seniors centres like the James Bay New Horizons Seniors Activity Centre.
Andrea went to university in Regensburg, Germany and studied business administration with a double major in marketing and hospitality and operations research.
Immediately after writing her final thesis, she moved to Victoria for a relationship she was in at the time. She had been to the Vancouver Island several times before to visit an aunt there.
Andrea already knew English but was immersed when she enrolled in some marketing courses at UVic. While being surrounded by Canadians took some getting used to, she eventually grew to love the “friendly and encouraging” culture, as compared to her more “serious and direct” German roots. She now describes herself somewhere between the two cultures.
After working in real estate in Victoria for a while, Andrea was looking for a change.
“I love architecture and design, but I also have a very social side and wanted to do something good in the world to make a difference.”
She says she always connected easily with seniors and had some experience working as a first responder. She decided to put it out to the universe to see what would come back to her. When she came across a job posting with Classic LifeCare, she applied.
“What I love about Classic is that people really do care about each other and our employees and clients,” says Andrea. “It starts within the company internally and radiates out from there.”
Part of Andrea’s time working is spent managing the company’s social media. She posts Facebook updates about health and nutrition, community events, uplifting stories, useful tips and anything reflecting the culture of Classic LifeCare.
When she’s not working, Andrea hangs out with her dog, Luna, loves yoga and playing squash, has practiced the Brazilian martial art Capoiera, and loves the Victoria restaurant scene.
“I am a lover of food, coffee and wine so it’s great going out with friends. I love to spend my time in coffee shops. It’s all about community, and not just about drinking coffee. It’s the routine, the people, the atmosphere,” she says, and adds with a laugh, “But you’d better have locally roasted beans, crema on my Americano and no burnt taste.”
She recently took up Djembe, African drumming, with Drum Victoria.
“I love exploring music from other cultures, particularly drums. The group attracts young and old – we have a woman in her eighties who comes out to drum – and everyone has a smile on their face. People pick it up really quickly.”
While she enjoys life in Victoria, Andrea says she misses her family and says it’s difficult being so far from her parents. She also misses being so close to other countries like Italy, since she loves the Italian language and culture.
As for the future, Andrea has already designed in her mind her dream cottage, which she’d love to build atop a hill on one of the gulf islands.
Classic LifeCare is a family-run home care agency with offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. To learn about the services offered, visit: http://classiclifecare.com/services-and-approach
By Lissa Miles