I went to university in Sao Paulo, Brasil to study communications. I chose to specialize in Journalism at Mackenzie University, one of the top ten universities in the country. I worked as a trainee in the Sao Paulo metro during university and decided to travel to Canada to study English thereafter. Following my studies, I travelled around France and Tunisia before returning to Brasil.
When I repatriated, I could not find a job as a journalist, so I took a job as a waitress and stayed there for four months before finding a position in a small PR firm. Working in the small firm, my job was to convince journalists that the small accounts we held would be good in their articles, but because of the scale of the accounts, it was very difficult to persuade journalists to write about them. In such a position, my growth as a professional was very dependent on the socialization skills and empathy that I learned through my practice; those skills really helped me in persuading journalists to understand the relevance of certain events and accounts in terms of society. Day by day, I was exposed to rough tactics to convince journalists of a firms’ value, but I remained determined to be different and to approach journalists from a place of respect, empathy and creativity. Through that job, I was able to meet a lot of new contacts in trade fairs and later joined a big company promoting large accounts, which was far easier because of the skills I had gained working with smaller accounts.
After working in Public Relations in the private sector, I went to work in the Tourist Department in Sao Paulo, which turned out to be an amazing experience. My first big responsibility there was to promote Carnival in Sao Paulo. I worked for 72 hours straight, but I had the chance to meet journalists from all over the world and got to see Carnival from a whole different perspective, especially in terms of the economic impact on society. After that project, I had a chance to work for the Indie 500 as a receptionist for the journalists, to organize where they went, the pressroom and press kits and to provide them with information on the event.
Throughout my career, I have learned to speak with different audiences, regardless of their backgrounds and have honed my ability to connect with people. I also gained a unique approach and an attention to detail that help me to analyze what has potential to become the news. With my career backing me, I feel very connected to work in the creative economy because I have learned to view it is a way to make a difference in the world.
I arrived in Eindhoven in July 2016. Although I had already been living abroad for a long time, my transition into life as the partner of a knowledge worker was a little different. My transitions into Dubai and Eindhoven did not look much alike. When I moved to Dubai, I focused on my professional transition, and when I did not find a job, I had to rediscover myself. For Eindhoven, however, I came prepared to find my social path before attempting a career transition. A difference that I have noticed here is that since I chose to focus first on integrating and secondly on a career transition, I have made a more supportive network, while my life in Dubai was more dependent on the work circle of my partner. Even though I have a baby now, my social life is much more robust than what I had in Dubai.
I think finding a program like Women for Women was a relief for me because it showed me that there are a lot of people going through the same process. This initiative is great, and even if I do not directly find a job through it, I don’t feel alone anymore and see that there are a lot of people trying hard to find themselves and going through the exact same thing as me. In Dubai, this is a type of support that I was unable to find.
Since I work in communications, I think that not speaking the local language is my gap. I need to learn Dutch as soon as possible to find a position here, and I know the more I practice, the more I will improve.
Advancing in my job search, I feel secure because I found support in the community. Because of the people I have met, I know it’s possible to find a job. The mere existence of Expat Spouses Initiative denotes that society is curious and wants to offer opportunities to internationals. I am much more confident, and it is a combination of my own skills gained and realizations the program has brought me.
I believe that the combination of my knowledge and experience in different aspects of strategic communication, launching projects in the cultural area in a city like São Paulo, can be used in a growing, vibrant and multicultural market such as Eindhoven. In addition, I hope to improve my skills in the digital communication field and, thus, to integrate myself in an active way into Dutch society.