28 september 2023

Expat life: A blessing in disguise for Henrique Andrade

Henrique Andrade was working on his Master's in Computer Science in his home country Brazil when the pandemic broke out. This made it even more difficult for Henrique to see his partner since his partner was working on his master's degree in Switzerland. Fortunately, there was a blessing in disguise. “I still had one year left of school and I talked to my professor about finishing my masters remotely. He said that I could, but was a bit confused because everybody was already studying remotely because of COVID. I then explained that I wanted to move to Switzerland and he was supportive of that idea. So I went to Switzerland and finished my masters over there.”

After completing his Masters in Computer Science, the decision to move to the Netherlands was made fairly quickly. “When I finished my master I had a conversation with my partner about where we could apply for jobs and the Netherlands was the first option because it has a great environment for both of us. And then I just started looking for jobs and opportunities on LinkedIn and then I came across ENTER.” One of our recruiters, Dieka, got in touch with Henrique and started a conversation. The choice for ENTER was quickly made. "The clients that ENTER works with was a big reason for me to choose ENTER. And I also found ENTER's attitude very interesting. I’m Brazilian so I come from a different perspective work wise. And I thought that ENTER could be a good transition to a new environment and it is literally what is happening."

Henrique is currently working on a project at a major semiconductor supplier. There he is engaged in software development and software maintenance. “So basically what we do, is we take care of the software facilities, meaning that we prepare all of the pieces of software for the entire machine and we make sure that they work well with the hardware.” At his project, Henrique works in a team and that team includes several more ENTER colleagues. Henrique explains, "I work with Ilse, Berry and André, we are all in a team. The most fun part is that I also see my ENTER colleagues during the VRIJMIBOs (Friday afternoon drinks)."

Henrique Andrade

Expectations & transitions

Like everyone else, Henrique also faces challenges in his work. “I would say that the biggest challenge is actually the mentality of work. Like how do I adapt my expectation to what is expected here, what does the client expect from us. I think that I come from an environment that is much more competitive and I still have that in mind. Not that I try to compete but that I think about every little word very seriously.” Work competencies are also challenging for Henrique. Every day is different and has its own challenges.

“I feel like that when I arrive at the office and that there is going to be a new problem every day, and that is great because it makes my work very dynamic. There is always something happening and personally I don’t like to sit around and wait for something to do. There is always something to do, which excites me. I have to make software work with hardware which also means that I don’t have to be sitting at my desk the entire day. I have to go to the lab, or to the cleanroom or to help other teams so that is really nice. It’s something I really like.”

With his social skills, Henrique can easily work with other colleagues, so he really enjoys working with different teams. In addition, he is also not averse to socializing and can therefore often be found at the VRIJMIBOs (Friday afternoon drinks) at ENTER. There he also met Erica Schepers, Talent Manager at ENTER, who is currently also his manager. He explains, " I can say that she (Erica) is my friend. Perjan actually used to be my Business Manager and all of a sudden, for me, she became my manager. We get along well and whenever I'm struggling with something, Erica is always willing to help. Everyone at ENTER for that matter."

Dutch culture
Henrique lived in Switzerland before moving to the Netherlands. That made the move to the Netherlands a lot easier he explains. But there are always differences. “I think for me the biggest difference in the Netherlands compared to anywhere else is that you have to use a bike. And I actually love it. I used to ride a bike back in Brazil. The city where I grew up in in Brazil didn’t have the infrastructure for riding a bike compared to Eindhoven. I was riding a bike in the middle of the road between the cars. And here there is a lot more of infrastructure for bikes, so I use my bike to go everywhere. I go to work on my bike, to parties or to the grocery store. What I like here is that it is very easy to just take your bike and go to the train station and then just go somewhere. It is really convenient in my opinion.”

Another big difference for Henrique are the festivals here in the Netherlands. “Festivals are a new thing to me. I bought a ticket to Beyonce and I thought that was considered a festival, but it was just a concert. Then I checked out different festivals, but many were already sold out. So now I know that next year I need to prepare a bit better.”

Henrique enjoys being part of society and wants to participate in stuff. “I’m often at the VRIJMIBO’s at ENTER, I take the courses that are offered to me and from time to time I like to visit the ENTER office as well.” Henrique also enjoys being part of the community at his client. “I’m also at my project for 8 hours per day and I really like to come to the office because I work better there and I’m more focused, and there are all these knowledgeable people that I can ask questions and learn from. But then I started to participate in things at the client as well. Since I’m a queer person, I decided to enroll myself in the employees’ LQBTQ+ initiative and they asked me if I wanted to help organize the Eindhoven pride walk, which I did.”

Henrique proudly explains what he has helped organize recently. “So I helped organize the Eindhoven pride walk and I ended up meeting all these amazing people. I ended up making a lot of new friends and I even, and I’m proud to say this, I was the person who organized the raising of the flag in the campus of my customer. Most of my friends are people that I met at work. We hang out together, travel together, do sport together. Maybe because of my nature, I didn’t have the anxieties of being in a new place, or feeling that I want to go home, or that I didn’t like it here. I’m really enjoying it and I’m hoping that people also like my work.” So it's safe to say that Henrique has found his place here and is enjoying himself.