In an industry where technology flows through our veins, our people are the beating heart of it. But who are they and what makes their hearts beat faster? In a series of stories we introduce them to you. This episode: Marcel Oliveira, Software Engineer from Brazil.
He didn't know much about the Netherlands, except that an aunt lived there. Now he loves cheese sandwiches and thinks the Dutch language is more beautiful than Portuguese. He has only been here for three years, but has become well-established, including speaking the language. "Holland is a beautiful country and if I could stay forever, I would be happy!" Speaking is Marcel Oliveira, brother of Caio. And just like his twin, he too has found his place to be. Caio also works at ENTER, but for another client.
"Rather a cheese sandwich than a Brazilian lunch"
Marcel: "In Brazil Caio and I worked in the same company. I mainly worked for Motorola on calibration software. That fitted in well with my Bachelor Computer Engineering, but not so well with my Master Biomedical Engineering. Biomedical has a lot more to do with signal processing, which attracted me more. But when I was able to go to the US to learn more about cameras, I chose to continue on the path of Computer Engineering. I also really wanted to see if I could ground in America. I don't fit in Brazil, neither does Caio, but the United States turned out not to be where we wanted to stay either. From Brazil, Caio had already responded to a vacancy at ENTER. He went there for an interview when we were on holiday together at our aunt's house. I went with him and that way I also got into a conversation and even got a job. Actually pure coincidence.”
‘We didn’t know Brainport’
Now in the Netherlands they are both very happy. Marcel: "We love the way things are going here in the Netherlands. Everything is well organized. I like to go for a run in my spare time, you can do that outside and then you have all the space you need. That's wonderful." And what about that typical Dutch cheese sandwich? "Haha! Yeah, really, I like that for lunch. In Brazil, everyone eats too much. And a cheese sandwich is easy." Adding to that like a Dutchman: "And cheap!"
However, both brothers did not know this when they left for the Netherlands. Marcel: "We both had the dream of working and living abroad. We didn't know much about the Netherlands. We had never heard of Brainport. But because our aunt lives here, we went on holiday here anyway. The rest is history.” For their mother it was a bit hard though, that they both left at the same time. "But luckily she has another son! He lives and works in Brazil."
Marcel continues: "When we moved here, we got our own manager appointed to us at ENTER. He helped us with an apartment, arranging visas and other things. Everything we had questions about was picked up. And still. Koen, who is my manager now, cares a lot about my well being and my career. He thinks along with me about what I want and what would be the right next steps. ENTER has the right network for that and Koen knows me well, he talks to me personally a lot, that makes all the difference to me. Too bad he hasn't found a nice girlfriend for me yet haha!"
"My brother and I had the dream of working and living abroad. We didn't know much about the Netherlands. We had never heard of Brainport."
Marcel and also his brother Caio are social men who like to spend time with others. ‘Gezelligheid' (conviviality) is a Dutch word they know only too well. "We also like to join the social events of ENTER. We like to catch up on a drink with other colleagues, from the office or from other clients. Usually we do quite a lot of fun things like that, it's really a pity that we can't do that right now". Luckily for Marcel, brother Caio now lives in the area again after a period at Philips in Drachten. "We don't live together anymore and that turned out to be a good thing. But sitting in the train for three hours to visit him is the other extreme of course. Now we can be together in ten minutes. Also thanks to Koen, who found a new assignment for Caio at Philips in Best".
And so Marcel works for Imec, an innovative hub. "I'm a Software Engineer there and together with researchers I make apps that allow hospitals to collect data. That app makes a nice package of data that is collected in the hospital and also ensures that it ends up in the right place. Imec makes a lot of medical devices and they have a protocol and a typical way of communicating; my apps can talk to those devices".
The nice thing about the hub's biomedical background is the way his colleagues think, Marcel says. "And as a result of that, the freedom we get." Marcel experienced this when, driven by curiosity, he showed interest in a certain project: a headset that can measure brain activity. "I'm testing that device now. That wasn't really my job, but because I was very curious about it, I was allowed to participate. If you can understand how such a device works... that's just wonderful! And the fact that I get the chance to discover it is even more beautiful."