Growing brasilia, i found myself arriving in chicago

Growingup in Brazil was quite different from the life I came to know in the USA. All Iknew was the sunny, uplifting, and sometimes careless spirit of the peoplearound me. Growing up in the capital of Brazil and the youngest of four boysfelt like destine was traced for me, I was going to work for the federalgovernment just like my father and later my siblings. However, during my lastsemester in school I noticed there was more to do and places to visit aroundthe world, than the pleasant thought of working at a stable job in thegovernment. Then, I decided that I should explore other things before settlingdown. That is when I made the decision to sell my business, which withfinancial help from my father I owned and managed during my undergrad studies, and decided to study English in the United States. Furthermore, the immigrantexperience strengthened my character and gave me adaptation skills.

As aprofessional working for a global company, my experience has helped me workingwith people of different cultures and backgrounds. Pamperedmaterially and nurtured emotionally in Brasilia, I found myself arriving inChicago in 1998 with only the very basic knowledge in English. I enrolled in anEnglish as a second language program and started my long journey. During theprocess, I experienced racial bigotry for the first time in my life. Recentlygraduated from college in Brazil and under the illusion that I knew so muchabout life and the world we live in, I quickly came to realize that I knewnothing. I could barely communicate verbally and much less read or write inEnglish, I felt illiterate, helpless and lonely. In face of those obstacles, Istarted to question my decision to immigrate to the U. S.

With all thosedifficulties, I decided that I was going to do my best, so I filled my smallroom with regular and irregular verbs on the walls and as I learned them, Iwould scratch them off one by one. As my vocabulary and my capacity tocommunicate improved, I started understanding the new culture and making lifetimefriends that mitigate the fact that I was so far from those who I loved. Istarted traveling through the continental USA and ended up meeting the woman ofmy life in Atlanta with whom I constituted a family with two beautiful kids. Welater moved to Huntsville, Alabama due to a job opportunity and worked my waythrough the corporate ladder to a management position. Nowafter fourteen years of working at the same company in different departments, Iwould like to expand my management skills to prepare myself for a more seniorposition and help my coworkers continue to successfully drive our businessaround the world. The experience I have acquired throughout the years inaddition to the leadership and knowledge gained by leading a team of PhDs basedon different countries coupled with the interesting poultry breeding businessthat my company focuses on, will bring interesting experiences and examples tomy classmates.