An internship in 2001, a position in commercial operations, two years in Marketing, two years in a project involving the ERP SAP, and another several years working in sales for military customers—Amanda built up a long CV before she ever considered interviewing for a position outside of her native Brazil.
“I was prepared to come, it was my wish. My long term objective was to be abroad,” she says, describing her move to France in 2017. “My first contact with Europe was in 2009, when I spent ten days in Germany for a transnational project. I started to work with France in 2011 as part of my position in sales for military customers in Brazil. More and more I was sure that I would like to move and to have this experience.
When Airbus offered her a position in the Regionalisation project (and shortly after, the “Offers to Win” project), Amanda didn’t hesitate. “I didn’t have any problem to be integrated. I started working in a project in which I already had experience. That is one point that I would recommend to people who move: to start with something familiar, because learning how to work in another language takes some time. It’s good to know your job already.”
It was a fast learning curve in international work culture. “Our boss is Polish, one team member is Mexican and other French colleagues with international background. We have often meetings with Germany and all other regions as our team is in charge of CSMs (Customer Support Manager) Community.” She works a lot in English, while much of the team dynamic happens in French.
To prepare, not only did she take advantage of the Mobility package’s 120 hours of language lessons when she first arrived, but she also had a clear idea of where she wanted to live before moving, which made her search for an apartment easier. “We had one trip back and forth, to visit and start organising the visa papers. Human Resources was in charge of the visa and formalities. I had one person to help me do apartment visits.”
Amanda came to France on her own, and returns to visit her family and friends once a year, during the Brazilian summer. Her impressions of France are still touched by comparison to Brazil and by the wonder of discovery. “Europe is a paradise place because you’re close to several other countries. My country is very big, so to be in contact with other cultures, you have to travel far,” she says. “Southern France is the perfect place—the only challenge was the first in winter. In Brazil, it’s true that we don’t have long days like now, that stay light until 9 pm. But we also don’t have short days that get dark at 5 pm.” Many differences are more pleasant: her discounts through the company worker’s council (Comité d’entreprise), which can be affordable for large sites with more than 10.000 as Marignane.
Diverse culture workforce is a strength that Airbus tends to foster and it works on both senses as the Group offers opportunities in several geographic areas and Business Units allowing mobility combined with career path build-up. It means it is perfectly possible to achieve a professional and personal balance.