I have discovered a piece of Brazilian culture that I love: inventing a way. On our tour our tour of BASF, a chemical company that produces many types of paint as well as other solutions, there was a very specific shoe requirement which none of us could fill with what we brought. We arrived and discovered that host families, the international office employees, our tour guide and BASF office personnel had gathered enough shoes in enough different sizes for everyone to have shoes that met their requirement. That day we all looked funky with our hard hats, shoes that perhaps did not quite fit, radios, and one-size-fits-all work jackets, but for every bump in the road we learned that Brazilians will find a solution no matter how many foreigners arrive at their doorstep.
Finding a solution when facing difficulty has a wonderful way of creating hope. Leading up to this trip, I found myself lacking hope about my major and began to wonder if Engineering was the right choice for me. On Wednesday, a few of us went to an engineering company called Omnisys, that makes radars, navigation and entertainment systems, and military related components.
As our guide was chatting about his company, I could feel the growing excitement in the six of us in the room. From business to computer majors, we were all able to relate to at least one of his topics. Personally, I felt a rising curiosity about this company’s work environment. This was a feeling I had not felt in a long time relating to my future career. On the tour, our guide showed us aesthetically pleasing communal work-spaces, a great variance in gender and cultural backgrounds in the young workforce, and many different components being built before our very eyes. I realized that the real reason for my hopelessness was not because of my classes but rather because I couldn’t picture that an Engineering workplace could look like what I saw today.
From these two revelations of finding a way and inventing hope, I am committed to searching for an engineering job that will fulfill the hope I have to work in a place that appeals to me the way Omnisys did. If I find myself giving up hope again, I’ll think of Brazil and look for ways to create paths to move forward no matter what obstacle lies ahead.