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  • A horizon of good things: experiences from around the world

    DATE: 12/21/2022

    Published by: Horiens

    Venezuela, Angola, Peru, Panama, and the Dominican Republic are places that will forever be part of the lives of Horiens members Arlecio Rodrigues, Carlos Eduardo Lichtenberger Junior, Francisco Paladino, Nayara Santana, and Orlando Sanchez.

    It was in these countries that they built part of their stories, places where they experienced great professional steps and that transformed not only their world, but also their world view.

    “Amidst the professional challenges and the small and big daily discoveries of living in a new country, the company culture is a familiar place, it brings north and security,” Nayara Santana points out. “For me, living and working abroad was a great opportunity to breathe our culture deeply, exercising the ‘being an entrepreneur of your own business’ in the practice of serving the customer, actually being with him,” adds Arlecio Rodrigues.

    Through the participants’ accounts in the series ‘A horizon of good things: experiences around the world’, we will learn more about these experiences that have brought great moments into their lives.

    Check out the first testimonial, from Arlecio Rodrigues, Risk and Insurance Manager at Horiens.

    The practice of believing in people and their ability to evolve

    Arlecio Rodrigues, a member of Horiens since 1991, considers the period he lived abroad, more precisely in Venezuela and Angola, as one of his main life experiences.

    During this journey, besides being able to travel around these countries that were his base, Arlecio maintained an intense routine of business trips in the regions where he worked. In all, he spent seven years in Venezuela, which he considers his second home, a country for which he nurtures an immense affection and great stories and memories. In Angola, it was almost two years, also remembered with nostalgia.

    Let’s learn a little more about his history, which is largely intertwined with Horiens’ trajectory around the world.

    An invitation
    “The year was 2009 when I received the invitation to go to Venezuela, I was quite surprised, because I myself had not mapped out this perspective of international performance for myself. My leader, at the time, helped me decisively to look at new perspectives when she said: ‘I only invite those who I know can handle the challenge. I jumped at the chance, even though I didn’t speak a word of Spanish and didn’t even know the country. I understood the pact of trust that we were establishing there, in a reciprocal relationship. There I began to understand, in practice, one of the great pillars of the company’s culture, which is trust in people and in their ability to evolve.”

    New challenges
    “From 2010 to 2017, I worked leading the insurance program for Novonor’s business in Venezuela. There were a thousand challenges, that constant chill in the stomach. The language barrier was the first obstacle I had to overcome as soon as I arrived. Adapting to the country was a big test, because there was a lot of political and social instability and, of course, I had my achievements to conquer in the practice of my profession. In the midst of all this, I identified in a surprising way with the culture of the country and the people. It was an amazing period!”

    Discovering Venezuela
    “In Venezuela, the way people regarded their homeland with love caught my attention a lot and generated reflections of great value for my life. Despite the political instability, the roots and identity of the people is something I only discovered by living there. The highland climate, the wonderful beaches, the culture, the food and the people form a wonderful combination. I made many friends, it was an unforgettable period that marked my life, besides my profession. I have only one thing to say: what great memories I built there.”

     

    Typical dishes that were missed
    “Besides everything I experienced, the friends I made, the weather, and the beauty of Venezuela, I remember with special fondness the wonderful cuisine I discovered in the country. The patacones, fried green banana appetizer discs, the famous arepas, stuffed cornmeal bread, and PabellónCriollo, considered the national dish of Venezuela, made with rice, black beans, fried plantains and shredded meat, are among my best memories.”

     

    Time in Angola
    “I was already completely settled with my life in Venezuela, but in 2018 life turned around again and I had the opportunity to settle for a period in Angola. The memory and learning that is most vivid in me is how everything is a matter of perspective. How many times have I stopped to think: how can what we consider ‘little’ be considered ‘so much’ by others?  Living up close the harsher reality of the Angolan people brings you a new vision of how to face life.

     

    I experienced a world of things by being open to change

    Francisco Paladino, a member of Horiens since 2011, longed for an experience outside Brazil, sought an opportunity and got it. In 2012, he and his wife, Renata, packed their bags and headed to Panama, where they lived until 2017. Chico, as he is known by his colleagues, shared some of the challenges and achievements of this phase of his life. Check out another chapter in the series ‘A Horizon of Good Things: Experiences Around the World’!

    In search of a dream
    “I had always wanted to have an international experience. Some time after I started my career at Horiens, one day I heard by chance that there was a need to have a member of the company in Panama. I decided to apply, and to my surprise, it worked out! I was engaged to be married in 2013, but we anticipated everything so that we could start our life together in another country.”

    Butterflies in the stomach
    “I had very positive expectations, which were confirmed, but in the beginning it is natural to feel butterflies in the stomach. I was not fluent in Spanish, so I left every day with a headache, so much concentration and effort was required in order to follow and participate in everything. Another point that caused me some apprehension was the level of interlocution that I started to have, both internally and with the insurance market, after all I was on the front line. It takes you out of any comfort zone, you participate deeply in the challenges of the business. It’s a never-ending learning experience!”

     

    A dream that came true
    “I have to say that the five years I spent in Panama were the best experience of my life. I grew a lot professionally and felt supported by the trust that the company placed in me. We had at the time more than 10 simultaneous projects taking place in the region, totaling more than USD4billion. For Horiens I acted as risk manager and was there, living the business intensely and supporting, including, other projects of the Novonor group in Latin America.”

    The best moments
    “Besides experiencing large projects of the Novonor group from the inside and gaining professional self-confidence, it was also a very nice personal period. My wife and I have had the opportunity to visit virtually the entire Caribbean and our first daughter, Paola, is Panamanian, born there in 2017. Another fact that stood out to me was an IMIA Academy course I had the opportunity to take, in Berlin, in early 2013.”

    Moments that remain
    “I miss my home in Panama. In fact, I miss the whole day to day life. The place where we lived, CintaCostera 3, was amazing. I remember walking happily there, in an atmosphere that was peaceful and dynamic at the same time, a place that is undoubtedly among my best memories in life.”

     

    What is there to lose?

    Nayara Andrade, a Horiens member since 2013, was surprised by the invitation she received just one year after joining Horiens. In her destiny was a country that won her over: Peru. Get to know special snippets of this life and career trajectory in another chapter of the series ‘A horizon of good things: experiences around the world!

    A key question and a decisive answer
    “I started my career at Horiens at the age of 30, but still as an intern, when I was attending my second college. Imagine my surprise when I was invited by my leader, just one year after joining the company, to take on a challenge in Peru. I asked for time to think, she obviously agreed, but not before leaving a question that moved me a lot: what is there to lose? I ended up replying the same day. Amazing how life can change from one hour to the next.”

    A heart full of expectation
    “On May 5, 2014, I embarked with my husband, Tiago, for Peru, bursting at the seams. We got married before the trip. Many changes were taking place in my life. The challenges I went through were not easy, but they were joyful. It was a period of ample learning, because besides Peru, I managed people insurance in support of other countries, in an intense routine, including trips around Latin America.”

    True Connection
    “I have adapted very well to the country. I felt at home. It was even easier to adapt there than in São Paulo, where I am currently based. I am from Salvador and I can see many similarities between the people from Salvador and the people from Peru. I think the main one is that they are very connected with each other, they are warm. I was in Peru for four years. I can say that I felt in my place, very fulfilled in different planes of life. For my husband it was also a very fruitful period.”

    Present
    “My best gift in Peru was the birth of my oldest daughter, Bella. I usually say that I left a little bit of myself in Peru and brought a little bit of there with me. That is forever marked in my life and in my family.”

    As viagens pelo país ficaram entre as melhores lembranças do período no Peru

    A word full of memories
    For me, if I had to choose only one word to describe Peru, that is “saudade” (longing). We miss our friends, the places we visited, the cuisine there, which I love, with its rich dishes. The Peruvian Aji pepper, which they turn into a wonderful paste, gives a special flavor to the recipes. Inca Kola, the local soft drink, also reminds me of the wonderful days we experienced in Peru.”

     

    Experiences that changed my life

    Orlando Sanchez is completing 10 years at Horiens in 2022 and during this period, besides Brazil, he has worked in the Dominican Republic and Peru. Check out the following story from the series ‘A horizon of good things: experiences around the world’, to learn and remember what was left from this period!

    Quick decision
    “I heard about the job opportunity in the Dominican Republic, applied, stayed three weeks in Santo Domingo and loved it. It was all very quick. The only thing I knew about the region before I went was that the beaches are beautiful! Nonetheless, I moved on. By the time I saw it, I was already there.”

    Immersive Experience
    “Staying within the client is an amazing experience. I was Horiens’ person on the project, directly supporting the business, in an emblematic work for the region. It is all very intense, a period of hard work and high exposure. I realized a huge professional development and quite quickly. There were numerous challenges upon arrival, from adapting to the country and experiencing the language, to issues related to my work itself, with the placement of the client’s entire insurance program. If you think too hard, you don’t go (laughs).”

    New Phase
    “After a year and six months in the Dominican Republic, I movedto Peru. That was in 2015. I remember well the first six months, they were the toughest, there was an intense dedication for you to get used to the challenges, the working style. I felt in the middle of the hurricane, but I see this as something positive. This experience away from home brings along with it a dynamic routine, very productive, where you learn too much.”

    Special Moment
    “My history in Peru blends with my wife, Milagros Zarate. She is Peruvian, I met her in Lima when I was working there. A year later, we were already living together and, in 2018, she gotpregnant with our first son, Matheus, just before we returned to Brazil. Today we are a family of four; my second daughter, Fernanda, was born in 2021. I have only good memories of the countries in which I built important pages of my life. When I look back, I know that every step taken was worth it.”

     

    Commitment to my decision

    Carlos Eduardo Lichtenberger Jr started his career at Horiens in 2009. Two years later, in April 2011, he received an expatriation offer. The destination was Peru, where he stayed for about four years, a watershed in his career and in his life. Before returning to Brazil, he took on a challenge in Mexico, the country he fell in love with and where his first son, Theodoro, was born. Check out Carlos’ account for the series ‘A horizon of good things: experiences around the world’.

    Choice with impact
    “When you accept a job offer abroad, you are making a choice that impacts every aspect of your life. You need to be committed to your decision or it won’t work. To begin with, I anticipated my wedding, which was not yet planned, so that my wife, my girlfriend back then, Gabriela, could go with me. I was the first in my group of friends to get married. She plunged into this adventure with me, left her career in Brazil, and we went together to explore this opportunity.

    We challenge ourselves not to become complacent
    “We went through many challenges until we adapted. I didn’t really know the local labor market and its regulations, but I challenged myself to dig deep, read a lot, study, understand the rules, start from scratch. For my wife, Gabriela, it would be more comfortable to stay at home, but she didn’t do that. Before she could establish herself professionally in Peru, she even invested in a clothing brand of her own. My experience was also one of stepping out of the comfort zone.”

    Results
    “Today, I am very pleased to see the achievedresults. At the time, we were able to arrange guarantees with insurance companies to make infrastructure projects in Peru viable, something new for that market. The guarantees were until then usually bank guarantees. The strategy brought relevant savings for the client and new revenue generation for Horiens. Moreover, to have left my fingerprints on such iconic projects as Chaglla, Electronic Train, and Olmos is very gratifying to me.

    Creating loops
    “One of the most interesting things about expatriation is to experience everything very intensely. Your co-workers, in the company and in the market, become friends. We formed a very solid circle of friendships. I even went to weddings of Peruvian friends. We also had weekend soccer and trips to see the local tourism. It was a different routine, a lot of work, with great moments to enjoy.

    In Mexican lands
    “When I thought the routine was already mastered, the opportunity came to go to Mexico. With respect and transparency, I sought the opportunity to continue challenging myself, learning, and growing personally and professionally. I believe Mexico was in my way. My godparents have lived in the country since 1996 and I always imagined myself living there. We went there in 2015, my wife was pregnant and we didn’t know it yet. It was an amazing period. My first son, Theodoro, was born in Mexico and we are very proud of this. Him mostly. We identify too much with the country.

    Lessons and memories
    “Expatriation makes you see the world through a different lens. It was never easy, but it is very enriching. Just as expatriation is challenging, so is repatriation. I consider the balance of all that I experienced to be very positive. If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would do it just the same, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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