The High Mobility Pool, an international trainee program for professionals with a few years of work experience, has been designed to support the voestalpine internationalization strategy. In the second part of their interview, our international members Otávio Araujo (Brazil) and Renata Pinedo (Mexico) talk about their expectations and preparations for their new lives as members of the High Mobility Pool program.
Participants in our international High Mobility Pool program will report on our Corporate Blog about their lives and experiences working in the voestalpine Group. An overview of all articles concerning the High Mobility Pool program can be found here.
What were your expectations surrounding the first project and location?
Renata: My first location was at the headquarters in Linz. I was happy to go there for my first assignment because I considered it a great opportunity to truly get to know the company at its core. I only received a few details about my project content, but I knew I would be doing some market research around Mexico so in that respect I felt quite confident going in. I was nervous about who would be my colleagues and my boss and how fast I would make friends in this new city. I shouldn’t have been so nervous, as Linz exceeded all my expectations and I quickly adapted to life in Austria.
Otávio: Going to Austria, meeting other people from around the world running for the same positions, and being evaluated by the management teams of different companies from the Group—all this creates a certain expectation of a “glamorous” lifestyle. Dreams apart, reality is great, for sure, but it only becomes reality once you are living it. We take part in meetings with important people, we dress in our best suits from time to time, but we also work hard on the shop floor to get familiar with the processes, then we go back to our offices and push our brains to the limit to understand what we saw and to make proposals that can bring even more value to the company.
How did you prepare for your new life as an HMP member?
Otávio: The screenings we went through before becoming part of the HMP certainly showed that we were capable of facing the challenges to come. I still wanted to prepare myself as best I could for the projects, yet it was difficult to foresee what skills would be most needed to start off strong. Now, after having finished one project and being halfway through the second, I see that the ability to adapt is the most essential skill. One day you feel like the most sought-after resource to solve an issue, but the next day you might just be the next problem in someone’s very busy agenda. Either way, you must give your best, get the required information, and move on to deliver the best possible outcome.
"Now, after having finished one project and being halfway through the second, I see that the ability to adapt is the most essential skill."
Renata: There wasn’t much I could really do to prepare for my first project in Linz, except for packing light and staying open to all the new opportunities and challenges to come. A year into the program, I feel that I have had the unique opportunity to lead projects, network with a wide range of people, be present at important meetings, and deliver work critical to decision-making. These experiences have been challenging and have shaped me into a better professional. On a personal level, I have refined my adaptability skills, visited many new places, and made lasting friendships—my life has definitely changed, but definitely in an exciting way.
"A year into the program, I feel that I have had the unique opportunity to lead projects, network with a wide range of people, be present at important meetings, and deliver work critical to decision-making."