Bruna Borges shares her experience with #GoingFar
Bruna Bandiera Borges, originally from Brazil, moved to Ireland in 2019 with the goal to provide a better life to her family. Bruna had a background in Business Management and experience with sales, operations and marketing. However, she struggled to find a job in her area and decided to work as a barista until she could get her dream job. She participated in the 2nd edition of #GoingFar, a workshop on how to make the best out of your LinkedIn profile. Today, she is an Inside Sales Specialist at Microsoft. We asked her to share a bit of her journey so far, which you can read in her own words below.
My name is Bruna, I am Brazilian, with Italian citizenship and I’ve been living in Dublin, Ireland since January 2019. I am one of those people who left their country of origin for a better life, looking for career opportunities and also a better quality of life for my family and my son.
I left Brazil to go to Italy in October 2018 to apply for recognition as an Italian citizen, leaving my son and my husband behind at the beginning. After 5 months we were finally able to meet again in Dublin, when I got a place to live and a job (I was a barista from the time I arrived in Ireland to the beginning of this year, 2020). I knew that at the start my first challenge would be to try to learn the language, and only after that I would try to kickstart my career around here.
It was then that I saw a workshop promoted by #GoingFar on LinkedIn, that was for immigrant women and that would happen at Microsoft. This would be my first opportunity to understand the market around here, understand what my journey would be like, and what the journey of the women leading the workshop was like. It was then that I started to feel hope, and create expectations with relation to the career that I could build here. Listening to inspiring stories from warrior women, who I identified myself with, really helped me see that it could be possible.
There was a mentoring session before the workshop started, where I, even with my basic English, was able to talk a little bit about myself, my story and experiences with one of Microsoft’s Sales Directors at the time, Tracey Newman. She saw something in me at that moment and introduced me to two other people from Microsoft, who helped me get where I am today: Frank Hattann (Digital Sales Director at the time) and Jon Paul (Inside Sales Director EMEA today). At the end of this workshop, I quickly connected with everyone who was present at the event through Linkedin. This allowed me to start networking, introducing myself and speaking to them, asking a lot of questions about everything and learning.
One of these contacts, Frank, offered pro bono consulting at the event, and I decided to contact him and ask for his help with my LinkedIn profile and my CV. He promptly scheduled an appointment to talk about these topics and at the end of that conversation, Frank recommended me for the internal vacancies at Microsoft that he thought fit my profile (this happened in the middle of 2019).
I also connected with two women, who were at the workshop, who helped me. They were Dina Medhat (immigrant woman with a successful career in Microsoft) and Talita Holzer (organiser and responsible for the workshop, and Brazilian!). They have not measured efforts in connecting me with people at Microsoft. I’ve always dreamed of working in a company like Microsoft, a market leader, with an incredible culture of “empowering every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more”. That’s what I needed, to be empowered to achieve more!
After a year of great insistence, connections and networking, I received the opportunity and proposal to be interviewed by Microsoft (recommended by Jon Paul, one of the contacts I made networking in the first workshop I attended) and today I am proud to have achieved my goal and to be part of this amazing company, which was only possible due to the workshops promoted by #GoingFar.
Without any background in IT or B2B, just a lot of will power, determination, networking and resilience, it was possible to achieve this goal. This helped me see that there are still many people who believe in you for what you are, and not for what you have!
Thank you #GoingFar for helping me see the potential I had and that this would be possible. Thank you for giving me this opportunity in partnership with Microsoft through this workshop and for making my dream to be part of a market-leading company possible, and giving me the opportunity to develop my skills!