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To begin, could you take us through your career journey? 

I began my career as a translator and Executive Assistant at the financial services company HSBC. I was lucky enough to have an excellent boss, one who took a genuine interest in my personal development: they told me that because of my skillset and personality, I could really flourish in HR. 

With the help of my boss, I moved into HR and then from there, I transitioned into Operations. One of the teams that I managed whilst working in Operations was the Global Mobility Team: as the team grew, I became more and more involved with them, and by 2012, my role had evolved so that my focus lay solely with global mobility. 

In the same year, I accepted a long-term assignment which saw me relocating to New York. Whilst I was out there, HSBC was bought by another bank. I didn’t want to work for this new bank, so when my assignment came to an end and I returned to Brazil, I started looking for another role. 

Shortly afterwards, I was headhunted by Unilever, who were looking to set up a regional office in São Paulo. Excited by this challenge, I accepted the role and spent the next five years in the city, establishing and growing Unilever’s presence there. 

It was whilst I was working in São Paulo that I crossed paths with K2, who were one of Unilever’s vendors. I met Phil Hunt, Managing Director – Americas, and we quickly discovered that we were very closely aligned in terms of the way that we liked to work. We are both very responsive and direct, plus we like to be very involved in each and every case that we work on. We developed a close professional relationship, and so when I was ready to move on from Unilever and the time was right for K2 to expand into LATAM – happily the two coincided! – Phil approached me to take the lead on establishing K2 Brazil. 


When you moved from Unilever to K2, you also moved from the corporate to the vendor side. How did you manage this transition? 

Let’s start with the difference between the two sides. Working on the corporate side, your focus is on the HR elements – e.g assignee suitability, assignee integration, family support, payroll and benefits. Working on the vendor side, your role is to provide HR with the infrastructure that they need to facilitate these elements. For example, you manage the home and the school search processes: once the assignee and their family are settled, HR are then able to help them integrate into their new community. 

When I moved from the corporate to the vendor side, the change of pace was the most challenging factor. Simply put, I am now selling rather than buying, meaning that the pace at which I’m able to move is largely dependent upon other people’s timelines. As a result, I’ve had to learn how to work effectively at a pace which I don’t really control, to develop an instinctive understanding of when to wait, when to chase, when to push. I know that I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I believe that learning is an integral part of every stage of any career – stop learning and you’ll stop progressing. 


‘Because it’s personal’ is both the K2 ethos and differentiator. How does the experience that you’ve gathered over the course of your career help you to bring a personal element to the way that you carry out your role? 

The fact that I have been an assignee myself gives me a unique insight into the relocation process. For example, many assignees fall into the trap of assuming that because they enjoy working in a particular area, they will also enjoy living there. I made the same mistake when I moved to New York City with HSBC. The hustle and bustle and the break-neck pace of life in the city suited me perfectly when I was working; but when I clocked off, I wanted peace and quiet, somewhere that allowed me the headspace to process everything that had gone on during the day.  

Intercultural Training would’ve enabled me to make a more informed decision when selecting a property, and so I always emphasise the value of it to assignees who consider it superfluous. I will also always take the time to have a proper conversation with an assignee. Doing this introduces a human touch into their relocation journey: technology has its value, of course it does, but tech cannot reassure an individual and their family in the same way that a human being can. 


K2 Brazil was established in April 2021. How did the office’s first two years pan out? 

When we established K2 Brazil, our plan was to stay relatively quiet for the first eighteen months in order to ascertain to what extent we would be accepted within the region. Whilst I can’t say that we remained relatively quiet, I can confirm that we have begun to build a good reputation for ourselves throughout the country, as is evidenced by the local and regional contracts which we now hold. 

The first half of 2023 has seen us adding to the professional services that K2 Brazil is able to provide at a regional level by bringing an Immigration Leader into the office. Watch this space for our interview with said Immigration Leader, Carolina Carnauba, which we’ll be releasing within the month. Given the complexities of LATAM immigration, having somebody on the ground who is the single point of accountability for all immigration matters has enabled the K2 Brazil Team to take its agility to a whole new level! 


Final Question: What would you say is the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned as a result of your experiences to date? 

It would be that in order to truly fulfil your potential, you have to love what you’re doing. If you like what you’re doing then you have a job; if you love what you’re doing then you have a career. 

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