Great talent can be found everywhere: Leticia’s story
At Hyper Island, we’re very proud of our students and they often go on to do amazing things in the world. Two alumni who found top jobs after making the leap to study abroad are Leticia Hoshino and Amy Liu. Leticia is a Japanese-Brazilian marketing technology consultant who works at Avaus, a fast-growing marketing technology company in Stockholm. Amy is a Chinese-American facilitator and design thinker who went to work at design agency Your Majesty Co. in Amsterdam and is now at culture development firm ThinkHuman in New York City.
Q: Hi Leticia! How’s life? Could you tell us about how have you decided to come to Hyper Island?
Leticia: “Life is really good. I’m very happy and a lot of it started with Hyper Island. When I decided to move countries, I was looking for a big change in my life.
I come from Brazil and was working in a big ad agency in São Paulo but it wasn’t very fulfilling. I was working as account manager and my job was to manage the relationship with the customer to sell more projects, but I wanted to do something more analytical and data-driven, which I felt was a better fit for me. It was hard to change jobs back then and I realized I needed more education.
Someone at another agency mentioned Hyper Island and so I looked it up and I found a program that was in line with what I wanted. I spoke to two Brazilian alumni who highly recommended it to me – that it was great for switching careers and also for helping you to adjust to moving to a new culture and place. I asked them a million questions about the program, Hyper Island’s reputation and life in Sweden. They helped me a lot.”
“Just a couple of months into the program I was already looking into job options, working with Hyper Island staff to understand what I needed to learn, do, or create in order to land the right internship that would get me where I wanted.”
Q: Did you know you wanted to work abroad before you came to Hyper Island?
L: “It was definitely one of my goals, but without an EU passport I needed to manage my expectations as it would be harder to find an employer who would be willing to sponsor my visa. I tried to be very strategic with my internship options to make sure I could land a job and sponsorship. Just a couple of months into the program I was already looking into job options, working with Hyper Island staff to understand what I needed to learn, do or create in order to land the right internship that would get me where I wanted.
It was very important for me to find a place where they have international culture and speak English so I would not feel excluded. I wanted to find a company where the culture is aligned with my values, where it would be easy to be myself and to learn with great teammates.
I didn’t want to work at a big company to get stuck with hierarchy, politics and slow decision making. When it comes to visa sponsorship, big companies usually have the processes (lawyers, human resources and budgets) but they are also the most competitive. You need to be ten times better than the other competitors in the applicant pool to stand out.”
“Avaus had a great experience with previous Hyper Island students and were very eager to have more people on board. The way we work and our mindset were very valuable and a good fit for them.”
Q: Where are you working now?
L: “Avaus. They were industry leaders and were heavily involved with leading our module during the program. They are very strategic and driven, with female leadership, which I really resonated with. Avaus had a great experience with previous Hyper Island students and were very eager to have more people on board. The way that we work and our mindset were very valuable and a good fit for them.There are other Hyper Island alumni there.”
“Hyper Island helped me a lot with becoming more aware of my needs and communicating thoughts and feelings in the workplace. Before, I used to be very reserved. I switched…to being more vulnerable and sharing with others.”
Q: What is your role?
L: “My role is growth hacker, but I don’t love the title. The truth is I work with marketing technologies: marketing automation systems and data management platforms. Avaus is specialized in marketing automation projects, although now we are more often involved in advanced analytics and data engineering projects. My work can be very platform specific, I need to have deep understanding of different systems to build audiences from different data sources, set up campaigns and evaluate efficiency, I need to understand how data flows from one system to the other.
Hyper Island helped me a lot to communicate how I’m feeling as I used to be very closed at work. Now everytime I feel very anxious or frustrated about something in a project, I try to understand why and think of what kind of emotional and practical support I should ask from my colleagues or my managers. I switched from making myself look tough to being more vulnerable and sharing with others. At Avaus, it’s easy to have feedback with managers and teammates which makes me really comfortable because I feel that I can trust them and I am able to be transparent in my work process. ”
Q: What is your best advice for getting a top job in Europe as an international applicant?
L: “It’s a tough process. Keep it in mind, plan ahead and stay focused. Find work that you feel excited about, a company you feel connected to and that can provide you with a more long term development. Always be very open about your need for visa sponsorship. Keep communication open and be honest from the get-go. That way, the company can just tell you up front if they can sponsor your visa or not and if they have a full-time role lined up.”
Q: Did you experience any culture clashes in Sweden?
L: “Of course. My culture is basically the opposite of Swedish culture. Brazilians tend to be very sociable people. Even the most introvert person in Brazil would feel socially needy here.
I come from São Paulo, which has more than 20 million people and the public transport is always crowded and not reliable. In Stockholm, everything functions almost perfectly – especially public transport. This really reduces my anxiety. Also, nature is more accessible here, which is something I love.”
“Marketing technology here is at least two years ahead of the Brazilian market and it will be very valuable if I go back, so I will focus on learning while I’m here as much I can.”
Q: What’s next for you?
L: “One of my passion projects is to move to Asia. Maybe Tokyo or Singapore. Also, I know that my work at Avaus with marketing technology is at least two years ahead of the Brazilian market, meaning that if I ever decide to go back, this skill will be very valuable, so I will focus on learning while I’m here as much I can.”
Thank you Leticia!
Note: After this interview, Leticia has changed jobs. She continues her journey at curamando, a digital marketing consultancy in Stockholm, where she helps companies to be more data-driven.