Hiago's Inspiring Story
Hiago P. | Accounting Advisor | Brazil
Originally Published: May 12, 2022
Hiago P., Accounting Advisor at Dell Technologies Brazil, shares with us his inspiring story of overcoming adversities. Here he tells us his background as a kid that grew up in a remote city of Brazil with no electricity and sanitation, and how the challenges he had in life molded him to get an opportunity at Dell. Also, he shares his experience being part of the ERG Black Network Alliance.
“Who would have thought that a little boy who was raised in the remote countryside of Pará (a state in the North of Brazil), would be part of the one of the largest companies in the world? It's hard to choose parts of my story to share. Much of my personality was created from the extreme situations I experienced, whether from growing up in a remote city without electricity, sanitation or anything like that, or from what I witnessed through my mother, who raised four children alone.
I was born in Imperatriz, Maranhão, and after my first year my family moved to Pará, where I lived for 7 years. We’ve been through very challenges times, but we were happy in our own way and, in fact, I only have good memories. Imagine a situation where a woman, in her early twenties, with four children, in the middle of the bush, is left by her husband. However, we didn't know what sadness was, everything was just fun. Everything was perfect, no matter if we only had one meal a day - we loved that zucchini with milk for lunch and dinner! Because we had no clue that there was anything different from that and everything was fine. We didn't want anything else, even though, for my mother, it was a battle a day to have something to eat. In the rainy days, my older brother used to hold my sister and my mother used to hold me and my younger brother, protecting us from the water that invaded our house. We were there, together, waiting for the rain to pass to play in the mud and, again, everything was great. A lot of things happened in this period until we had a better life. My mother became a teacher, the only one in that remote region, and thanks to that, we radically changed our lives. Now we had a farm with animals, plantations, and seeing that, my father came back home. My family sold everything in Pará and we returned to Maranhão where, 5 to 6 years later, my father abandoned us again and we started almost from scratch. Once more, we overcame this situation, and in 2006, my mother met my ex-stepfather on the Internet and decided to try a new life in the South of Brazil.
In Porto Alegre (city in the South of Brazil), gradually things started to improve. My mother got a cleaning job at a hospital while my brothers and I were attending high school in a public school.
I joined Dell a few years later, at the age of 21, in September 2014. Before that, I worked in five different companies, the first one at 16 years old, and since then, my goal was to be financially independent, and I did it. Among these jobs, I managed to pay for my college, without any help, and it was precisely thanks to this college that I got my internship at Dell.
How did I get to know Dell? Just before ending my last internship before Dell, I attended a lecture in my class with a manager from the company's sales team, which made me curious about Dell. Disbelieving that I would be able to enter at a company like this, I made up my mind that this was what I wanted.
Over the next few days, I started applying for all possible internship programs in several multinationals. I thought that even if I didn't pass the selection, I would like to have the experience of a selection process. One of those was for an internship in the Accounting team at Dell. I was very nervous when I received the call for the first interview and then even more when I received the news that I was selected! I couldn’t believe that I, coming from the middle of the “forest” and with English that I learned from TV Shows, was now joining a multinational company! The initial shock was surreal, besides being something, I already wanted, it suddenly felt like I didn't know anything professionally anymore, everything was different. From the unique processes and different kind of people to the open-door policy - which was the most spectacular thing to me. Never would I be able to talk to a director of another company I've worked for without being demanded by him. At Dell, I have the freedom, with a simple email, to be able to schedule a meeting with a Director and speak openly with him. These details made the difference in my life, as I was always afraid to talk to someone superior because I thought didn't have experience or I believed I didn't have enough knowledge to talk to people of another level professionally.
In 2016, a year and a half later, I was hired as a full-time employee by the same team I started as an intern. I remember my excitement when I received the news and the pride in sharing it with my family. A year later I moved internally to the team I am currently in, still in Accounting, but focused on Taxes.
How did I become a member of the ERG (Employee Resource Group) BNA (Black Networking Alliance)? In a hallway conversation I was notified that the BNA was planning to launch a chapter in Brazil, and I figured it very interesting, and between some BNA’s member meetings, there I was, in the communication team, already planning the launch. Being part of an ERG (Employee Resource Groups) within Dell is something very remarkable, one of the things I most admire about the company. The fact that we are in a project promoting the difference for our community, as volunteers, is something I would never expect.
And this is a small part of this complex puzzle that is my life, with many pieces to be found and fitted.”
Learn more about a career with Dell here.
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