Miguel Vilhena, managed services technical lead at Version 1, tells us why he chose Ireland as a place to live and work, and how it’s just two Portuguese ingredients away from paradise.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Cercal, a small village in the sunny southwest of Portugal, just a few kilometres from the one of the best beaches in the country. However, I lived in Lisbon for 11 years, since 2002.
How long have you been in Ireland?
I’ve been in Ireland for two years now, I arrived in February of 2013.
Why did you move here?
Me and my girlfriend decided to leave Portugal in search of better quality of life and more rewarding work experience. And also because Guinness is better here!
What work do you do?
In Version 1 I am a technical lead in the managed services practice. As part of this role I manage projects at the technical level, make sure that my team members are correctly allocated on the existing projects, review technical and functional specifications, and also do consultancy for existing or new IT systems. I also ensure that my team members have the required training, and I act as technical and business mentor for less experienced colleagues. And on the side I am an 'applications and services stream' lead for Version 1’s Microsoft capability – I am also doing some work as service delivery manager for a few smaller customers.
How would you describe your working environment?
The work environment is very professional, and yet very relaxed. It has the feel of a small family company, but at the same time it still provides all of us with the support, structure and expertise of a top IT consulting company.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is the possibility to do many different things, both technical and commercial, and at the same time still have the opportunity to manage a group of very skilled and hardworking colleagues. Being a part of a team where teamwork, excellence, no ego and a customer-first set-up are evident everyday makes Version 1 a very demanding (in a good way!) and rewarding workplace.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
Not really, I think the Portuguese and Irish are very alike, especially because we both enjoy being with friends, we both enjoy the good things in life. Also, the work/life balance is something really important in Ireland and Version 1 in particular, that coupled with the almost ridiculous friendliness of the Irish people made the transition very easy. If only we had easier access to Portuguese food and weather, this would be too good to be true!
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
The quality of life and the kindness of its people!
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
There are two main reasons: the fact that I am the same as everyone else and not treated as foreigner – except for when people ask me why I left such a lovely weather to come to Dublin – and also because I have the opportunity work remotely from Portugal for a few days throughout the year, which really makes me feel at home!
What do you like most about your adopted home?
Definitely the people. I always felt very welcome and every day that goes by a feel a bit more Irish.