Luiza Brack is standing in front of a wall that says 'Engineering your Future'.
Luiza Brack. Image: Engineers Ireland

Moving from Brazil to Ireland with the ‘universal language’ of engineering

28 Feb 2020

In advance of next week’s Global Engineers event for people in the industry relocating from Brazil, Luiza Brack spoke to us about her own journey.

Luiza Brack hadn’t planned to move her engineering career from Brazil to Ireland, but after encountering the opportunities for people in the field a few years ago, her decision was made.

Brack is a planning engineer in the fire protection division at Jones Engineering, but beyond her day job, she is helping to make sure other engineers moving to a new country are given the help and support they need for the transition.

‘Being an engineer has opened the doors of the world for me’

Here, she talks about her own journey and why the engineering community in Ireland has been crucial to her development, in advance of next week’s Global Engineers event for people from Brazil.

The meetup is part of Engineers Ireland’s 2020 Global Engineers event series, which aims to equip participants by providing them with a context about working in an engineering role in Ireland, teaching them about harnessing the potential of social media to find a job and advising on how to improve soft skills.

Why did you move to Ireland to further your engineering career?

Ireland was my first option in order for me to improve my English so that I could make my CV more attractive in my home country – at least that was my plan in 2016, but after three months it changed.

I realised that there were loads of opportunities for engineers in Ireland and the process to validate your skills and experience wasn’t complicated. So, I returned to Brazil to organise myself and came back to Ireland to work – and here I am.

Had you always wanted to be an engineer?

It is an interesting question to answer because engineering was not my first choice. Growing up, I was a geologist’s daughter, so I was into the scientific world and I was very curious about how things work.

For me, the best way to understand the world was studying everything related to mathematics, chemistry and physics. I was lucky that in my home country, we have a complete education in school and high school, so I was in touch with science since I was a little girl in home and in my school.

My parents were the key to opening my mind to the world. They incentivised my sister and me to always study hard and follow our passion and do it in the best way we could. So, I always knew that I would work in the scientific community. It was a natural choice for me and my sister as well – she is a chemistry engineer.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of moving to a different country where your skills are still easily applicable?

Working in Ireland was a big surprise for my career. In 2016, when my home country was in the middle of an economic and politic crisis, I decided to look to other countries that would accept engineers and Ireland was the best option for me.

Being an engineer has opened the doors of the world for me. I am able to work in a different language, in a different culture and in a different country and continent and still follow all the principles, techniques and methods that I have learned and used previously.

It has given me the opportunity to keep learning more and more every day. This is one of the reasons that this year, I am aiming to complete a level nine course – it is a bigger challenge and a huge step in my career.

Have there been any challenges along the way, and how did you overcome those?

I believe that working in a different language from my mother language is the biggest challenges. I am always reading, studying and learning English. It is a work in progress.

Why are engineering skills so transferable, do you think?

As a famous quote highlighted, ‘Mathematics is a universal language’. I dare to say that engineering is a universal language as well!

If we analyse the big picture, to be a good engineer it is necessary to like study and work. Constant improvement is a work in progress and it never stops. However, if we analyse this on a much smaller scale, a good engineer is someone that is able to manage situations based on creativity, knowledge, proactivity and always looking for the best solution for the project.

Engineering is the same. It is a universal language.

How have Global Engineers events change your professional life?

For me, Engineers Ireland’s Global Engineers events are windows to show international communities that Ireland and the Engineers Ireland community supports all engineers who want to work and study here.

I am very grateful for all the help and support that Engineers Ireland has provided – I feel like my professional life and Engineers Ireland are intertwined. In 2018, the Global Engineers events provided me with the opportunity to network with my current company and to secure an engineering role in Ireland. Since then, Engineers Ireland has been very present for me and I am now doing a level-nine CPD diploma with Engineers Ireland.

Do you have any advice for any engineers who are in a similar situation to yours, and need to find a new home?

I would say that research is the key word. For example, research about the economy and if there are opportunities for foreign engineers in those countries.

If you feel that you might be interested, research how to get your qualifications and experience validated and try it. Prepare yourself, be focused and stay out of your comfort zone.

Are there any resources that helped you along your journey that you’d recommend to other engineers?

If you are abroad, it is very important stay close your community. I would say to become a member of an association related to your professional life, much like Engineers Ireland. Keep studying, evolving and take courses.

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