Leaving behind the familiar and relocating to a foreign country to work at another office takes courage. Meet Henrique Rocha, Metso’s Pl Engineer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, who recently embarked on an adventure and left his usual office to spend two and a half months working at Metso’s office in York, Pennsylvania, USA. Henrique was invited to join the team in York by another colleague, Walter Lawruk, VP Grinding Proposals, to exchange knowledge, perform together and get to know the people with whom Henrique collaborates in his daily work. Henrique and Walter sat down for an interview to tell their experience and to share why the extended training stay was organized.
Strengthening internal collaboration and creating long-lasting memories
Meeting the people, seeing each other’s ways of working and learning together to strengthen the collaboration
At Metso, dealing with proposals within the grinding group requires collaboration between the global team, the business line as well as the market areas. Getting first-hand experience of how the teams work is crucial in enhancing the collaboration between the different teams. As explained by Walter, partly the purpose of inviting Henrique to York was for him to be exposed to the global way of doing proposals. Even more than that, the trip was an exceptional chance to meet the colleagues face to face. During his stay in York, Henrique was able to work together with multiple professionals from various teams including engineering process, engineering project and management, to name a few.
“I am from the market area, so I am one person between a huge number of people. Knowing a colleague in person and being able to go to their desk, talk to them, ask them for help, learn their names and have them knowing you makes the difference. Knowing the people in a way that when you need to contact them, they know who you are, and you both know exactly what the other person needs. The quality of things tends to increase when things are done that way,” Henrique explains. Before his stay in York, Henrique had already been remotely collaborating with the York office for two and a half years. Being close to the colleagues in person, discussing each other’s work and learning together was a pivotal experience for him.
In Henrique’s experience, meeting the colleagues in person enhances the efficiency of collaboration. Instead of trying to contact someone and being redirected until the correct point-of-contact is found, he now knows exactly which colleague to contact, and the collaboration with a familiar person flows effortlessly. It is saving both time and effort so that the focus can be directed to serving the customer in the best possible manner.
“There are many talented people in the company and many people with a lot of knowledge, and we tend to focus so much on our daily work that sometimes we forget to share it.”
Taking on the career building challenge and making friends along the way
Henrique recalls feeling nervous before setting off to another country, another culture to an office full of people who are all busy with their own lives. Despite having traveled a lot for work before, the thought of staying for an extended period felt different. Luckily, any nervousness was quickly washed away upon receiving a warm welcome from the team in York. The team took Henrique in with open arms and made sure that in addition to having company at the office, Henrique didn’t have to spend his free time alone either.
“This was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in my life. Sometimes we get frozen by fear and people can be afraid of putting themselves out there. But if you get the opportunity to do anything similar, you should do it. You'll be embraced. You’ll be well received. You’ll be cared for. I now have a feeling that I have a family up there in York.”
Henrique emphasizes the importance of having a chance to spend a longer time in the destination. Instead of having to leave right after getting acclimated after the first couple of weeks, he was able to fully tap into the experience and truly gain from it. He describes the experience as a great opportunity for him to learn to see the broader vision, to increase his knowledge and to build both his professional as well as his personal network.
“This experience increased my way of seeing things from a more strategical side. I do intend to use these learnings to build up my career and take me to a next position where I can perform well for the benefit of the company and pay back for the time and resources invested in me,” Henrique concludes.