Por Sven (student of electrical engineering in Braunschweig, Germany):
On July 11th, I had my last day of work at Evolux. I knew this day was coming, but it was still incredibly hard to go and leave this important part of my life in Brazil behind.
Before I came to Natal, everything I knew about Evolux was what the job description said. My mind compiled this information to something like “They are a start-up company that does something with telephony, and they need people who can program Python.”
While that is certainly true, there is a little more to it. Let me tell you a little story:
“Kids, it was in 2014 when I went to Brazil to do the best internship of my life.”
When I was looking for possible internships, it quickly dawned on me that the usual people who go abroad with AIESEC are not engineers. They might be teachers, social workers, psychologists or any other kind of human science student, but if you study engineering, you apparently tend to stay home. Consequently, the number of job offers in the network is relatively small. After expanding my search radius from my initial focus on South-East Asia to the entire world, the variety of jobs increased, but it was still not very satisfying. I was quite close to giving up on AIESEC, when I received an email with the Evolux offer, together with the urgent call for applicants. I was like “yeah, why not?” and sent my CV the same day. To my surprise it all went well and a week later I had a Skype interview with the company. I sent them some Python and C++ code that I had written in the past (While I was kind of proud of the C++ stuff, I thought the Python stuff was terrible. Well, I still think that), and after another two weeks or so of waiting, I suddenly had the job. At that point, Evolux was the only alternative that I had. If it had not worked out with them, I would have not done the internship and tried something else entirely.
In the second week of February, I flew to Brazil and started my job right on the first day after my arrival. I had studied some more Python in the weeks leading up to my departure, but I still thought I pretty much sucked at it.
I had expected the company to be in an office building, or maybe some backyard garage, but I was very surprised to find out they reside in a beautiful villa. With MacBooks as work computers, a coffee machine, a kitchen, and a large convention-/classroom (complete with big-ass TV and Playstation 4) they had everything you would except to find in a Silicon Valley start-up office, plus the Brazilian climate and its wonderfully relaxed and laid-back people.
The first weeks were mostly about getting to know the company and its product, and also getting a grip on both Python and Portuguese. Thankfully, my colleagues were always happy to help when I was stuck (which happened a lot in the beginning). In the following 5 months I was in charge of my own project, wrote many lines of code, deleted and refactored a lot of those lines, and from the first day on I felt as an equal and accepted part within the company structure. It did of course help a lot that Evolux is a start-up with only a dozen employees, which makes it a lot easier to get to know everyone and build a closer relationship with the company. But nevertheless, there is more to Evolux than just being a start-up. No other company I know does such a good job of creating a pleasant and at the same time challenging work environment. But it’s not like everybody is trying hard to make the other employees happy. We are all just there, doing stuff we like to do, in a nice house with nice things, for a company that treats us well and that we all would like to see grow. I know that sounds pretty cheesy, but that is what it comes down to. I just think I had a great job.