David Barbosa from Brazil | Advancing my IT Career in Tauranga
Brazillian, IT engineer David Barbosa, came to New Zealand after a friend raved about the lifestyle. The fact that this was ‘Lord of the Rings’ country also exerted a powerful pull!
It only took a few months of working in hospitality and soaking up the Mount Maungaui summer vibes for David to decide he wanted to stay. He began applying for IT roles around the country but was hopeful of finding a role in his favourite city – Tauranga.
He feels incredibly fortunate to have landed a role as an IT Support Engineer with Stratus Blue – a leading technical support company in Tauranga’s growing tech sector.
This is his story.
David, what part of Brazil did you grow up in?
I come from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. When I was 11 years old I moved to Governador Valadares where I lived until I emigrated to New Zealand.
Can you tell us your career story?
I began my career teaching basic IT when I was 18 years old. From there, I worked at a company called Interdata for one and a half years, looking after IT computer management and maintenance contracts for other companies. I then moved on to Mira Informatica, where I remained for eight years. I also managed other companies’ networks and IT contracts in that role. I gathered a lot of valuable knowledge and experience in that role, which set me up for what I am doing now.
What brought you to New Zealand?
I had a very close friend that came to New Zealand two years before me. He liked it here and encouraged me to get a working holiday visa so I could also come and get to know the country. Also, I’m not going to lie – the fact that New Zealand was the country where Lord of the Rings was filmed also gave me a little push in this direction!
Another friend of mine was already living in Tauranga so that was the reason I came straight here. I arrived in November of 2018, just in time to enjoy summer at the Mount.
What did you think moving to Tauranga would mean for your career?
I knew that working in IT here in Tauranga, or anywhere in New Zealand, would be a great asset for my career. I come from a country where only 5% of the population knows English, so this move would prove my prowess with the language and adaptability to another culture.
Tauranga is a fast-growing city, which means a lot of opportunities. I think now is the perfect time to start a career here and grow up along with it.
Can you describe your experience of finding work in Tauranga?
When I first moved to Tauranga on my working holiday visa, I worked in a restaurant called Southern Fries where I did everything from cooking to cleaning. After a few months, I decided to look for IT-related roles. By that point, I had already decided that I wanted to stay in New Zealand for longer if I could, and pursuing my IT career would be the best step towards that.
I started looking in January, using Seek.co.nz and trademe. I got my first reply a few weeks later. I applied for several jobs throughout the country and I consider myself really lucky to have found an IT role with Stratus Blue in Tauranga. Finding a great job right next to me in my favourite city in New Zealand was a blessing.
What is your role at Stratus Blue?
I work as an IT Support Engineer at Stratus Blue. This involves taking calls on the service desk and assisting the companies we care for in the IT space. This can mean anything from assisting with little hardware/software issues to working with network and cloud-related matters. I enjoy creating a relationship with our clients and in my position that’s inevitable.
Stratus Blue has been the best workplace I’ve had so far in my career. We have a fun and light environment where everyone helps each other. We have the freedom to give our opinions and feel heard.
What advice would you give to other tech professionals considering moving to Tauranga?
Persist on the hunt for a job here, it pays off. It’s probably easier to find jobs in Auckland or Christchurch, but life in Tauranga is off the charts compared to the other cities. I still feel too new in the scene in New Zealand to give a proper opinion about the tech scene, but as with any fast-growing city, IT will grow along with it.
How have you settled into Tauranga?
Settling into Tauranga was a breeze from the start. I think maybe being away from your home country and family makes you more open to knowing new people. I have made a lot of friends, and some of them I already think of as family.
What do you love about living working in Tauranga?
I have actually become a more active person since arriving in New Zealand. Having the beach and the Mount as my backyard is a unique experience. When I leave work at 5 pm, the sun is still out and I can go to the beach to play volleyball or swim for a while. That’s my new lifestyle here – during the summer at least!
I’m always traveling somewhere new on my motorcycle, hunting for waterfalls, new hikes, photo shooting landscapes. I also never refuse an invite for a barbecue.
What has surprised you about Tauranga?
The kindness of the people and the beauty of the city. The way we can go from a warm beach to a hike with a waterfall within 20 minutes.
What has moving to Tauranga meant:
For your career? A huge step up for my career and my achievements.
For your wellbeing? A new way to live life, new hobbies, good vibes, and positivity.
For your relationships? Gratitude. I met my amazing girlfriend here in Tauranga so I don’t need to say anything else! Fernanda is Chilean. She is here on a working holiday visa, but she has already fallen in love with New Zealand and is hoping to stay.
Ready for a Change?
Thinking of moving to Tauranga someday?
Take the first steps now.