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Q&A with one of Sandfield’s newest international team members

Rick at Auckland Airport

Rick Dias has recently moved from his home country of Brazil to join the Sandfield team as one of our Software Developers. We sat down with Rick to hear all about what motivated the big move across the world, the process of doing so, and how he has been settling into New Zealand since. 

What did you do before joining Sandfield?

I was a team leader in IT at a supply chain company in Brazil. 

How did you find out about Sandfield and what made you apply for the role?

A friend in Brazil mentioned that they had seen an ad for a potential software developer role in New Zealand and thought I might be interested. I had been planning on leaving Brazil in 2023, initially, it was going to be a European country but after some research on New Zealand and Sandfield I thought to myself, this looks like a really good company to work for and could be a great opportunity and so I applied for the role.

Once you got the role, what was the process of moving from Brazil to NZ?

In total, it took 83 days from the job offer until I sat on the plane ready to come to NZ. The most difficult part was all of the documentation and visa, as you’d expect, however, the visa only took  3 weeks to be processed. At the time of applying for my visa, the New Zealand Government was in the process of changing certain aspects of the application process and so it was a race against time to get everything sent off. 

Everything went very smoothly. The HR team found a place for me to stay in Auckland for the first 3 weeks whilst I found a long-term place to live, which was just one less thing to worry about and it made me feel very welcome. Sandfield always helped me with any questions I had, places to live, and getting an IRD number. Sandfield also gave me an allowance to help me move from Brazil as the whole process is very expensive, especially due to the fact that the Brazilian economy isn't as strong as New Zealand’s.

What drove you to apply for Sandfield? What was it about the role?

I wanted to leave Brazil as I want to challenge myself both professionally and personally. I know my English needs to be improved, and so what better place to challenge myself than the other side of the world! The culture here seemed like a really good place to work and grow my career, and I saw that many people have been here for a long time, so it's nice knowing that Sandfield is a place that allows you to grow and develop.

You mentioned that people stay at Sandfield for a long time, is that a reason for you applying to the role?

This is one thing that showed me that Sandfield is a very nice and safe environment. People generally don't stay too long in a place that isn’t good to work so seeing that some people have been here for 10, 15, or 20 years is great. 

What was the process of onboarding like?

My team lead has been helping me with many things plus I have to give a big acknowledgement to the wider Sandfield team as they have all been very helpful and are always giving their advice whenever I need it. The whole team is really nice and easy to approach whenever I have a problem I don't understand. I think this is the most important thing for the onboarding process. When I first started, I didn’t know much and had to get to know the system/database and so everyone helped with my questions and has made me feel very settled. 

What are your initial thoughts about Sandfield?

I think that there is a different environment from what I’m used to in Brazil. Back home I used to work weekends as well as sometimes through the night, especially being the team lead. If there was an issue I’d usually be the one to have to fix it, no matter the time /day.

I like the style of work at Sandfield. The confidence that our team leaders have in us is something that I really appreciate. I have found that in my previous role, we can often be micro-managed but at Sandfield you have the freedom to crack on with the work you have been given and have the flexibility to come in and out of work.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to sleep 8 hours a night and so I am really enjoying doing that here.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on solutions for one of the biggest supply chain companies in the world so I’m very excited to be a part of it. 

With this being my first month, I am still figuring out the business rules and getting up to speed with everything. In Brazil, I worked at a supply chain company and so I have some knowledge about the work that Sandfield is doing. 

What are the main differences between Brazil and New Zealand that you have noticed since moving?

For me, the weather. We have similar weather as the sun is shining in Auckland today, but the wind here is very different to Brazil. When I am walking in the street I have to have my hands in my pocket otherwise I am super cold. 

Other differences are the fact that Sandfield is super multi-cultural, you can find people who are from South Africa, South America, Canada, the UK, and the list goes on. Generally in Brazil, we only have people moving from out of state or from surrounding South American countries and so it’s really cool to see people from all over the World working together at Sandfield.

Outside of work, do you have any hobbies/activities?

In Brazil, I enjoy running a lot. My job in Brazil was very full on and kept me busy and so I haven't been able to run for a long time but at Sandfield I am starting to do it again. I have also recently done Brazilian jiu-jitsu, how ironic that I only started this sport when I left Brazil but as mentioned before, my previous job was very time-consuming and so I didn’t have the time. This is my third week doing that and so that is really nice. 

I also like to watch movies and chat with my family. The time difference can be challenging but I wake up at 6 AM most mornings and chat with my two children and girlfriend. 

Picture of Rick with his bicycle

How many kids do you have?

I have two children, a daughter that is 11 years old and a son who is 9 years old. I miss them a lot and that is the most difficult part about being here but I am hoping that I can put my girlfriend and children on my resident visa for them to come over to NZ with me. 

Rick with his family

Do you have any places in NZ that you want to visit?

Yes, a lot! The glow worms in the caves would be the place I’d like to go to most, closely followed by Rotorua to check out the mud springs and hot pools and also Queenstown. Everyone here seems to be speaking about Queenstown and so I'm really looking forward to experiencing that and seeing the beauty of the South island. 


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