This week we congratulate Argentinian SAP consultant Fernando Ezeberry on his PR status! Upon hearing his news, we thought it apt to find out about his journey so far in Australia, what led him to this country and to hear about his lifestyle and interests here. Below we ask Fernando if his experiences till now have lived up to expectations.
Firstly, congratulations! You’re an Australian resident now! Tell us about where you’re originally from… I was born in a small town in the middle of Argentina – Pehuajo (the name comes from the people who live there before the Spanish arrived…like an aboriginal name – it means a place where you can see the horizon), it’s 5 hours west of Buenos Aires. I did all my high school there and then when I finished I moved to Buenos Aires and studied IT. I studied Systems Analysis. I finished that and the same day, a friend of mine called me, he needed people to do SAP – I said I didn’t know it because we didn’t do SAP at uni but they trained me and I started doing SAP; in 2010 I finished my uni.
So why did you choose to come to Australia? I had a few friends who had been to New Zealand and Australia – working holidays for a year – and they all came back full of stories and life experiences. I’d been working for 4 years and I needed a break, to have some fun. I got my (working holiday) visa to go to Australia.
What were your first impressions of Australia? I was astonished. I met an Australian, a guy my brother met travelling – he and his family helped me with all my first steps in Australia giving me really good advice and helping me with everything I needed – So my first impression was that people are so warm, honestly I was really amazed… all the time.
Tell me about your first year in Australia… what did you do? So my first job in Sydney was on a construction site – I had never worked in construction before but the guy was really keen to teach me and help me with everything. So I then worked for a while and I bought a car – my idea was to go south and work on farms. So I drove around to farms asking for a job – I was travelling and working and time flew by. I faced many things that I never faced before.
What led you to your current job? I looked on Seek website. I saw the ad there and I applied. It takes time, it’s not like… just pressing a button. You have to write an email and have a good presentation (cover) letter for the job; your resume, of course, has to be polished. Writing a resume is different in Australia to the ones in Argentina. If you talk with recruiters, it’s really hard – it feels harsh when they treat you badly. I had a few experiences. Some people get frustrated but I let it go, I knew I could communicate.
When did you first get interested in IT as a career? A friend of my family he had an IT company back in Argentina and I worked for him.
“You have to be really convinced of what you want…Be fearless; You have the opportunity to live in another country, speak another language… at the end of the day it’s win-win, you have to try your best.”
So you’ve been in Australia 5 years now…what advice would you give to others looking to work or study here? You have to be really convinced of what you want, that’s the first step. Be fearless; go for it! You have the opportunity to live in another country, speak another language… at the end of the day it’s win-win, you have to try your best. Of course you have bad moments, you will miss your friends, your family.
I’ve heard you’ve been organising some interesting events involving beer, music and fundraising for charities…sounds cool! Can you tell us about them? We’ve done two sessions which we call Rooftop Sessions – music sessions on rooftops. It started in a friend’s house on a rooftop with a view of Bronte Beach, so we set up all the sound systems, my cousin and I went with guitars and another guy was fundraising – he was charging $15 for a ticket and it goes to charity. And people really like it. People from everywhere, Spain, Germany, Australia… a mix… and everyone was asking when are you going to do the next one. We have a WhatsApp group with 300 people and they were asking when the next one was so I talked to my friend and said let’s do another one do we did one last Sunday. Every time we do a session we change the charity. The last one was Utopia for a school in the Central Australian desert – they are all Aboriginals – and the teachers want to bring the kids into the city. These kids have never been to the city and they don’t know what traffic is like, what a building is like, they are really isolated. They want to do a school trip and they need to raise money. They do some artwork, like paintings to raise money. They sold one at the Rooftop Session, they got good money for it. It went well. We raised a few thousand dollars and they were really happy.
What inspired you to do this? Friends who asked me to play guitar there, he called me and asked me along, I said, 100 percent! This is a good thing and I gave my support.
That leads me to the next question… a little bird told me about other cool talents you have – do tell! (He’s getting embarrassed now…sorry Fernando!) I play the guitar, I sing a bit and I play the harmonica, too. Music has always been around me since I was a kid. I’m not really good, to be honest! But I just do it…if it sounds bad, it sounds bad! I try to do my best. You can’t always please everyone!