Mercello Blass: Hello Juliana, hello everyone. So my name is Marcello, I’m from Brazil. I’m 30 years old and I work as a project and engineer manager from the past five years, just five years before I work as also a programmer, mainly only working with Java PHP languages. And recently I got hired by 7Shifts to work as an engineer manager as animation and I just started last week.
Juliana Murrays: That’s amazing, that’s great to hear. Congratulations. So tell us a little bit more about how did you find out about VanHack and how did that journey start?
Mercello Blass: I found out the first place via Google actually, while searching for relocation positions outside Brazil. So to be honest, at the first moment, I didn’t give it much attention. I thought it was just a regular recruitment agency. So it was just a couple months later when I heard one of my friends got hired by VanHack, I got real excited and I realized that so that’s really worse. I should get some time to update my resume over there to keep looking for daily positions on a daily basis. That was when I moved to premium. And I started looking for positions to do a lot of networking. And after I’d say two months I got the premium, I got hired with.
Juliana Murrays: That was pretty quick, right? So I feel you probably were ready, very prepared for the jobs. Tell me a little bit more about that? When you signed up for premium, did you know where would you like to focus on?
Mercello Blass: The main reason to, I think that there were two main reasons to sign up for premium. The first one was to improve my resume. So since I never applied to position Canada or abroad, I thought it was important to talk to experience people that could help me building concedes and Canadian resumes. So I used that and that was very helpful and the other reasons to network, so to be able to use the premium’s like channel, to talk to another candidates that were seeking positions, to candidates that were hired by VanHack and also to all the talent specialists over there. So I’d say the two main reasons was, that even if the English classes are probably very useful for a lot of people, I thought that my focus was really the resume and the networking.
Juliana Murrays: Amazing. That’s great to hear. And tell me a little bit more about your interview process because you got a job as a manager, and that’s kind of pretty exciting. So tell us a little bit more, because I guess it might be a very complex sort of interview.
Mercello Blass: So the interview process was very structured to be honest. So it started with a prescreen with the HR from 7Shifts, a really quick call, I think, 20 or 30 minutes where I found out about the company, what they were doing. And they asked me a lot of behavioral questions more to see if my cultural fit was good for the company. After that, I got a more technical interview, but I mean with a technical team, but not as technical, mainly because I was applying as a nation for manager positions, they asked me more questions about behavior and leadership. So they ask about how I used to manage my teams, about hiring process, firing process that I pass through my career. So different from most of the VanHack positions, mine was more focused on.
Juliana Murrays: The management part of it.
Mercello Blass: Management questions. So I met with the technical team, but all the questions were more behavior and more soft skills I would say.
Juliana Murrays: And so I guess, did you have any experience in the industry?
Mercello Blass: No, to be honest, I had experience as an engineer manager and product manager, but not on a software company nor a start up. So I used to work in very large companies in Brazil from the food and beverage industry. So, even if I was not used to this kind of environment, I was used to manage a lot of people from different locations and I think that was very helpful. And that was the experience they were looking for here at 7Shifts.
Juliana Murrays: Amazing. Definitely, that wasn’t a set for you. Amazing. And so what was maybe the most challenge part of the preparation for you?
Mercello Blass: I think gathering all the documents for the Visa application. I think that’s that’s the most anxious part from the whole process. So get referenced ladders from the other companies that I work at for, that was not an easy task mainly because I worked in companies from another cities. Many different locations. So it was a challenge. I was able to complete all of that. And also, we never know what would be the output from RICC, so they could ask for more documents. The timeline is not very clear always, but all the Visa team from VanHack, Karen in touch, Annie, they helped me a lot to try to structure the needs and try to deal with my anxiety during this process. So that helped.
Juliana Murrays: Oh God. That’s great to hear. And it’s pretty, it can be very stressful, it takes some time to gather all the documentation. It’s a lot of stuff to do. I know
“the global talent stream is a very good program and it’s very quick to get replies“
Mercello Blass: It’s working, it’s worth it. It’s very anxious for some weeks and the global talent stream is a very good program and it’s very quick to get all the replies, if you compare to the traditional process. But that was the most challenging because I need to deal with a lot of different information on my work in my previous company. So it was stressful, but it’s worth it.
Juliana Murrays: Of course, yes. And so how long did it take to process the Visa stuff and everything?
Mercello Blass: Since the beginning, until the end, when they got a stamp on my Visa it took three to four weeks, so it was pretty fast if you compare it to other types of application. So, but it can take less, I knew some people that took like two or three weeks, so it’s pretty fast. If you’ve got everything prepared, if you got all the requirements quickly, you can get these ensure three weeks in a regular scenario.
Juliana Murrays: Amazing. So, there was any part of the interview process that it was very challenging for you?
Mercello Blass: I think at the last interview I did with the CEO from the company was challenging because I was not, I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, but it was very, let’s say relaxing to be honest, when I start talking and Jordan 7Shifts CEO explains about the company while they were looking for. So it was like a pleasant talking 15, 20 minutes talking. And I feel very, let’s say happy to see that the company was investing a lot and taking some valuable time from their CEO to talk to me before I get hired. So actually the reply, the response after this license reveal took like 15 minutes. So it was very exciting and then it’s expected to be so fast.
Juliana Murrays: Amazing. I really liked the start up environment because it can get close to the founder and to the other coworker. So it’s a pretty cool experience. So how was your first day or first week at work? How did you feel?
Mercello Blass: It was very cold. So I just got here in January. So Saskatoon has a pretty cold weather by that time. And I know minus 30, 20 degrees is very common for that time. So I arrived at a very cold timeline, but all the people, all the colleagues and all the people here in Saskatoon has been very welcome to me. They helped me find the places to go, to get all the bureaucracy. When you arrive in new country, like getting a social security number and your cell phone, to get a lease. So they helped me during the whole process. I feel very welcome here. And that helps a lot. I was concerned that because cause Saskatoon is pretty small city compared to Brazil, to the cities in Brazil, but the infrastructure here is very good actually. So the city is very, has a pretty good structure. All the locations are nearby from where I leave. So, that helps a lot. We can, I can go walk into work and to the restaurants, to the main venues. So that’s a good thing.
Juliana Murrays: Wow. And so you’re from San Paolo Brazil?
Mercello Blass: I’m actually from Portola in the South, but I used to live in past five years in San Paulo. So one of the reasons to move here, is to get a more quiet place and ease to move place. So in that, considering that I’m doing very well here.
Juliana Murrays: Amazing. It’s a completely different lifestyle, right? So it takes some time for you to adapt, especially, to adapt to the cold, but, I guess you were pretty freezing there, coming Vancouver and it’s kind of cold too, but you’re going to get there.
Mercello Blass: The heat system inside the apartments and the clothing do a pretty good part on that. That’s worked so far and the city is very, in the summer, it gets really warm here and it’s a very beautiful city to go out to the parks to travel. So I’m really looking forward to experience also that.
Juliana Murrays: That’s so cool. So, well, my last question for you here, it’s what would be your pro tip to someone that is just starting in this journey and want to pursue and want to find a job abroad, what would we say to them to help them to get prepared?
“I would say that networking is the most important piece”
Mercello Blass: Sure. I would say that networking is the most important piece. So when I joined premium and I joined this Slack channel, we start talking to other candidates and also to all the VanHack staff, they helped me understand their needs. When I saw some opening position, I tried to understand who was the talent specialist responsible for it, I try to ask questions, show that I was interested, and I think that’s one of the biggest part, to show interest, to talk to a lot of different people, try to be fast. So it was daily looking for new positions in the websites. So of course it’s not the only things that counts, you need to be experienced, you need to be a good professional, but to be quick and to be interested, it’s a big thing.
Juliana Murrays: I know. I completely agree with it. It’s a combination of things, but the network it plays a big role. Definitely. And being active and being kind of like serious about the goal when preparing yourself every day. Amazing. Well, Marcello, thank you so much for accepting our invite. It’s a very inspirational story. Thank you so much. So let’s keep in touch, let’s keep hacking together.
Mercello Blass: I will thank you also Juliana for you and all of VanHack. It’s something that you are a big part on what is happening right now with me. And I’m very happy and be sure that we’ll keep in touch or keep hacking with everyone and helping other candidates to achieve what I achieved so far. So thank you.
Juliana Murrays: So let’s keep hacking together. See you guys at the next success case. Bye.
Mercello Blass: Bye.