Driven by dreams: Higor's transition from finance to automotive excellence in Australia
A few years ago Higor was a Brazilian ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and now – he’s a mechanic – speaking English and loving life in Australia…
As shared on the original podcast interview, Higor’s friend’s Instagram post is what introduced him to the beauty of Australia – a photo of Brisbane’s Story Bridge, to be precise. “I immediately messaged my friend and asked where she was on holidays, and she shared that she wasn’t on holidays – but that she lived in Brisbane now and loved it. She said that before she was very stressed, and depressed working for her job in Brazil. And that was me also,” began Higor.
“I was working as a broker for a bank after doing post graduate study in finance. I had three phones, looking at two computer screens, and was working in an environment where everyone was always yelling or talking loudly. My hours were 9-6pm and at 6pm I’d just be dead, every day. I needed a new challenge, I was bored. Four months after, I was flying to Australia.
“Originally I thought I’d be fluent in English in like 6 months. But I wasn’t, and I also wanted to study a Master of Information Technology at an Australian university. After looking at the prices I realised how expensive it would be, so I spoke to my migration lawyer about how I could stay on in Australia, study and find a job afterwards, and he presented me with three options,” said Higor.
Of carpentry, tiling and mechanics, it was the mechanics that appealed to Higor. “One of my friends told me – ‘Higor – do this course, you’re going to like it, you’re going to enjoy it’. Brazilians love cars, and I was sick of paying lots of money to repair my car – so I made the decision – mechanics would be a good option.
“After two years of study – a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology followed by Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis at Acacia Ridge campus, I am graduated and now a full-time Service Technician".
ABOUT THE JOB
“Everything must be very quick – you must learn how to work very fast, whilst you do your job properly. My boss Daniel says, “get it done man, get it done, car in, car out.’
Higor had met Daniel during his vocational placement at TAFE Queensland.
“Placement was something we did at the end of each semester (360 hours in total), for a month or so, after spending time on campus learning theory and practical activities in the campus workshop. I did my work placement with Daniel three of four times at Indooroopilly Volks Wagon, so when I graduated, I messaged him and asked him if he knew of any positions available.
“He said – ‘Are you open to moving to the Gold Coast?’ I said – ‘Of course!’ And then he arranged an interview at MG on the Gold Coast, and one week after that – this is where I work! They are all very supportive, very nice people, all helping me a lot,” Higor said.
THE TAFE EXPERIENCE
“During my time at TAFE Queensland I was encouraged to apply to be a student ambassador. Sean, my teacher said, ‘Do this, it’s perfect for you – you are the right person!’ and I got the position – along with two others. Our roles were to organise a welcome BBQ, be very social, do quizzes and surveys, making sure international students at TAFE feel looked after. I was really excited to do this – I like helping people,” Higor shared.
“One day I hope to go back to TAFE Queensland – but not as an international student anymore. My teachers – especially Sean – have really encouraged me to go gain experience in the industry, and then come back as a teacher!”
Currently Higor works two jobs – one full-time as the Service Technician, and he continues his original part-time position – as a bar attendant at Brisbane Racing Club, on weekends.
“I kept this job because I love it – very social, lots of fun. I also want to see Sydney, Melbourne, and I really want to see Perth. I want to get experience, that is the main thing. I want to grow in this mechanic occupation – to be a very high qualified technician and work as a mechanic. I definitely want to stay in Australia,” Higor ended.