As millions of immigrants my father came to Portugal to work, this happened in the year 2000. He went straight to Madeira where they offered employment. After 1 year, in 2001 my mother and I arrived to spend holidays and see this exotic country that he both spoke well. I soon fell in love with Portugal and my mother too. So we decided to stay here to build our lives.
I realized that in order to have good living conditions I have to finish the higher education. Without knowing the Portuguese language I began to learn to speak in the first days of my stay. I met some people, but I continued to communicate with them in English because I did not know enough. When summer was over, I went looking for Secondary School in the area of my residence, because I wanted to study, by then I knew how to say a few words but that was not enough. I found and enrolled in the Dr. Ângelo A. Silva school. I enrolled in the school newspaper because I wanted to learn Portuguese as soon as possible and my teacher helped me immensely in this (Professor Agostino). With a lot of work, I started to write the articles. Of course most of them were done with the help of the dictionary. After some time I realized that the technique that advised me for a quick learning of Portuguese helped. This technique consists of replacing words in English that I would say by words in Portuguese that I already knew. Over time I noticed that there were no words in English that I said, but everything in Portuguese. I went to Lisbon, I could speak Portuguese and my classmates accepted me well. They laughed when I spoke, because a Russian speaking wood pronunciation was not something they found every day. I had some difficulties, but I went through the national exams together with my colleagues. On the second attempt I entered ISEG College with an average of 14.8 points. I was well integrated. After an experience of changing country and meeting new people adapting well in college was easy. I began to study hard and also to work at AIESEC (the largest worldwide organization run exclusively by students, linking business and university students). Of course I had difficulties because in the organization work a lot in team and I was not accustomed to that. I only knew how to work individually, without asking anyone to help me share the ups and downs of the project. Of course I asked for help first, otherwise it would be impossible for me to learn Portuguese. But sharing this with the whole team does not. With AIESEC I learned and started to enjoy working as a team. I noticed that without a good team we never managed to get such good results. I made two successful projects with my colleagues. We started working and made a profit (around 170 €), an excellent profit knowing the purposes of our projects. In addition to the projects at AIESEC I also had leadership and management experience in GMC and SDG games. They are management simulators for young people and companies (it is a strategy and management competition involving several sectors of business and university life). In this game I realized the difficulties of managing a team and motivating it to achieve better results. We are called ISEGUIANOS, and in the game GMC we were in 1st place of the group until the 4th decision, but in the 5th (and last) we lost the lead and we were in 2nd place in the group. I was able to make my team not totally unmotivated and unreliable to try again. We did not win but it was our first time and we all learned immensely (who surpassed us were the pros). I learned so much from this experience! My leadership style has been improved and adapted to the situation. Of course, we all want to play in the game next year. At this point in the projects within AIESEC I realized the strongest obstacle that I and my colleagues had. We spent a lot of time looking for up-to-date business contacts. So I thought if someone created something like that it would be much faster and easier to work with. With experience in AIESEC and theoretical knowledge I thought “and why can not I be the one to create such a platform?”. And we started working to make it a reality and we succeeded. With the help and support of my parents we were able to create the database and set up the company. Now Information in the Hour.Lda is working and is already having success among the users of the web-site. After all, we were not the only ones with the difficulty of finding the contacts. The idea is also to become a link between business and consumers. We have the informational telephone number, 800 20 20 50 with free call, and the website . We also provide the consumer with weather and traffic information. In development we have a tourism department. We also plan to translate the site into other languages (English, French and Russian) so that Portuguese companies can connect with companies from other countries. I have a very precise company development plan because I have already learned to plan and overcome obstacles by doing my best and not surrendering to them.