i was only 16 years old when i decided not to move to the us with my family, but to stay in brazil instead. it was the start of my senior year in high school, and i wanted to graduate with my friends. 11 months later i landed in nyc, where i would live for the next year.
one year was all i was willing to wait in fulfilling my lifetime dream of getting a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the federal university of minas gerais (ufmg), back in brazil. the next four years were hard, studying full-time and working part-time to pay for my living expenses. all federal universities in brazil are funded by the government, so tuition was not an issue.
during my last year at ufmg, i made the decision to pursue a master’s degree in computer science, since i had gotten so involved in research. a week after graduation i moved to sao paulo, where i would spend the next two years working on research, implementation and defense of my thesis at the university of sao paulo in campinas (unicamp). this was an extraordinary time in my life. not only was i doing something i loved, i was also being paid by the university to do it.
i could dedicate 100% of my time to my project, and not have to worry about not being able to make ends meet.
just as i was finishing the implementation of my thesis (compiler optimization for simd processors, if you care to know), i had the chance to take part in conexant systems‘ summer internship program, and received an offer for full-time employment before traveling back to brazil to defend my thesis. 4 months later i was moving from sao paulo, brazil, to newport beach, california. this time with a hunch i was here to stay…
i am grateful for all the opportunities the us has presented me with over the past 6 years or so. today, i am proud to call this country my own.