New path ahead for Amanda

Amanda is a young woman who participated in the youth employability trainings with AkzoNobel Brazil in 2019. Working currently as a cashier, Amanda credits the programme for helping her rediscover her passion for architecture and interior design. Now, she is committed to study and shape a career in these areas.

“My name is Amanda Barbosa, I'm 20 years old and I'm living in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2019 I was not working, when I heard about the programme with AkzoNobel from the social worker at SOS Children’s Villages Brazil. I had no professional experience and it was a very difficult time to get a job. I decided to participate. I said, ‘Let's learn!’ “

“I was interested in participating for two reasons. First, I thought I could renovate my home and bringing dignity to my grandmother, my mother, bringing life and light to our home! Plus, I always liked painting, architecture. Changing environments and decorating had always interested me. Second, I knew it would contribute to my employability, to my resume and could be an immediate source of income. For example, some women are sometimes uncomfortable with a male painter in their homes, so I could get some work like that, as a woman offering painting services to other women.”

The programme exceeded Amanda’s expectations. “We had more activities in the company than I imagined, which I really liked - we learned a lot there! It was cool to have the opportunity to enter the factory and have this contact with the volunteers. They gave us several tips on how to behave in a work environment and helped us define our short, medium- and long-term goals.” 

“The activity that had the greatest impact on me was the session on Personal Marketing, which included an activity on CV writing. It helped me in thinking about how to use social media and what I want to portray. An AkzoNobel volunteer taught us how to adapt our CVs depending on the area we want to work in and how to sell our qualities and strengths. Another activity I liked was about looking for job or training opportunities using LinkedIn and how to behave in a job interview. “

“Besides this, it was important for me to have this experience because I had the opportunity every day to overcome my shyness. In the programme, I was able to open up to people, be myself. I learned to communicate and express myself in a corporate environment.  It was very helpful to deal with different people and learn how to express myself in these situations, especially how to come to a consensus when we disagree.”

On top of gaining knowledge and skills, Amanda also found a role model. “We met Livia, a young volunteer who works in marketing. She showed us what's behind product marketing and I thought ‘Wow, I want to be like her!’ “

Taking part in the trainings had a long-lasting impact on Amanda. “My life plan changed after being part of this programme. Before I started, I was planning on getting a license to work as a flight attendant. With AkzoNobel I discovered I want to study architecture or interior design! This year I applied to take the national exam to enter university, but, because of COVID-19, it will have to be next year. In the meanwhile, I am working in a lottery office as a cashier.”

“I would recommend this programme to anyone, because, first of all, you gain experience. Your horizon widens. And second, because you acquire knowledge for your life!”

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