Ever since beginning his studies in software engineering, João Almeida had dreamt about the possibility of coming to the United States. Flash forward to the fall of 2017 and what was once a dream was now a reality. Upon completing his master’s degree, João, a native of the Portuguese coastal city of Porto, fulfilled his long-sought career goal by landing a professional internship in New York City through IAESTE.
And while he only wrapped up his internship a few months ago, his experience, made possible through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, has already paid major dividends.
We recently caught up with João to learn about his experience interning at Cultural Vistas and what he’s up to now.
Fast Facts about João
• Where he is from: Porto, Portugal.
• Where he studied: Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto
• What he studied: Informatics and Computing Engineering
• Where he interned: Cultural Vistas’ NYC office from August-December 2017.
Looking back on your internship experience, how has it benefited you?
Moving to the U.S. brought new opportunities to me. I met a lot of talented people and got access to resources that I wouldn’t have back in Portugal. I experienced new working methodologies and different cultural perspectives. I believe those were important for me not only professionally, but also for my personal development.
I believe that having the chance to work with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds and using different methodologies gave me a broad vision of things. Now, I can take the best of both worlds. The amount of free resources available in the United States is incredible. I tried to make as much of it as I could and I believe I’ve successfully done so.
Do you feel you’ve been able to leverage the connections you made during your time here?
Yes. I got recently hired from people I’ve met while I was in the U.S. I’m currently working as Head of Development for a Los Angeles-based design and technology studio called Masen. It’s a remote position, but I’ll be flying often to LA to deal with big projects.
What advice would you offer someone seeking to gain work experience through a U.S. internship?
Try to take the most leverage you can. Not only in the internship to get new technical skills and meet people from different backgrounds, but also to get the most out of the opportunities that are available in the U.S. If you are good, dedicated and passionate about your work, you will be successful for sure.