A move from Argentina to Australia has taught Fernanda Eusebio to be independent, open-minded and to embrace opportunities that come her way.
I am writing to you from the future, a few years ahead of where you are right now. I know exactly what you’re doing at this moment – you’re about to board that plane that will take you to the other side of the world.
You’ve finally made up your mind, decided to grab the very little material possessions that you have in Argentina, and embrace the unknown. I know what the future has planned for you and – even though I won’t spoil it – I will tell you right now that on more than one occasion you will push yourself much harder than anyone else (don’t be that hard on yourself). You’re about to challenge yourself in ways that you can’t imagine right now.
To help you enjoy the path you’re about to walk down, I would like to give you some advice:
Follow the plan but allow little detours to happen.
Planning is part of your nature and analysing every single scenario seems unavoidable. But detours in your profession will happen and many things will be out of your control. You may doubt your original plan but, in the end, everything finds its own way to where it is supposed to be. You will end up working in a field that you didn’t considered before and you will enjoy it more than expected.
Always remember where you came from and what university taught you
Uni taught you many things: to be proactive, to promptly voice and interrogate any doubt you might have, and to absolutely always ‘find the solution’. These are three of the most important things that I want you to keep present every day. Take advantage of what studying in Argentina has given you. University over there was neither easy nor guided. Use what you’ve learnt, be independent and make yourself useful. You know that if you didn’t ask the teacher whatever question you had in those five minutes before she/he was leaving the classroom, you would have lost the chance. Work is the same: always ask, never be afraid to show that you don’t know.
Hard moments and people will come along – learn from them
Don’t waste your energy and your peace on people that are more interested in the argument than the solution. Hard times are part of life and as soon as you understand that they are only moments that will eventually finish, you don’t need to stress. Work is hard and being a foreigner will make you feel that you are having an even harder time than anyone else. As soon as you understand that is not the case, you will be able to let that thought go and get over the problem faster.
Surround yourself with diverse people because everyone has something to teach you
Embrace opportunities to be around people from multiple backgrounds, and open your mind to everyone. Australia is a beautiful country where you will become friends with people from places that you would never have imagined. I want you to realise that every single person has something to teach you, and that each person’s experience will make you grow personally and professionally.
It will take you some time to truly appreciate this, but it’s important to remember: Don’t waste time! As soon as you put a foot in Australia, go and open yourself to the rest of the world!
I really hope you can take these pieces of advice and genuinely enjoy this new chapter of your life. Apply this way of thinking and you will truly enjoy being an architect overseas. You will find yourself spending many hours in the office and working will be a huge part of your life – you have to enjoy it!
As a bonus, I leave you these two quotes that someone shared with you just before you made the ‘big decision’. I ask you from the heart, please keep them in your mind forever.
“You will not solve the hunger of the world with architecture, so relax, enjoy your profession and do your best.”
“It is equally important to have the knowledge as it is to know the person that has the rest of it. Be humble and always ask their opinion.”
Fernanda Eusebio is a Designer at Woods Bagot where she has been working for the past three years. Before joining Woods Bagot, she worked at a small architectural studio in Perth, a medium-size company in Seattle, USA and in Argentina where she is originally from. She graduated in 2012, obtaining a degree in architecture and urban design. Most of her work experience is in educational, residential and commercial projects in Australia and the United States. Her main interest is to find a good middle point where architecture and interior design complement each other, fully enriching the final result and providing a holistic human experience.