Cultural Diversity and Background at SimScale: Enrique Portela
Enrique Portela is working as International Market Analyst and Commercial Assistant at SimScale. He studied Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada and has professional experience in Sales, Finance, Taxes, Data Analytics, and Market Intelligence. Before joining SimScale he worked for Freedom 55 Financial, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and NAV Canada.
Enrique is also the guy who raises the team’s spirit with jokes; or with cookies during the day.
Here at SimScale we are 38 team members coming from 18 different countries. How did you find adapting to the multicultural environment?
I found the cultural diversity exciting and fitting like a glove. I was born and raised in Canada, with Costa Rican parents. I have lived in Spain, Singapore, France and now Germany.
When did you start working at SimScale?
I started working at SimScale 9 months ago. It’s been great so far!
How is the team?
It’s actually the most driven workplace I’ve ever worked in. People are very intelligent and versatile; they are willing to learn and take on new tasks or responsibilities without any problem and to a high quality.
It’s one of the best work atmospheres I have experienced. It’s a little different from the Canadian work environment. I find that this suits my personality better.
In what sense? How is it in Canada?
There is no typical Canadian culture, but my experience has been with people who were very hard-working, good-natured and reserved. At SimScale, it’s natural to give and receive feedback, it’s what helps you improve and become better and better at what you do. Also I feel that I can argue my point, that my opinion matters. From the Managing Directors and my direct manager to any of my colleagues, everybody is open and we can have constructive dialogue. It’s just about listening to the team’s diverse perspectives.
We are a startup, so there are always ideas flowing; there isn’t an old way of doing things. There’s a high level of learning agility here. One of the reasons why I joined SimScale is that it was a new experience, giving me the freedom to learn and develop my existing skills and acquire new ones. SimScale gave me better development opportunities than other companies I worked with in the past.
What is the best thing about working here?
I feel that there’s a lot of good energy and all my colleagues are real professionals! The team is young — I’m probably one of the oldest ones here; nobody could tell though. (smiling)
The best thing is the corporate culture. Everybody’s open to new ideas, more willing to adapt and try to come up with new concepts. It’s not people who are just happy to do only one thing, exactly how they always did it. It’s very much a “push forward” environment; if something that happened in the past failed, it’s not to be taken personally, we can say “OK, that failed, now we learn from the mistakes and move on, find out what works.” People have a really high motivation in this company.
Another thing is that I like the work that I’m doing; I feel that I’m learning a lot. Every day you can improve, no matter how experienced you are. At SimScale there isn’t a day when I don’t learn anything. And if there is, that’s a really boring day, because I am not used to it. (laughing)
What impact do you think the cultural diversity of the SimScale team has?
I believe that to be an international company, diversity is important. Not just a diversity of culture, but also a diversity of backgrounds. These differences allow us to gain new perspectives and insights into different markets. We are not just selling to one market segment with one job title. The impact our multiculturalism has is that we are able to enter different markets with a proper mindset and an ability to adapt quickly to the changing world.
If you would change one thing about SimScale, what would it be?
I would change the coffee. We need more Costa Rican coffee; I may be bias, but it’s so tasty!
One last thing: What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about applying for a job at SimScale?
Be versatile. Don’t come here with a fixed mindset. You will be involved in many tasks and projects. This is true for Sales and Marketing and also for the Product department; things change, evolve.
If you want something to be the same every day of your life, SimScale is not the right work environment for you. But if you want to improve, develop your skills and reach your full potential, you might have found the perfect place.
Working in a startup is a good way of getting as much experience as possible and building business acumen. SimScale definitely gives you this possibility.
It could also be a way to discover what you like to do most and even find a new passion. At SimScale you can run experiments and learn from them, it’s not a place where people crush you right away because of it. Due to this attitude, you are much more motivated to do a great job, and aim for perfection. You feel more responsible.
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