Brazilian Information Systems Professor emphasizes communication skills

Sergio Nascimento is a professor and a consultant with twenty-five years of project management experience. He currently resides in São Paulo and shares how speaking four languages has opened doors for him to work in many nations around the world.

What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in that field?
I am consultant and professor at University SENAC in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. I hold a degree in Electronic Engineering and have twenty-five years of experience in the field of telecommunication, data networks, and software engineering.

Would you describe what you do on a typical day?
My day-to-day activities include reading my e-mails, researching on the internet, and preparing my classes. Additionally, I devote time each week to writing my book and to my position as an IT consultant.

What is your ethnicity? How has it hurt or helped you?
I am Latin American (Brazilian), and I have found my ethnicity has always helped me in my career. I worked several years outside Brazil (Germany, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, USA, Colombia,) and have never been hurt or distrusted because of my ethnicity in other countries. In contrast, it seems that Brazilians are seen by other countries as friendly and warm companions on the job.

If you’ve experienced discrimination, in what ways have you responded and what response worked best?
I never experienced discrimination, but I would suggest for the ones that experienced it to use the example of Jesus, “Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

What languages do you speak? How has speaking another language helped you?
I speak English, German, Spanish and Portuguese fluently, and this helped me to communicate with people in many places.

What did you learn the hard way in this job and how did that happen?
I have heard this many times in some companies, “Our team is the most important unit in this company.” When it comes down to it, however, politics and cutting costs constitute what is important. The value-added to a company is an asset, and the business of politics is a liability. It is very frustrating to hear important executives say they are moving a business in a forward direction when their actions and the way they run the company are backward.

What don’t they teach in school that would’ve been helpful to you?
Warfare psychology, project management, accounting and finance in high school would be very helpful not only for me but also for the next generations of executives.

How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?
I got started in software project management. If I could go back, I would try to change my boss. Seriously, good communication on all levels is what matters.

On a good day, when things are going well, can you give an example of something that really makes you feel good?
Cost and schedule requirements have been fulfilled.

When nothing seems to go right, what kind of snafus do you handle and what do you dislike the most?
The bad thing is when the people you work with (teammates and partners,) do not fulfill the schedule and you have to give the bad news of increased costs.

How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance?
Depending on the day, it can be very pleasing or stressful, but a healthy work-life balance is a must for me and my team.

What’s the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced in this position? Of all the things you’ve done at work, what are you most proud of?
I have been working for a long time overseas and that has given me a very good view of different cultures.

What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
Communication skills would be very helpful.

What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
Communicate all of the time with everyone and try to speak their languages.

How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
Two months a year is more than enough.

Are there any common myths you want to correct about what you do?
“Your secretary is your best friend” is not always true, but she can lead you.
“Your boss is your leader” is not always true, too, but he can be your best friend.

If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
A very good professor with some of my books in the bookstore.

Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?
Plan your life for the future because one day you will retire.

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  • As an educator, I believe we can teach nurses how to make a positive influence in the profession of nursing. Nurses are in a distinct position to influence health care policy and legislation. As a Nurse leader, I want to be seen as part of the solution by being visible, and position myself as key players in the health care reform debate.

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  • One of the long-term goals I have is to learn French,
    Italian and Portuguese. I already know Spanish and English and know people that
    only speak one of them. For the people that only know Spanish see English as
    instrumental to getting anywhere in life. For those that only know English see
    Spanish instrumental to getting further ahead in their careers. The reason why
    I want to say I speak five languages as a way to get jobs in other countries in
    which I am required to know the language. I want to do a lot of traveling and
    recognize that language is a part of culture and not just a means of describing
    it. In order to not be a tourist you must speak and understand the natives.

  • One of my life goals since I can remember is to be a Doctor and be respect at all levels of all universities for my hard work and the way I am. But being in a university as a researcher requires more than that, that is why since the short age of 7 I decided that I wanted to be a professor.

    During my school experience I knew a lot of different kind of professors, but not all of them where what I thought because of their inexperience or the lack of interest in the subject some times, with this examples in my years of youth I started to form my idea of an ideal instructor. Getting the bad and the good things from each of them.

    This is also a delicate matter in my country so I want to change that, to give a better level of education to everyone, because educated people makes a country strong. I want to look for better ways to help people, to turn back on the wish for knowledge and Higher education in the old and new generations; this is the way I plan to help my country not as a politician or a TV star.

  • I believe that education and knowledge is the foundation to all. All of my life I have been passionate about my education but have met many nay sayers throughout the way saying I would never get to where I am today. I am now in a doctoral program and hope to one day be able to work in an academic setting to help students like myself that have not been afforded the opportunities be able to pursue their dreams. I am currently pursuing a degree in health education as I feel that having the knowledge base to make health decisions will only improve our health infrastructure. I hope to be able to work with minorities and immigrants to be able to inform them of their right to health care and also provide them with the information necessary to make good health choices.

  • I have made my decision to become a successful professor. I was always wondering about the goals in my life. I am 31 and still struggling. But as always “It is never too late”. I hope to achieve my doctorate within 5 years from now and become a professor as well as an IT consultant like professor Nascimento. I completely agree with him on his answers. Communication skill is always the first and foremost skill in job or life. I have some years of experience in company and it has always been my weakness. I come from a Non English speaking country and I speak good English but yet I lack a intimacy with people, in productivity and quick problem identification. I want to learn and improve more. Also I am trying to learn Spanish.

    The last Answer is so much Satisfying. We need to plan and plan now. To dream is easy but to fulfill your dream is the hardest. I feel motivated and feel new direction from his life’s quick sketch.

  • This is really amazing. It is touching to see how much he cares. I am studying to become a high school counselor and with so much negativity around me, it makes me anxious thinking I may have chose the wrong path but after reading this, I will never feel that way again.

    I am not fluent in Spanish but I am learning. My goal is to become fluent not only in Spanish but French, Japanese and Korean as well so I can communicate with more students. It has always been in my blood to work in the educational system and that once I graduate, I will be able to help other students move on and continue with their life goals as well.

  • Since I came in to the US, getting in to the education field has been my dream. This interview of a fellow Latin American just makes this dream to be stronger. Professor Nascimento’s words make me believe that everything can be archived.

    I have only five years as a United States resident and reading about a Latino that has succeed is amazing. It is a wonderful how we the latinos have move forward in the past few years. Undoubtedly, professor Nascimento is a role model and that makes me want to be like him. I want to do my best just as he has done it.

  • Currently I’m a member of the the Texas Future Music Educators (TFME) which has given me the knowledge and experience for deciding a career in Music Education. It’s amazing how teachers and professors who dedicate the majority of their time to research, books, planning, and especially to students that they continue to have that craving to share their knowledge to people that either want or don’t want to learn. I was always raised and taught that the sky is the limit and aiming to be a professor in music. Professor Sergio Nascimento has giving me more perspective in how professors i their field have the opportunity to travel the world, write books and textbooks and teach young students who dedicate their time in that field. He sets a extraordinary example for young dreamers like me and everyone else to become a well and successful professor.

  • Like Sergio Nascimento, I truly believe that our university training lack some diversity in the content. In fact, we often study one field from one approach. I hope one day becoming a professor, and if so I will carefully design lesson with different field of study. Psychology, philosophy and finance are true skills for anyone.
    Also I do agree with Sergio that one of the most wonderful and rich experience is to travel abroad. Learning from different culture and perspective will shape our own vision of the world.

  • The professor shapes the minds of the future and consequently, the professor shapes the future itself. The competent professor challenges students to think and question the world, and the visionary professor issues the first rallying cry to the student to change it. Of course, if the professor seeks to be the catalyst for revolutionary change, he cannot bore the students half to death with monotone and uninspiring lectures. As Dr. Nascimento correctly mentions, a communication skills are critical for success as a professor. Few people will remember (or that case, stay awake through) a lecture from a professor that lacks this skill, and as a result academic performance would suffer. If a professor is to open the eyes of the student to the truth, it best done in a captivating, inspiring way that students will never forget.