Tiro - Associates

This year I promised to spend a bit of time in the countries I recruit from to learn a bit about the culture and people. This week’s trip is Portugal. Following a few days doing Lisbon - sightseeing and beaches. I headed north to PORTO (2.5 hrs by train from Lisbon) to take in Wine – Francesinha - Queima das Fitas.

Apart from the

Wine – Every single bottle of Douro tasted fantastic. I tried loads just to make sure! This place is a fantastic bar to kill a day in http://www.localporto.com/wine-quay-bar-porto/

Francesinha – everyone must eat one before they die it’s a real man v food dish. Together with cake with everything! tapas and fish fritters. Great starting placehttps://ladobcafe.pt/

Town – Architecturally top draw place to visit including a bridge by Eiffel, very nice port side bar area and a million churches and civic buildings. See the picture above and x10

I was told to also see the annual student festival of

Queima das Fitas. It’s a celebration of transition from Fresher – 2nd year – graduate. It’s where the whole Porto university intake celebrates with a grand parade of each faculty.

Great event that seemed liked a whole town celebration going on from mid-afternoon to the early hours of the morning. Graduates all dress in top hats and carry a Cain in the colours of the faculty. 2nd years dress in traditional university dress with a briefcase and ribbons and the fresher’s well they are told what to wear and must make the maximum amount of noise both of which involves being as silly as!

In the bars after I got talking to a group of engineering students about the future. I must admit it was both sad but inspiring at the same time. Portugal at this time is not blessed with a great economy. For many young people the prospects for employment are not the greatest. Many explained that the best they can hope for is some form of government sponsored internship (they pay 70% of the wages) of 3/6/9 months. Beyond that the opportunity to be taken on permanently is not great. A student can only take part in 3 internships before being left in limbo.

I had always wondered why CVs have these short stints on them following graduation. Now I understand. Some opt for staying, some opt to work in the service industry while attending night school for masters, but for many they see moving country as the ONLY option.

It was quite sad to listen to the students talk but one thing that did strike me was they were motivated – hard working – committed. I thought about my own son, he has all those elements but what would it be like if he was forced to move country. To be honest that would be the last thing he would have to do. But with the onset of BREXIT he may need to move very soon with work. So it was a good experience to talk to the students and seeing them party.

I really liked the students I met and it was a good insight into graduates as a whole from Portugal. The best advice I could give them was

            Really get your English up to speed

            Work hard and get the best degree you can.

            Make sure the projects you work on are relevant to the European market.

            Do a placement that can be credible for your long term career.

The only downside to Porto is that every other shop is a cake shop. While I like a cake I now cant face one. I think this will be like that for a while now!

If you are an engineer in Electronics – Embedded Software – Mechanical Engineering or a graduate thinking of making that first role move give us a call. We can help talk through the real opportunities and help that transition to life in the UK

Our website www.tiroassociates.com

Please feel free to contact me email: Philip.bowers@tiroassociates.com or via LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philipbowerstiro, Tel: +44 (0)1277 352168