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New career, new you

Changing careers to change your life

Úrsula Correa Babeto and André Santos both chose new career paths with Capgemini. Here, they explain how they did it.

What does it mean to you to rewrite your future? According to Úrsula Correa Babeto, a Capgemini solutions analyst in Brazil rewriting your future means “being open to new things, to learning, to want to keep learning and not give up, and to give yourself a chance to do something completely different”.

Úrsula speaks from experience. Before she started work at Capgemini in 2023, she had a career as a flight attendant.

“It was my first job and it was amazing. I went to Europe, the United States, and Latin America, and I learned a lot. It was an opportunity to travel around the world and to develop myself as a person.”

From flight attendant to analyst

After almost 10 years in her job, Úrsula decided she wanted a change. She spent some time in New Zealand before going home to Brazil, where she soon found herself writing a new stage of her life.

“Someone sent me a message about an IT training program run by Capgemini. I applied, and then that was it, and now I’m here.”

The program, named ‘Start’, is Capgemini’s Digital Academy in Brazil, and provides basic IT training to people who have graduated high school or continued into further education. Applicants can choose training in technologies such as cloud, Salesforce, Java, or ServiceNow. Then, if they are successful in tests, they can apply to join Capgemini in an entry-level position.

‘Start’ has been incredibly successful: more than 50,000 people subscribed in the first two years, some 4,000 finished the training modules and more than 550 were hired by Capgemini in Brazil.

“It took me around four months to complete the course,” says Úrsula, “but you can take up to a year.”

Learning at work

At Capgemini, her training has continued, and Úrsula is starting to map her future.

“We have training in programming, including Java and Node, and I’m studying to get my Azure certificate. In the future, I think I’ll probably move into designing user experience (UX) or user interfaces (UI). UX and UI are what you see on the screen of your device – the front end, but before I get there I need to learn what goes on behind it, and that’s where I am now.”

Úrsula says her learning is helped by having a supportive team. “They teach me new things all the time, and they are patient, too. Having the chance to develop with patience and support, and to be guided into roles that suit me and build on skills from other parts of life, makes the challenge of a new career much more comfortable.

“When you start something new, you might not yet know where you want to go with it. You need to be allowed to explore, and at Capgemini you are helped to find the best path for yourself.”

From hospitality to IT

In Portugal, André Santos is an initiative leader at Capgemini. Like Úrsula, his current work is very different from the roles he had at the start of his working life.

I have a degree in hospitality management and a master’s in management and entrepreneurship,” he says. “My sector was hospitality, hotels, and tourism.”

André says that what he liked about hospitality was that he met new people all the time.

“In hotels, you meet people from all over the world and it’s great to hear their different stories. It’s interesting to connect with people. It’s very sociable. When you think of a job like programming, in which people are often quietly working hard at computer screens, it’s very different. But even now, in my role as initiative leader, I still talk as I’m the person communicating new ideas and being able to work across different teams. It’s part of my previous job that I have brought to this new one.”

Re-skilling and internship

André realized he wanted a change of direction when he found the working hours and shift patterns of hospitality were keeping him away from friends and family. He started thinking about programming because he wanted to build an app that could help him launch his own business, but realized he didn’t have the knowledge to do it.

“I took a government-funded re-skilling course in IT,” he says. “After six months of initial training, you do a three-month internship in a company. That company was Capgemini. I was really lucky to go into a great team, and within a few days, they said I could stay on in a job after the internship ended.

“Of course, you can still feel insecure in the early days of a new career. I was surrounded by people at Capgemini who were better technically than me, but they always believed in and supported me. They never let me give up, which was really important and I’m really grateful to them. In these situations, you also realize how resilient you are. It’s about striving for more. That’s something my journey has taught me.”

Finding focus

Now, André looks at the challenges ahead and trusts he will achieve good results.

“I realize, like in hospitality, I like knowing a little bit of everything – and that’s something that is really important to me. If I focus on something, I can do it. My advice to others who want to change their future is ‘don’t hesitate!’ – you are adding value to your life. It can be scary and the path can be difficult, but it will be rewarding personally and professionally.”

In Brazil, Úrsula agrees that learning about your own resilience is part of the way you make change happen. “Learning new things can be hard,” she says. “But when you realize you can do it, it’s extremely satisfying. Changing your path is challenging – but it’s worth it.”

Capgemini’s award-winning Digital Academies train populations away from the job market on digital skills to work in the tech sector towards bridging the digital divide. Spread across 11 countries, over 40,000 people have graduated from these Digital Academies, with 6,900 of them working at Capgemini since 2018.

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