Janete, what made you move from the Brazilian sun to the Belgian rain?
Love – it’s true (laughs). I followed my heart. My husband is Dutch, but he has been living in Belgium for quite some years. And I followed him to here. You might not expect this, but I love the weather in Belgium. How the seasons change, seeing flowers grow in spring – that’s amazing. From the part in Brazil where I come from, it’s always sunny and around 26°C, the whole year round. I welcome change.
You’re Brazilian-Dutch-Belgian, so to speak. Many backgrounds, sounds like Amadeus.
I know, we are a truly multicultural organisation. My colleagues come from all over the world: Poland, Venezuela, Portugal, Thailand… And I meet a lot of different people from different departments in my job too: a big part of it is internal communication: making our customers’ needs meet with our offering.
Your Dutch is excellent, by the way
Thanks. It’s part of meeting a new culture, isn’t it? And I love language, different languages. That’s a major driver for me.
You’ve always had a heart for travel too
I started my career in travel, as a receptionist at Accor Hotels in Brazil. Already then, it was my way of meeting people, helping them, and speaking their language. Hotels are a great place to do that, by the way. That drive has made me move on to reservations, sales and account management, now at Amadeus. It’s the same, but different (smiles).
What’s a good day at work for you, then?
Apart from assisting people on a daily basis, I think, a customer deciding to choose for Amadeus as a partner and seeing both them and my colleagues content. That’s a sign of trust, and it’s nice to be able to contribute to that.
But it’s about balance too, the right balance between work and life at home. Just being able to come home to my husband and son, realising how lucky I am to be able to have what I want. That’s a major part of it.
What is your most impressive travel memory?
That has to be Brazil, the deep Amazon jungle. Talking about a real adventure. Truly my most amazing travel experience. And meeting indigenous people too, seeing how they live in balance with nature. Just because it is so very different. It’s a totally different world from ours.
That’s why Asia is on my wish-list as well. Although travelling has become harder in a sense, since, every time we get a chance to go away, we could visit my family in Brazil too. I do miss them.
Loving change so much, do you have a motto or a hero?
My dad. He taught me the true meaning of integrity. Although he passed away, that’s a lesson for life.
Thanks, Janete, who’s in this seat next time?
Maria Martinez from our Helpdesk. She’s got Spanish roots, and while she helps a lot of customers, we cannot underestimate how much she contributes. And she always sounds so positive. So I look forward to hearing her.
Care to link up?Find Janete Ripardo-Bruinsma on LinkedIn here.