“If I could go back in time, I wouldn't change a thing”
Eduardo Montes de Oca completed the Young Professionals program and left Mexico to embark on a voyage of discovery and new challenges. His destination? The Auca project, in Ecuador. “It’s a terrific opportunity to get to meet different cultures, and find out first-hand how work is done in other countries.”
Eduardo Montes de Oca is a mechanical engineer who graduated from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) of Mexico. He’s been working for over four years at Techint Engineering & Construction and is currently an Industrial Project Engineer at the Auca project in Ecuador. There, his job is to support the two construction managers and coordinate the tasks required at the different phases of construction (civil, mechanical, E&I and piping). He also has to follow up on the different project stages and monitor construction progress and programming with the Planning, Management Control and Budgets area. In addition, he is in charge of critical work and liaises directly with the customer for tasks such as well shutdowns or interconnections with existing facilities.
He took his first steps in the company in Engineering area at the Mexico headquarters, in the Mechanics Department, reviewing plans and verifying auxiliary HVAC and SCI systems for offers and projects. “The moment I arrived, I knew that I’d set foot in a large company that could offer me the opportunity to develop exponentially at both professional and personal level,” he explains.
What was the biggest challenge you had to face in your job?
Get somewhere where I knew practically no one. The way I deal with it is to be the way I am, always asking questions, wanting to know more about another country’s culture, with curiosity and interest in always learning something new. Living alongside all my colleagues. It’s a terrific opportunity to get to meet different cultures, and find out first-hand how work is done in other countries, and to go to the Ecuadorian jungle near the Amazon and see all the work being carried there.
How was your expat onboarding to Ecuador?
I arrived in Ecuador without knowing anything about the project, without knowing anyone and without ever even having set foot in the country. The first few months were hard, but I had the support of my direct boss, who told me that I had to do exactly the same thing I’d been doing in Mexico, where I’d done a very good job, and that in this way I would do an excellent job in Ecuador. That was what filled me with motivation to keep going. Little by little, I took on more responsibilities, more projects, and broadened my scope, always with the support of exceptional colleagues. My 6-month assignment ended up being extended to a year and a half.
Of course, it’s a challenge, but at the same time it’s extremely gratifying to see how Techint is developing projects in places where you’d never imagined there could be such a large thing. Today I can say that having an opportunity to go on an international assignment is a truly useful experience for any young professional, whatever their profile. If I had the chance to go back in time and go to the moment when they told me I was going to Ecuador, I wouldn’t change a single thing!
What message or advice would you give to a young person just starting out at Techint E&C?
You’ve got to enjoy every moment! Set yourself short and medium-term goals, and believe in yourself. There’s a reason why you joined this company, as great people make a great company and being inside one is exhilarating. Also, you must fight hard to achieve all the goals you set for yourself, as anything is possible here.