Application Rotation Update: Fernanda Freitas

Fernanda Freitas, a Sandvik application engineer based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recently completed her application rotation in the U.S. Below is a recap of her experience.

When the opportunity to join the application rotation to the Houston office came up, I jumped at the chance to get more experience and explore a new oil and gas market. I’ve worked for Sandvik for almost 10 years in total and I’ve been on the oil and gas team in Brazil for the past five years. Brazil is a smaller market with a state-owned oil company, with different product lines compared to the U.S. Through this program, I hoped to gain valuable technical knowledge that I could bring back to our facility in Brazil to help expand our offering. I was also looking forward to immersing myself in a different culture and learning about daily work life in another country.

After three months in the U.S., here are the three takeaways I’ve found that are different from Brazil:

The market

The market in the U.S. is much larger than I’m used to in Brazil. In Brazil, there is one main operator, but the U.S. has a number of customers with a wider variety of technical applications. I’ve been able to visit our customer’s production facilities in Panama City, FL, Mobile, AL and Canada, which was interesting because they were large and require much more resources than I am used to seeing.

Daily work life

I work from home in Rio, so day-to-day communications have been a change from what I’m used to. Communication with colleagues is different because everyone is in the same location and I like being in contact with people throughout the day. Another difference is that business meetings are more formal in Brazil, but the meetings in Houston are much more casual. I visit customers frequently in Brazil, so it has been great to meet new customers while I’ve been in the U.S.

The products

The Brazilian oil and gas market currently works with hoses for umbilical tubes and is slowly transitioning to steel tubes. Before I headed back to Brazil, I visited our tube production facility in the Czech Republic to learn the ins and outs of the manufacturing process first-hand for when that application expands into Brazil. While I was there, I also had the chance to work with tubes for umbilical, OCTG and subsea equipment, which is new to me. I hope by learning more about the tube manufacturing process, I can determine the feasibility of standardizing the reel size for umbilical products. If I could find a way to standardize and simplify a process for our customers, that would be a very valuable outcome from my learnings throughout this program.

With my application rotation to the U.S. coming to an end, I’m looking forward to bringing everything I learned back to Brazil to share with my colleagues and customers.

Fernanda Freitas