Felipe Costa Padovan, tecnólogo em mecanização em agricultura de precisão, formado na Fatec Shunji Nishimura, que realiza estágio em uma empresa norte americana localizada na cidade de Sabetha no Estado do Kansas, se destaca em suas atividades no exteriorua e sua história é contada no jornal The Sabetha Herald em reportagem com título "The Long Road Travel" (A Longa Jornada Percorrida). O jornal tem uma versão impressa e uma digital. Abaixo segue, na íntegra, a reportagem sobre Felipe. A versão digital pode ser visualizada no site do jornal pelo endereço: http://sabethaherald.com/2014/09/the-long-road-traveled/
How did a young man from Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil, find his way more than 5,000 miles to a different continent, to an internship in Sabetha, Kansas?
Brazil native Felipe Costa Padovan, 22, who is an intern with KSi Conveyors, answers that question in his interview with this Herald reporter.
“After I finished my college degree, I started to think about the possibility of coming to the U.S. for an internship,” he said. “I wanted to get more fluent in English, stay in contact with another culture and learn something in my internship area. This interest of mine started when I used to listen to my dad talk about his experiences when he came here to the U.S. for an internship for one year.”
Felipe’s father, Luiz Padovan, and some other men from his college had come to the U.S. to enhance their agricultural knowledge through internships. Among those men was Luiz Padovan’s friend, Ed Souza. These friends helped each other throughout their year of internship. L. Padovan had landed an internship in Kansas, but Souza’s internship was in another state, at a farm that didn’t produce grains. L. Padovan helped Souza transfer his internship to a good farm in Kansas, where he could gain experience working with grains.
“After that year of their internships, both men returned to Brazil,” Felipe said. “But after a while, Ed Souza came back to the U.S. to get a college degree. After that, he started working at Wenger Manufacturing, where Paul Kaeb, now CEO of KSi, also worked. So, that is how I got in contact with Paul Kaeb, through Ed Souza.”
Felipe received his college degree at a FATEC in Brazil. His degree qualifies him as a technologist in mechanization in precision agriculture.
According to Internet sources, FATECs are important Brazilian public institutions of higher education and are pioneers in the graduation of technologists.
“I became interested in the agricultural area because my dad was always involved with that,” Felipe said. “He taught some agricultural courses, and he always used to take me with him to farm shows, to see all the new equipment and concepts in agribusiness. During my technician studies, I did an internship at a sprayer company. I worked three years for this company.”
When Souza was traveling near the Padovans’ hometown last year, he visited them and stayed for dinner.
“I said that I was looking for a place to get an internship in the U.S., and he said that he had a good friend who could give me an opportunity,” Felipe said.
So when Souza visited Sabetha for a meeting at Wenger, he talked with Paul Kaeb, who agreed to give Souza’s young friend an opportunity.
“Ed put me in contact with KSi HR Director Mathew Kaeb, and we discussed all of our interests,” Felipe said. “On April 15th, I arrived in Sabetha to start my internship with KSi Conveyors.”
“While here on his internship, Felipe is spending his time within the KSi Controls Division,” M. Kaeb said. “Due to Felipe’s education and interest in Precision Agriculture, this seemed like a great fit.”
Felipe is gaining experience in a variety of tasks with KSi.
“He has spent time working in production and traveling to customer sites for system startups and customer training,” Kaeb said. “And the plan is for him to spend time with the KSi Sales Team at two National Farm shows – Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, and Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Nebraska.”
Felipe is approximately halfway through his internship.
“It has definitely been a two-way benefit for both Felipe and KSi,” Kaeb said. “While Felipe gets to spend time in the United States learning about the culture here, we, too, are able to learn a great deal about the life and culture from Felipe’s home country, Brazil.”
Felipe said he is enjoying both the internship and his experience of living in Sabetha, and he is happy that he chose the internship at KSi.
“I’m really enjoying everything here,” he said. “Before I came here, I also had offers at other places, but I know that KSi is the best place that I could choose!”
While Felipe paid his own way to the U.S., the internship is a paid internship, and in addition, KSi pays him a stipend for his housing and living expenses, Kaeb said.
“This is our first international internship,” Kaeb said, “but we offer internships quite regularly for college students who are looking for work experience, most often in our engineering department. We are definitely open to the possibility of future international internships.”
“My internship will finish on December 31st,” Felipe said. “And I don’t know about after that. I’m waiting for what God is preparing for me.”
“Besides having Felipe work for us at KSi, it has been a blessing to just get to know him as a personal friend whom we will hopefully be able to stay in touch with for many years to come,” Kaeb said.
While here in Sabetha for his internship, Felipe is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Sabetha.
He is the son of Luiz Atilio Padovan and Rosana Costa Padovan of Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil. Both of his parents are teachers; His father is an agricultural machines professor, and his mother is an English teacher for basic school. He also has a younger sister, Fernanda.
Located in an agricultural region, Pompeia is considered a small town, Felipe said, with a population of 20,000.
“We have plenty of agricultural areas around my home area,” he said. “In my region, we are strong in coffee and sugar cane.”
Pompeia is located about six hours from the big city of São Paulo, which has a population of approximately 11.5 million. According to Internet sources, São Paulo is the largest city of Brazil, the largest city proper in the Americas and the southern hemisphere, and one of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas in the world.
Felipe shares a house with Mahmoud Abdalla of Egypt, who began working as a KSi employee around the same time that Felipe began his internship.
“Mahmoud and I live in a house that we moved into at the beginning of August,” Felipe said. “Before that, we were living in Paul Kaeb’s basement.”
Felipe said he doesn’t cook, but Mahmoud does.
“I’m not too good at cooking, so I eat out often,” Felipe said.
Felipe compared his life here in Sabetha to his life in Pompeia.
Felipe Padovan of Brazil is very proud of and pleased with his first car, a 1991 Geo Tracker he bought here in the United States. Patty Locher | Herald
Felipe Padovan of Brazil is very proud of and pleased with his first car, a 1991 Geo Tracker he bought here in the United States.
Patty Locher | Herald
“Food is a big thing that is really different,” he said. “Down there in Brazil, we have a healthy, natural and regular diet, with rice and beans (salty); some kind of meat such as beef, chicken, pork or fish; salad and vegetables for every meal! With natural juices, too! And here you have more fast and processed food.” “Everything has to be too fast here, so you need fast food too!” he quipped.
Another aspect of his life here is his own first-ever car.
“My first car is my Geo Tracker that I bought here in the U.S.,” Felipe said. “It was made in 1991, so my car is older than me! In Brazil, I have a motorcycle, and I used to drive my parents’ car. But it’s really awesome having my own car here. I can go wherever I want, without needing a ride.”
Felipe is enjoying his leisure time during his KSi internship, with much of his relaxation spent similarly to when he was in Brazil.
“To have fun, I hang out a lot with my friends here. I love games and sports. So we play a lot of ping pong, mainly with Mahmoud, when we have an internal competition at home,” he said. “We play soccer at least once a week, we play Frisbee, and FIFA, which is a soccer game on X-Box. These FIFA games are really nice, and no one wants to lose!”
Felipe and some of his friends also sometimes attend pro sports games in the city.
“Sometimes we go to games in Kansas City, such as baseball and soccer,” he said. “And we are planning to go to a football game. And I’m really enjoying be a Royals fan. In Brazil, I used to do almost the same things: hang out with my girlfriend and friends, watch movies, play games, and play a lot of soccer.”
Felipe also plans to become a Sabetha High School Bluejays fan as the high school football season gets into full swing.
Felipe said he is really looking forward to December, when his parents, his sister, and his girlfriend, Bruna Bezerra, also from Pompeia, plan to come to Sabetha to visit him at Christmas time.
“My parents decided to come here to the U.S., to stay with me at Christmas time,” he said. “And like a Christmas gift, they will bring my girlfriend with them, to enjoy everything that I’m enjoying here.”
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