Hellmann Globetrotter: José Fernando Mora

Today we introduce Globetrotter Fernando Mora, who joined Hellmann in Mexico City in 2016. From Pricing Specialist, he quickly moved up to the position of Trade Analyst for the Latin American region. Having had his first touchpoints with Hellmann Asia, he was encouraged by his former boss Paulina Aller to apply for a job vacancy in Singapore. Just in time for Christmas, he received news that he would start working as Trade Lane Manager at the APAC headquarters in Singapore from March 2021. With COVID in full swing, Fernando moved to the other side of the world where he has met lots of new people and cultures since. Enjoy his story!

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Hi Fernando, what motivated you to move to Singapore?

I was definitely up for new experiences outside my comfort zone!

So I thought: Why not try it? I think the opportunity came at the right time for me. It was a chance to grow both professionally and personally. Since I moved to Asia, I learnt a lot about different cultures, and at the same time I am also learning more about my own culture, because I have a completely new perspective.

Has it been easy for you to integrate into your new work environment?

It has not been easy at all because of the COVID-restrictions. At the beginning I only went to the office for two weeks. Due to the pandemic situation I had to return to work from home. So I have not been able to interact much in person with my colleagues in the office, but I have always felt their support. They have taught me about the culture here, the food, and we still been able to get to know each other.

At first it was difficult for me to get used to the weather because in Mexico City the weather is dry and we can feel the four seasons of the year. Here in Singapore it is always humid and hot. In the office or any shop they have the air conditioning at a very low temperature. At the beginning it was difficult to get used to that, but now I love it when I enter a place that is fresh.

Fernando at the illuminated Gardens by the Bay

What do you miss most from home?

Of course my family. I miss them very much, also my work colleagues in Mexico and lifelong friends. I miss that we used to make unexpected plans to see each other when they were close to my home. I also miss travelling. Since the pandemic started, it has not been easy to move from one place to another. I also miss being able to express myself in Spanish because sometimes I want to say something I think of in Spanish but I don’t know how to express it in English.

What do you love most about living in Singapore?

Culinary pleasures for every taste

The people are very friendly. It's very peaceful here and it's also a cosmopolitan country. There are four languages spoken here: English is the most predominant, followed by Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, which is something that really struck me.

I also like the fact that even though there are different religions here, people all live together respectfully. There are different neighborhoods you can go to like Chinatown, the Indian quarter, the Arab quarter, there is a Muslim market as well. There are many Buddhist and Hindu temples as well. I really enjoyed visiting the temples and finding out more about different cultures.

There is also a great variety of food. You can find Arabic food, Thai food, Vietnamese food, Malaysian food and many more. Now I've become a big fan of Arabic food and Indian food.

I also like that a lot of people are into fitness. It is common to see people jogging, running, cycling or exercising outdoors and that has motivated me to exercise as well.

Exercising outdoors with new friends

How does a perfect day-off look like for you in Singapore?

I would wake up late, have local food for breakfast in a restaurant. In the afternoon I would enjoy the beach with friends. I would take the cable bus to go to a restaurant on Sentosa Island and have a nice beer. Then, in the evening, I would go for a walk.

Also on weekends I like to enjoy going for a swim in the pool, enjoy the weather and go sightseeing in the city. Even though it is a small country, it has very beautiful spaces that can also be enjoyed during the working days after office hours. I like going to the green areas of the city and to the central part of the MBS - Marina Bay Sands - which is a very popular integrated resort, the atmosphere of the place is very nice.

Sightseeing in Singapore

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! Is there anything else you would like to add before we say goodbye?

I would recommend anyone who has the opportunity to go abroad to don’t think about it, but just do it! It is a great experience that I have enjoyed very much. I have been able to face new challenges and I have enjoyed every single experience.

I think it's an opportunity to get to know myself better, I've become more independent and I've learned to value a little more some of the things I had in Mexico. And fortunately I have counted on people who have supported me and have made the transition much easier for me.

Thanks a lot for sharing your story with us, Fernando!

Katja Siefke

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