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My Journey from Brazil to Silicon Valley: Where Dreams Soared and Hearts Prevailed

In the lively streets of Florianópolis, Brazil, I took my first steps, unaware of the vast world awaiting beyond my homeland. Little did I know that my life would soon become a tapestry woven with the threads of resilience, passion, and relentless pursuit of dreams. My name is Gabriela Wiggers, and this is my story – a narrative that spans continents and defies boundaries. So buckle up. I'm about to share my heartwarming tale of a journey from Brazil to Silicon Valley.

As a college student majoring in Psychology, I was granted a scholarship that opened doors to international experiences. Portugal became my home, where I absorbed the richness of its culture and knowledge - and met many fantastic and intelligent people from all over the world. A brief but transformative period in Belgium followed. For a 21-year-old who had never left the country, an inter-continental move in an era of flip phones and physical maps was a beast to be tamed - and eventually enjoyed. These moments became the colorful brushstrokes on the canvas of my life, shaping my perspective and igniting my passion for exploration.

A little after a year abroad, I returned to Brazil, and my heart brimmed with aspirations. With newfound knowledge from my psychology degree, I envisioned a future in private practice. Yet, fate had different plans. An MBA beckoned, and I found my entrepreneurial mind shifting my work to a business setting. It was nothing new to me since my mom used to work in the largest bank in Brazil, and my dad is a serial entrepreneur - I've watched him embark on several businesses throughout my life.

In 2015, after visiting my sister in San Francisco, California, the excitement of the unknown stirred my soul as I embarked on a life-changing journey. I took a leap of faith and missed my flight back to Brazil to stay in the US for one more month - spoiler alert: it's been eight years and counting. The transition was daunting yet exhilarating as I entered a new world filled with diverse cultures and boundless opportunities.

The American job market proved to be a challenging maze, teaching me valuable lessons about adaptation and persistence. Crafting resumes, aligning my Brazilian expertise with American expectations, and mastering the art of networking became crucial skills. Amidst the struggles, I discovered my resilience and learned the art of tenacity, proving that passion knows no boundaries. Each rejection letter became a stepping stone, fueling my determination to make a mark in America's vast landscape of opportunities.

It was 2016, and there I was, in the heart of Silicon Valley, surrounded by tech wizards and innovation. Marketing became not just a job but a calling. Each customer interaction felt like a dance, a harmonious connection that fueled my passion. From working at startups in all stages to joining Salesforce in 2021 - a strategic move marking a new chapter in my professional journey - I consider myself a true trailblazer! The tech world became my playground, where I could experiment, innovate, and make a meaningful impact.

Yet, the journey was not without its doubts and moments of introspection. I questioned my capabilities and the path I had chosen. In these moments, a mentor's words resonated in my heart: "You make a bigger impact than you realize." Those words became my anchor, reminding me of the lives I touched and the strength within me. It was a journey not just of professional growth but also of profound self-discovery. Every obstacle became an opportunity to learn, evolve, and emerge stronger.

My journey, sprinkled with doubt and illuminated by passion, is a testament to the human spirit. Every challenge was met with unwavering resolve, and every connection was made with genuine care. As I look back, I'm not just seeing a story; I'm reliving moments of courage, love, and triumph.

So here I am, sharing my tale of dreams, struggles, and victories – a story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of unwavering passion. Through it all, I discovered that the heart leads the way. With every challenge, every smile shared, and every hand I held, I found my purpose – and I invite you to find yours, too.

Join me in celebrating a life of boundless enthusiasm, a journey marked by resilience, and a future brimming with endless possibilities.

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