Tuesday, March 29, 2011


For the last few months A. and I have been discussing our plans for the 2nd half of 2011 and 2012. A. wants to do a dual degree with a university in Brazil (he would then get one MBA from the school in Paris and another from the school in Brazil) which would start in August 2011 and go until April 2012. So I started looking for jobs in Brazil. In January I got an offer for a job, which was not good enough, ensuing a grueling negotiation. Finally, after many phone calls, tons of emails and lot's of stress I finally got the offer I wanted this past Wed! I was on a high: the job I wanted, in Brazil and in the mean time A. got accepted for the dual degree at the university he wanted. So he is coming to Oslo for a whole month in May and then we are moving to Brazil in July!!

Next step was to tell my current boss, which is really nice and had some good plans for me. Last week we were at a workshop with 8 other researchers in Barcelona, organized by my boss and I felt it was inconsiderate to blow the news right in the middle of it all (despite seeing my pile of work increasing as he delegated some medium term responsibilities to me). I sat on it for a few days until Saturday, the last day of the workshop, when I finally told him. He got upset, but he said he understood. Whew! One more hurdle overcome... Brazil here we go!

Sunday flew to Paris, met A. and had an amazing night out in town. We were both happy that things had fallen in place, that we were both getting what we wanted. Despite my job and A.'s school being in different cities, 1 hour flight apart from each other, his classes would be only Thurs through Sat and being able to afford low cost flights weekly was one of the reasons for me to negotiate better pay.

And then the bomb hit yesterday, when the school in Brazil sent A. a list of required documents (new ones, as a new law got passed recently which requires international students enrolling in a Masters program in Brazil to present these documents). There are about 6 documents and among them are transcripts, diploma and official syllabus for all the classes he took in undergrad, all these documents have to have an official stamp from the university, then have to be signed by the ministry of foreign affairs in India, before finally being hand delivered to the Brazilian embassy in Delhi for legalization. Not only is the amount of bureaucracy crazy, the cost is considerable, but there is just not enough time to do all this. Both Brazil and India are bureaucratic countries, with their own sense of bureaucracies, which makes this almost impossible. We had a similar process to get our marriage registered at the Brazilian embassy in Oslo: it took 2 months and we would not want to do it again.

So what does this mean? A. was accepted for a dual degree or an exchange program. He is saying he will take the exchange program then. This means he would have classes in Paris through the end of July (where he could have been doing an internship instead... but since he thought he'd be in Brazil he didn't look for any and now it is too late). He would then go to Brazil for 4 months, having classes 5 days a week at the same university he wants and then he would be done. This means that we would continue the weekend meetings we have now and hoping that he finds a job closer to me once he finishes. It will make it harder to network with Brazilian companies (MBAs are all about networking) so let's see... I, in turn, am wondering whether sticking to my current job in Norway (where I could negotiate to work 4 months in Brazil) isn't a better option...
For now the air has gone out of the balloon (Brazilian saying).

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