In this episode we meet 2010 MBA graduate Vivian Maeda and chat about coping with change, knowing when things feel right and not having ten kids.
Each episode is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. In season 3 we talk to graduates about going back. But is it back to the beginning or back to the future?
Vivian is a Relationship Manager at Business in the Community Scotland. Originally from Brazil, Vivian's first experience of Scotland was a semester at the University of St Andrews where she immediately felt like she belonged. She is now back in her adopted homeland and enjoying life in coastal Fife.
Whether it is returning home after graduation, returning to Edinburgh after adventures elsewhere, or just returning to a place that felt like the past but turned out to be the future, season 3 of Multi Story Edinburgh explores how going back is never life in reverse.
All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh.
Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.
Music: Since When by Mise Darling from freemusicarchive.org
Artwork: Vector created by vectorjuice / Freepik
Voiceover 00:11 This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season three, back to the beginning or back to the future.
Vivian 00:23 My home at the moment is Dalgety Bay, Fife. It's a very sunny day. It's really, really nice and my son is playing in the garden [laughs].
Voiceover 00:34 Vivian Maeda. 2010 MBA graduate.
Vivian 00:38 I think many people probably would relate to coming back home. But I suppose coming back would mean - for me - coming back to a place where I felt safe and ready to start my life.
Yeah, I don't have the most typical Brazilian face. But I am from Brazil, I'm Brazilian. And I was born and raised in São Paulo, and it's vibrant, it's full of people, it actually has the largest Japanese population outside Japan. So in fact, it's not that uncommon to see my face. Yeah. We don't have a Chinatown, we have a Japantown, where you can have gyoza and other amazing Japanese foods. So it's pretty good.
I went to a German school. And-- and as you speak a language, it's always fantastic, fascinating to learn the-- the culture. And as I was learning the culture, I was more intrigued and really curious. I was curious about the world. And I wanted to travel and I wanted to see the world. I was really fluent in German and I wanted to start there. And I got offered a place to-- in Munich to do my Highers again. So I did my Highers in-- in-- in Munich. And once you have that certificate, you can then study at a university in Germany, which I did. So I was offered a place in Nuremberg. So I studied International Business, and yeah, that's all started that, I was ready to go. And it was fascinating. I really enjoyed being in Germany and it's completely-- it was different. So my first experience of Germany in-- in the school was-- was lovely-- lovely language with lovely different-- different foods and different people. And I was curious, but then once you face into the reality you get a shock, you get a cultural shock, because they're not the same as you. And then you-- you get through this phase and you start absorbing and understanding how different they are and how much respect you have for them and how interesting it is. And then you start making friends. And yeah, it was a really interesting journey. So my first abroad experience was Germany. Yeah.
After going to Germany and studying there, I was offered a place in St Andrews to study there - one year abroad. When I arrived in St Andrews, it was a-- a nice warm welcome. I got a warm feeling in my-- in my belly. I said 'This is really nice'. I thought 'Whoa, this is worth exploring more'. So that's how I felt and we can't really forget how beautiful the country is as well, I mean, a land at-- right at the coast at St Andrews is beautiful. And I was absolutely in love with the beautiful landscapes and the people and yeah.
I went back to Germany to finish my course. But then I got a letter from St Andrews inviting me to go back and - if I wanted to - transfer all the credits and finish my course there, which I was delighted to say 'Yes', and then off I went, which was a completely different experience. There was another coming back, because I was meant to go for-- to St Andrews to Scotland just for one year. So you have this in between kind of feeling in your life. I'm just going there for a year so it's not forever and I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I can, but I know it's not my permanent place. It just meant different the 'coming back' to-- to Scotland, it just felt different that way. And I just-- just had a feeling that I wanted to explore a bit more, the country. Yeah, so I completed my degree and the reason I went to Edinburgh was a job offer. So I ended up getting a job. And I thought 'Okay, yeah, so let's settle then, let's see what happens in life'. Yeah, I have been working and living in Scotland ever since. So I never-- never looked back to be honest. I just felt the right thing to do. Yeah.
It's definitely a mixture of having something that you want to fulfil. So I definitely wanted to have a job that would make me happy, and definitely wanted to be in an environment where I had good friends and definitely have a place where you-- you feel safe. And yeah, that you can aspire for things and you-- you can enjoy life. I think this is-- this is why it feels-- feels the right place to be. For-- for moments I-- I many times thought 'Maybe I'm not going to stay here forever'. Because we can never say 'Never' or we can never say 'Forever' in life - can we? We need to be open to opportunities and see what happens. I think that's how I took my life ever since. Yeah.
When I was a child, I had my dream to travel the world and have 10 children. So [laughs] I did travel the world, I travelled to many, many places - if I may say - I'm lucky. And I did work in different countries as well. And yeah, I don't have 10 children, I do have two. So I did have to be a little bit more sensible, I would say that - from that perspective - but I think I did everything else. I was very flexible. I didn't have a set way of doing things of-- or trying to be rigid, or trying to comply to a certain standard - you know. You change as a person as well, your priorities change as you experience this different lives. I think that's how-- that's my philosophy of life. And this is how it made-- made me land in-- in Scotland, which was not planned at all, but I'm loving it [laughs]. It's almost like, people say ‘Do you still feel Brazilian?’ And the answer is ‘Yeah, it's a hard one.’ Because once you travel, once you're seeing different things, once you absorb different cultures, you become almost like a citizen of the world rather than of one place. So there are many things that I love about Brazil. But there are many things I absorbed from Germany and from Scotland.
I think change is always scary. You'd be-- you'd be lying if you don't think it's scary or if you-- if you think it's-- it's easy. I think all changes in life are-- will make you think 'I am prepared for changes'. Because I've been through so many in my life, you become slightly more - not comfortable - you become slightly more-- prepared. It-- it-- it can be quite intimidating sometimes when you're in a different country and you don't know whether you fit in, whether you should be here. I think this is how I felt when I was in Germany first because it was my first time abroad - not my first time travelling abroad - but it was my first time really with suitcases and moving in [laughs]. I cried. I cried on the street and I said 'What on earth am I doing?' I got a massive cultural shock. And it's-- it's normal. It's okay to feel like this. But it's also okay to ask for help.
Voiceover 08:12 We also ask our guests to tell us about a place - somewhere local, somewhere that kind of captures something important, something worth sharing.
Vivian 08:26 Okay, let me take you through to absolutely mind-blowing sea coast in Scotland. How about that? So beautiful. I have never seen so many bright seas and as blue. And it's different blues every day. And the costs are endless and people walking but there are not too many people, which is nice. And you can enjoy the breeze. Sometimes a bit too breezy. But it's really-- but it's fresh, and-- oh, it just tastes of sea when you're walking there. And you have the best seafood in the world. Oh my goodness, you have to stop somewhere after this lovely walk at the coast and enjoy a good plate of seafood. I probably would stay-- stick to Fife. I really like Fife. And I probably would go up to Pittenweem - one of these fishing villages - with lovely fishing boats at the coast and you're going to pick one of the lovely pubs at the corner, and you see it's quite busy, so it gives like a good impression. And you sit there with your family or friends and enjoy a good plate of seafood. Yes, that's me. I'm happy.
Voiceover 09:49 Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai