We earned our bachelor’s degrees in pharmacy from different universities in Brazil. Although we were studying in the same city, we never met each other during that time. Our paths only crossed when we started working in the manufacturing of insulin products for Novo Nordisk in Brazil. I was in quality assurance and Thiago in aseptic filling operations.
After dating for a few months, I got a double proposal: first, a marriage one; then, he asked me if I would be open to come with him to the U.S. for his grad school. Our initial agreement was that we would stay ONLY for the time he needed to finish his work (about 4-5 years). Of course, I said YES to both proposals but with one condition: we would go back to Brazil soon after he finished.
Well, long story short and with several twists, Thiago started his Ph.D. work in pharmaceutics in 2007 and I joined the same program two years later! I am so glad we came to the United States, especially to this magical place called UT Austin! As international students, we faced numerous challenges (e.g., language barrier, cultural shock, and, above all, homesickness). However, we always felt that the outstanding College of Pharmacy faculty and staff were there for us, making sure we were doing well in our personal lives while preparing us to become great professionals. All those experiences made us so much stronger and united; and the memories we carry from our Longhorn time are life lasting.
We now live in New Jersey where Thiago works for Bristol-Myers Squibb in Biologics R&D and I work for Evonik Corporation in Oral Solids R&D. We have a beautiful 20-month-old daughter and we are and always will be proud to be Longhorns! We hope one day, she will too!