Keittiane (or, as she’s known around here, Keitti) Vieira is Carex’s amazing Operations Manager. While she’s only been with us since March, she has been an organizational force — helping us get the most out of our systems, tightening processes, and generally helping us optimize our business on several fronts. And just think — she moved all the way from Brazil just to help us with that!
Okay, not exactly. Keitti came to the United States in 2016 to further her education and strengthen her English speaking skills. Keitti says that in Brazil, people who are proficient in English have more employment opportunities, especially when it comes to global companies. She took part in an au pair exchange program, where she met Rachel and Bill Neill. “I’ve always loved America — the culture, everything,” she says. “I always dreamed of getting the chance to get to know the United States better, so when I got the chance to come here, I knew I had to take it.”
Over the course of the exchange program, Keitti knew she wanted to stay in the States — so she got another opportunity — this time, to start an MBA program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, she jumped at that chance, too. “I graduated from UW-Whitewater last December,” says Keitti, who earned a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Finance, Marketing, and Management. “I was under an OPT (Optional Practical Training), which is a ‘Permission to Train.’ I needed one year of experience with an American company, and Bill offered me the opportunity to work at Carex.”
At Carex, Keitti is responsible for much of Carex’s day-to-day operations — with one of the biggest pieces of her job being consultant and employee onboarding. “When one of our recruiters hires someone, I’m one of the first people they get introduced to,” she says. “I go through their new hire paperwork and insurance benefits with them, I get them integrated into our system, and I help them all the way to their first day.” She’s also always thinking about how Carex can improve its onboarding systems to make it easier for both consultants and partners. “I’m in the process of getting our entire onboarding process online,” she says. “Right now, when we onboard someone, it’s a lot of emails and forms that need to be printed out. Meanwhile, we have these great platforms that can help us streamline those things, so I’m currently focused on taking full advantage of those systems and centralizing everything.” We’re planning to launch this new way forward to our consultants in a few weeks — and Keitti is a big part of why we’re able to make that happen.
In addition, Keitti does our payroll as well as our partner invoicing — and she’s pretty tight with our CPA office to ensure we’re doing everything right when it comes to bringing employees on from other states — a very important piece of Carex’s . “We didn’t have to worry a lot about this in the past, but with COVID-19, Carex has hired a lot of people who are working remotely,” she says.
For Keitti, the cool part about her job at Carex is the fact that she sits right in the middle of our Partner, Candidate Relation, and Leadership teams. “The work I do connects all the different parts of the company,” she says. “I really like that part.”
Keitti says there are plenty of aspects of business in the United States that are different from what happens in Brazil — and that starts with going to college. “Here in the States, if you want to go to a specific school or university, you apply to that university,” she says. “In Brazil, there’s an entrance exam you have to take to gain admittance to both public and private university. Before you register for the exam, you’re required to select the school and the course or degree you want to pursue — but it’s the same test for every university. If you get an above-average grade, you get into that university and that program.” There isn’t a lot of wiggle room — if you don’t take the test, or don’t do well on the test — you have to wait to take it next year.
After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Keitti worked for a variety of companies before taking a job as a Financial Assistant with Aprosmat, an association for farmers in her home state of Mato Grosso. “Farming is very important in Mato Grosso — just like Wisconsin!” she laughs. She had been at the association for six months — and was planning to start her MBA in Brazil as well — when the opportunity to head to the United States — and Wisconsin — came along. For Keitti, getting the chance to live abroad was one piece of the puzzle — but she knew heading to the U.S. would mean she could fulfill her other goal: lending financial support to her parents. “I thought I’d be able to do that much better from here,” she says.
When asked what some of her favorite things are about the United States, Keitti is quick to answer. “I love that there are four seasons here,” she says. “In my state in Brazil, we don’t have seasons — it’s summer all year, and VERY hot.” She loves heading to the Memorial Terrace in Madison, but she also loves to travel further afield whenever she gets the chance. “Traveling here is so much easier than it is in Brazil — I’ve been to a lot of different states already, and it’s so easy and safe to get from place to place.” Her favorite state so far is California — in particular, San Francisco (she loved the Golden Gate Bridge) and the Santa Monica Pier. The most surprising place she’s loved? Salem, Massachusetts. “I went to Salem with some friends, and the history was so interesting — it was beautiful there,” she says.
Working at Carex has helped Keitti realize that you can take work seriously — and it can still be fun. “One time, I wrote a super formal email to our partners and showed it to Bill to get feedback,” she laughs. “He was like, ‘this is great, but we don’t have to be this formal — we can be human and down to earth.’ It’s such a departure from Brazil, where things are stricter and there are guidelines to follow.”
We’re incredibly lucky to have Keitti on our team. We’ve learned so much from her — and we hope you enjoyed learning about her, too!