Bold Chances, Brave Changes
Gabriel Ogama is a “yes” man, in the best way possible. He’s always up for a new challenge, ready to see where it takes him. So far, it’s taken him to a new country, a new hobby (or 10!), and a new career—and we think he’s just getting started.
So just how did the former music teacher from Brazil find himself as a Systems Analyst at Kohler Co. in Wisconsin? His path is as unique as he is.
“I dropped everything to move to the U.S. with my former spouse,” said Gabriel. “My first job was in the back room of a big box store. I needed to improve my English and get acclimated to the work culture here.”
He faced the challenge head-on and quickly worked his way up through a variety of roles in retail management and sales before taking the chance on a temporary Marketing Analyst role for Kohler Latin America in Kohler, Wisconsin. Despite being a music major, Gabriel’s skills in analytics, reporting, Excel, and design creation made him shine. When his contract was up, he took yet another bold chance—accepting a full-time role as a Systems Analyst on our Global Procurement team.
“The first thing I did when I applied was to google ‘procurement,’” Gabriel admitted. “But it is, without a doubt, the best job I’ve ever had. I had no previous experience, nor the ‘correct’ degree, but here I am three years later, and I think I’ve really found my place.”
He’s currently leading a revamp of his team’s intranet site and supplier portal, which combines many of his talents. In addition to his strong analytical skills, Gabriel brings his artistic side (he’s a painter and design junkie) to the role.
“When I get a chance to refresh a site or presentation and make it pop, that is where I find my happy place,” he said. “I can get all my design crazy out and use HTML/CSS coding to make my nerd side happy too.”
For now, Gabriel is back in Brazil with his new fiancée and family while they await visa paperwork to move to the U.S. But he hasn’t skipped a beat, taking advantage of Kohler’s flexible remote work options. Many of his colleagues are in Europe and China, rounding out a true global procurement team. He’s also maintained his involvement in our VIVA Kohler Latin America and Young Professionals of Kohler business resource groups.
It seems he’s found the best of both worlds (literally and figuratively)—and we’re so happy he’s here. So, what’s next for Gabriel?
“Travelling wherever and whenever I can, learning calculus (yes, really) and getting my band back together.”