Many who leave Puerto Rico do so with the promise of returning. One of them is Luis Arniella Vega.
Getting into the videogame industry
This young man moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, dreaming of studying sound design and working in the videogame industry. “Then, when I graduated, my mom told me to stay in the United States for a while to see if I could get a good job,” said Luis.
His mom was worried about the economy in Puerto Rico, and he followed her advice. Then, his professional aspirations came true when a professor, who worked in the videogame industry, connected him with a job opportunity at Activision. Luis didn’t even know the company, but he was sure that this opportunity would open more doors for him in the future. So, he joined Activision’s quality assurance department.
Following his family’s advice, Luis lived almost seven years in Minnesota, then, for work reasons, he moved to Austin, Texas, where he lived for approximately two years. “I liked what I was doing. I had already scaled up into a few positions, and when Activision opened a new location in Austin, they moved me down there to do the same job,” he remembered.
Considering Puerto Rico Again
He was doing so well that although he sometimes missed Puerto Rico, Luis discarded the idea of returning for a long time because he didn’t see it as economically viable. That was until he met his wife, who is also Puerto Rican. “Since we started dating, even though she was not in Puerto Rico then, she told me, ‘I see my life in Puerto Rico.'”
As a result of their relationship, Luis began to visit the island more frequently. Afterward, “my older brother got sick. That made me say, ‘I want to go back to Puerto Rico, I want to be with my family. I’ve already missed so much, it’s time to go back”.
Luis understood that his plans had changed, that his goals were no longer the same, and that his new goal was to return to Puerto Rico. “Then my wife found El Comeback and told me about the program.”
Connecting with the right employer: Rock Solid Technologies
From there, his life took an unexpected turn. “Honestly, I wasn’t too excited [about returning to Puerto Rico] because I had already started looking for work and I didn’t find anything. I was frustrated. But my wife told me, ‘write to El Comeback and see what happens.’ Then two or three months passed, and I started getting calls and emails from companies here [in Puerto Rico] for interviews. And I said, “Oh wow, this is happening. From then on, everything went fast. Three companies contacted me, and I had full
interviews with two of them”.
Luis was very scared and worried about the transition after being away from Puerto Rico for many years. “I was scared, but it has been the best decision ever,” he says.
Fortunately, “it has gone super well. I’m happy with the position, with the company, the company culture, and absolutely everything. Everything went very quickly [in terms of the recruitment process]. The interview was a week and a half after they contacted me. I was visiting Puerto Rico at the time, and I already had an offer two or three days after returning to Austin, so I signed and announced that I was leaving.
Luis is currently working as a Quality Analyst Engineer at Rock Solid Technologies. As he explained, his main job is to test websites and features integrated into new software and give the go-ahead that things are “ok” for the releases the company makes five times a year.
“For me, coming back was both an emotional and a political decision. When many are leaving -for very understandable reasons-I decided to come back and build beautiful things for me and everyone on this island,” Luis said.
His invitation to all the people who want to return to Puerto Rico is to do it. “There is much work to be done on our island, and it is up to us to take on that work. We must return to swim against the current and transform the Puerto Rico we want”.