«Vera played a crucial role in the results achieved by the UT Austin Portugal Program in 2019, as well as in the conceptualisation work of the International Relations Service (SRI), formally established in January 2020. Discreet in nature and with flawless manners, Vera demonstrates an extraordinary work capacity, guided by commitment, thoroughness, pro-activity and a high critical sense. She is always available to help the team, working as a key-element for an inclusive work environment, and to embrace other challenges that the organisation presents her. It is important to point out her ability to find the best solutions».
Coordination of SRI and the UT Austin Portugal Program.
How do you characterise your work in the UT Austin Portugal Program, in 2019?
In a few words, the UT Austin Portugal Program is an international partnership between the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin); this Program is currently being managed by the team of the International Relations Service (SRI) at INESC TEC.
This collaboration in the management of the UT Austin Portugal Program is a challenge that motivates us to do more (and better) on a daily basis, always keeping in mind the Program’s vision: to contribute to a society endowed with the knowledge required to face future challenges. To be part of the realisation of this vision is, without any doubt, a great privilege.
In 2019, and according to the different activities of the Program, my main functions were 1) to support the participants of the Advanced Computing Training Program (ACTP) initiative, an advanced training in computing taking place at the Texas Advanced Computing Centre (TACC) – University of Texas, Austin. This function included accompanying the participants of said program, from the moment they were accepted, until their return to Portugal; 2) to provide financial and administrative support, by executing and monitoring the different stages of each process, according to the funding and eligibility rules of the partnership. 3) assisting in the organisation of events.
How did you contribute to the conceptualisation of the International Relations Service?
The conceptualisation of the SRI was, without any doubt, a great challenge – and it will certainly keep defying us in the future.
Besides being quite arduous, this conceptualisation work was also very rewarding. It encouraged us to try to know more, to study more, to ask many questions and to meet with different stakeholders, in order to create a service that could fulfil INESC TEC needs in terms of internationalisation.
What contributed to the referred success?
The fact that I was challenged to leave my comfort zone more often, namely by Andreia Passos, SRI Service Manager; I was assigned to new duties and asked to contribute to the creation of SRI, which gave me confidence and reassurance.
There are no recipes or scripts to achieve positive results; however, in my opinion, it all starts with teamwork, as well as the way we take on our work and the importance that we attribute to it. This combination will dictate the level of motivation and commitment towards what we do every day, even in the most mundane tasks.
How do you comment on this nomination?
When I saw the e-mail with the nomination, I thought it was a mistake; later, after reading it more attentively, I realised what was written there. I was very flattered… and I must admit that I blushed!
I experience this gratitude on a daily basis, but when people put it into words, it reaches a completely different level – almost as if it was “palpable”.
I hope I will live up to the expectations, while continuing to learn and to contribute to achieve the goals of the Service.