Sheila Habib (SRI)
“Sheila joined the SRI in April 2021, during the pandemic, and her integration took place mainly while teleworking, which is quite challenging to those who join INESC TEC in this context. However, Sheila adapted quite well, taking on different tasks – some of them outside her comfort zone (like producing podcasts or coordinating training events) – and showing an outstanding performance within the scope of the UT Austin Portugal program and the SRI, where she recently became responsible for promoting the International Culture area (which will clearly benefit from her participation in INESC TEC’s Diversity and Inclusion team). Sheila is proactive, autonomous, assertive, and communicative, and I believe she has a bright future ahead of her. Working with people like Sheila is, without a doubt, very motivating“.
– SRI coordination
How do you characterise your professional path at INESC TEC (main achievements, challenges, etc.)?
I thought my professional path at INESC TEC would be challenging, as when I started we were still in the midst of the pandemic so I started working 100% from home. Nevertheless, I had a very warm welcome, which made me adapt extremely well.
This is not to say that I wasn’t faced with some interesting challenges, from recording my first ever podcast episode to having meetings where we talked all things robotics and submarines! Both were completely outside my comfort zone but challenges are what makes us grow and learn, and I have definitely learnt and grown since I have joined INESC TEC.
When it comes to achievements, I would say my main achievements so far are the mapping of INESC TEC’s portfolio of international non-binding cooperation agreements, the design of a proposal for an International Visiting Researcher Programme, being part of the Diversity & Inclusion Commission, the successful training activities I have helped coordinate with my colleagues under the UT Austin Portugal Program, and something soon to be revealed.
Being involved in the UT Austin Portugal program, the SRI and the Commission for Diversity and Inclusion, is it easy to find a balance between different activities and duties?
To be honest it is not very easy, but time management has been essential, so much as prioritisation of tasks. Nevertheless, I very much enjoy my work in all of them, as each of them requires different tasks and have allowed me to further develop and enhance different skills: from public-speaking to creative thinking.
I have also found that my work in the SRI and in the Commission complement each other. For instance, when I am supporting staff going abroad for an internship or aiding foreign newcomers settle at INESC TEC, I often realize there are some unmet needs or issues we hadn’t thought about before. I try to use these newfound perspectives to brainstorm with my colleagues at the Diversity & Inclusion Commission and see what new measures or initiatives we can propose and implement at INESC TEC.
Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
I have been truly enjoying working in the International Culture area of the SRI as well as in the Diversity & Inclusion Commission – as it has allowed me to reflect on what can be improved at INESC TEC and what it needs to have a more diverse and inclusive multicultural environment. The meetings with our D&I Internal Advisory Group have also contributed extremely to this, so a thank you to them!
How do you comment on this nomination?
It totally caught me off guard, but it definitely makes me feel happy and proud to see that my work and efforts are appreciated. Thanks a lot Andreia!