Carolina Torres was always fascinated by how things work, which led her to study Computer Science and Engineering at Técnico – Taguspark campus. “A prestigious school where good engineers and good professionals are trained”, this is how Carolina Torres described Técnico.
“I spent my days taking classes and I spent the nights doing projects,” she recalls. “Looking back now I realise that I could have managed my time better, but the truth is that I really enjoyed my student life and the company of my friends and colleagues was amazing”, she says. “There was a collaborative and friendly atmosphere at Técnico”, highlights the alumna.
The first professional experiences and the lessons learnt
As a student finalist, Carolina Torres had the opportunity to be an assistant professor of human–machine interface practical classes. “It was a good experience and I learnt a lot,” she says. “It was a very positive experience and, although teaching isn’t something I would love doing full time, it was certainly important for my professional career”, she says.
After graduating, she joined Mobbit Systems, a digital communication company at the time. 4 years later, Carolina Torres started looking for new challenges and applied for a job at Create IT. “I knew many people who worked there and I had a good impression about the company and the way employees were treated”, she recalls.
At Create IT, she took the risk to start working in something new: Project Management, which didn’t attract her much. “It was very hard and it ended up being a great learning experience”, says the Técnico alumna. “I learnt a lot of things [at Create IT] that made me a better professional. The support of my colleagues was essential”, she says.
The courage to change and to find a fulfilling job
The parental leave gave her some time to search alternatives and she realised how lucky she was to have a degree in Engineering, a field that has high job opportunities. During her job search, Carolina Torres had the support of a friend who was finishing a coaching training course. “I had never thought of coaching – at the time I thought it was something esoteric. But it actually ended up being an essential help”, she confesses. She applied for a QA tester and Technical writer job offer at Significat. “I have never felt so good at work. This job at Significat allowed me to be where I am today”, she says.
“I started to work at Signicat as a Solution Specialist – I was going to work on a product that was going to start being developed so I had the opportunity to participate in its development right from the beginning” says Carolina Torres. “The QA and Tech Writer tasks gave me a good product knowledge and later on, when the company started to use SCRUM in software development, I started to work as a Produt Owner.
“I have been working at Signicat for two and a half years and I’m still as happy as the first day”
The Técnico alumna lways felt surrounded by a “great team”, composed of 8 elements in Portugal, and many others spread over several European countries. Signicat currently has about 250 employees at offices in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, etc. “I have been working at Signicat for two and a half years and I’m still as happy as the first day. I know that, if one day this stops happening, I will have the support and the opportunity to adjust myself”, stresses Carolina Torres.
Nowadays she works in software development and she feels fulfilled at her job. “Having a thorough understanding of the products, knowing the users’ needs and designing the product in order to meet those needs is highly motivating, as well as aligning our work with the other teams to achieve good results, supporting the sales team and customers. This is what makes me wake up feeling motivated every single morning and go to work”, she says.
Throughout her journey, Carolina Torres never experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. “I know that, unfortunately, there are women who still feel this kind of discrimination, but I always felt the same opportunities”, she stresses.
When we asked her “how do you imagine your future?”, the Técnico alumna answers: “I can be doing anything, as long as I feel happy”.