Nádia Jamal, Systems Architect & Business Developer

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Early years and where you came from?

I was born in Oeiras and grow up in the Lisbon area. I graduated in Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, in ISCTE. Afterward, I joined Siemens as a software developer for next-generation platforms. At Siemens, I was also the tech team lead. I lived in Munich and afterward in Amsterdam, where I joined Cisco. I then came back to Portugal where I have been able to develop my career at Cisco, as Systems Engineer and recently as BDM. I had been fortunate to work in amazing projects not only in Portugal but also in Brazil and Spain.

How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?

At University, no doubt about that. When I joined university the Internet was booming and the Telecommunications Portuguese scene was exploding. There was a lot of innovation and my final project was about Augmented Reality and Tangible Interfaces. It was a great experience that allowed me to do research and develop something completely new.

Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.

My work is about solving business challenges and finding solutions for our customers. I work in sales in the IT space and believe the relationship with customers is a key asset in order to be a trusted advisor, nothing is built without trust. I listen to the needs of customers, translate them into requirements and then design a technical solution that will help to achieve the business goals. I have always loved how technology can enable innovation into organizations and how it can improve how people live.

What part of what you do, you love the most?

Working with people around the globe, being exposed to different cultures, discovering new ways of doing things and work in an environment that fosters empowerment and respect amongst everyone. I love a good challenge, working with goals and in a multidisciplinary team is something that I really treasure.

How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?

I think that studying Telecommunications and Informatics was a great starting point from a technical perspective but beyond that, developing the right soft skills, the ability to communicate and create bridges between people and teams are very relevant to everything I do.

What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?

Being connected to what is happening around you and volunteer to participate in different projects that will expose you to things you never thought about. Networking and finding a mentor is always a good choice, above all, find something that you are passionate about, there is a lot of space in the tech world no matter if you have a technical background or not.

Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.

I normally wake up at 6:30 A.M, I try to start the day with some exercise and yoga, it’s important to have some time to myself. Then my kids wake up and we enter in the family routine mode, getting ready, breakfast and prepare to school. I then normally go to the office or to a customer meeting, sometimes I work from home. The day flies between emails, videoconferencing calls, team updates and working in projects. I always try to take some time to take a coffee with colleagues, its good to share and listen. After work I pick up my kids at school and try to have some quality time to play before we jump into evening routines and dinner. After the kids are in bed, I normally catch up some emails and prepare the next workday. I enjoy reading a good book or relax in front of the tv or just listening to music.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be yourself, always. If you can dream it you can do it. Don’t assume, ask.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

LinkedIn, Instagram, MacBook, Iphone, Whatsapp, Webex.

Anything else you want to share?

If you are looking for a job, have a look here.

We all have doubts and fears, but being present and trusting my instincts has been crucial for me. This year I decided to come back to “school” and started my MBA, always finding ways to grow and expand horizons.

👉Find Nádia on LinkedIn

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