Staff Spotlight – Catarina, Research Manager

In our Staff Spotlight serieswe get up-close and personal with the members of the Listen + Learn Research team to find out who they are and what their job roles involve.

Where are you from and where are you based?

I’m from Portugal, and I live in Aveiro, a city crossed by water channels and known as the Venice of Portugal. My family and I love living in this coastal town because we have everything close by – major urban centres, mountains, and beaches!

How long have you been with Listen and Learn Research and what do you do here?

I am a newly arrived research manager. My job can be seen as the link between the clients and the research team. And this role fits perfectly with my personality and my background in Psychology. I usually say that if I were an object, I would be a bridge, because I like to deeply explore and understand the perspective of other(s) to mediate and establish innovative relationships. I must ensure that the clients’ questions, expectations, and wishes are faithfully conveyed to the team. This way, our work will address the clients’ main concerns, will raise unforeseen issues, and will allow them to get to know their customers in a more realistic and intimate way.

What’s the most challenging thing about being a Research Manager?

The most challenging thing is, at the same time, the most motivating – multitasking! The permanent need to switch between different tasks that, on the one hand, require focus and attention to detail and, on the other, the ability to distance yourself and reach a meta-perspective, can be puzzling. My main strategy for dealing with this challenge are my organisational skills, in my work notebook everything is always almost obsessively written down!

Describe Listen and Learn Research in 3 words?

Dynamic, creative, and people-centred.

Can you share a funny expression/proverb in your language?

“To be great, be whole: Nothing yours exaggerates or excludes. Be whole in everything. Put what you are in the least you do.” Part of a poem by Fernando Pessoa, one of my favourite Portuguese poets.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job?

I am a relational being and even my free time is dedicated to people – family and friends. It’s wonderful to follow every moment of my two children’s growth. I like travelling and walking. This year I fulfilled an old dream and walked the Portuguese path to Santiago de Compostela.

What did you want to be when growing up?

In elementary school, we had to do an essay on the topic of ‘if I were a tree’ and all I could think about was how sad it would be that I couldn’t talk! Ever since I can remember I have had an enormous desire to communicate and to help others feel good about themselves. This desire has taken different forms – I wanted to be a doctor, a singer, and a psychologist.

Best fun facts about you?

I have always had a connection to music, I did the basic violin course at the
Conservatory and was part of a traditional Portuguese music group for many years!

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