Inspiring Professional Women
Director, Strategy and Technology, Oxitec Ltd.
I grew up in the South of Spain where I spent half of my life until I came to the UK to live in Oxford. At the age of fourteen I fell in love with Genetics and decided to become a scientist to understand how we inherit traits from our parents. I went to the University of Seville to read Biology and Genetics and became a researcher. I was lucky, I had some of the best lecturers in Genetics in the country teaching me. But I never had a clear career plan. My other interest was English language. Making the most of the two, I came to work at the University of Oxford and planned to go back to Spain two or three years later. I stayed. I look back and I consider myself fortunate; I have had the honour of working with pioneering scientists who founded one of the first Oxford University spin-off companies, I have served as a research and development manager at NHS Blood and Transplant for 13 years, become a freelance consultant for a short while and currently work for another pioneering biotech company. Working in science and technology does not always equate to having strong people management skills, but I have discovered that these are some of my strongest transferrable skills. I really enjoy leading a team, mentoring or coaching every individual to become the best they can be. I said I never had a clear career plan, but it was always clear to me that the work I do is not just a job, it is a passion. As a genetic engineer, I have had the chance to design new treatments for Parkinson’s disease and heart disease and I am currently designing how to fight the world’s deadliest animal; the mosquito that transmit malaria.
Reflect: Without failure, I reflect on how the year has gone every December 31st. By midnight, I count my blessings and make a wish to celebrate the start of the new year. I also reflect whilst walking down the river during my weekend walks. Perspective is important to me; putting myself in other people’s shoes…. and walking in them……
Connect: Being a first born, having to break some rules and living away from home for a long time has made me very independent, but I value my friendships deeply. Although I have my own strong opinions, I am a consensus seeker and love collaboration and exchange of ideas and experiences.
Perfect: I am happiest when I am learning something new. This year I am working on communication. I aim to perfect how I communicate with people so that connections and collaborations become even more powerful.
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