We interviewed International Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation alumna Teresa Vaz Antunes about her experience at EADA and her career post-graduation. Teresa holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. She currently works as Chief Empowerment Officer at imatch, an innovation consulting company, working in the areas open innovation, culture, impact, events, education and habitats.
What are your current responsibilities?
Currently I hold the position of project manager and recently I have been working in open innovation projects.
We begin by working collaboratively with our clients to identify their specific needs, then move on to design an open innovation programme that is tailored to their needs and, then finally, we implement the programme and see it through every step of the way, from scouting, to mentorship and everything in between. In parallel, imatch is interested in further developing impact programmes and I’ve been posed the challenge of pushing business development within this area.
What is the most rewarding part of your current position? What is the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my position is having the chance to design programmes that are increasingly holistic in nature and having the chance to positively influencing my clients to become more socially and environmentally conscious and consider the footprint that in their own projects make. This enables me to integrate my vision of my field of work in which innovation is the means to achieve sustainability. The most challenging part of my position has been dealing with people and have the sensitivity to know when to push and when to give in.
How did EADA prepare you for your career after graduation?
Before EADA, I was unaware of a lot of the work being done in the areas of impact and sustainability, but now I know I can do what I love for a living.
The different topics that I was exposed to in class served as an orientation for my future job search. I knew which areas had interested most at EADA, and I used these as starting points to research more about career opportunities and find experienced professionals in the field to share insights.
What aspects of what you learned at EADA to do you use in your day-to-day work?
There are several tools I’ve learned at EADA that I use quite frequently. Namely, the DISC profiling or the Belbin test, which help me manage my day-to-day work with my team and clients. Methodologies that I implement in the programmes I design, such as Design Thinking, the Triple Bottom Line or the Life Cycle Analysis. Or even systems and techniques that I try to bring on board every time I get a chance — Social Impact Bonds and Impact Evaluation are a few of my favourites.
What qualities are most important for professionals in your sector?
Proactivity and creativity. Proactivity because this sector needs a lot of pushing for projects and initiatives until sustainability and holistic impact becomes the status quo. Creativity because not everybody believes in the same things as you, and even less want to listen — you must be flexible and creative to get people on board with your ideas.