Ana Catarina Palma Neves (ACPN) has 20 years of professional experience: 45% working for high education institutions as international relations and project management officer and 40% working as a freelance translator specialised in academic translation [check relevant work]. In the meantime, ACPN lived in London for one year and completed a Post-Graduation Degree in Translation from/into English, with a specialisation in Literary Translation. After completing the diploma, ACPN became a freelance translator. As she was aware that Portuguese academia was in need of translating scientific articles into English, ACPN_Translations was successfully promoted among higher education professors. Currently, ACPN is conducting some language studies comparing vocabulary and grammar between English, Portuguese, French, German, and Spanish [check them here].
ACPN professional path started after completing a degree in Statistics and Information Management, where she developed the analysis, statistical and computer skills that have been crucial throughout her professional path along the years. Thinking of investing in this area, she completed her Master’s degree in Information Systems and Organization with a dissertation that aimed to analyse an information system in the 1960’s (before IT systems were available) of a sardine cannery factory in Portugal that was part of a French company. The dissertation was based on document analysis: an archive, which mainly consisted of letters exchanged between the two countries.
Her first eight years as a professional were much diversified, which gave her the opportunity to learn much. Working first as a project assistant in Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, doing the most basic tasks, she was given more responsibilities as time passed. Due to her statistical and analysis skills, she was responsible for writing institutional Activities’ Reports, providing content for the institutional website, and preparing information for decision-making. She was also appointed to be part of the task forces that wrote the “Self-Evaluation Report for the European Universities Association” and the “IPS Strategic Development Plan 2007-2011”.
She integrated the staff in charge of international mobility, shortly before the Presidency decided to merge five independent operations (one for each School) into one streamline institutional office. As part of the team that made it possible, she collaborated in setting a new working system, with new archives, new procedures, and new regulations. Besides managing the incoming and outgoing mobility processes, this new office was also responsible for organising information campaigns and events. Therefore, ACPN was part of the team that organised the 1st and the 2nd International Weeks, a conference related to Erasmus mobility that is still an annual event nowadays. This team also established the first international mobility with Brazil. With this new office, the annual number of international student mobility applicants increased from 20 to 100 in two years (an increase of 400%).
ACPN was an international mobility officer for almost 2/3 of her time in Polytechnic Institute of Setubal and half of the time she worked in two offices at the same time (international relations office and public relations office), while completing her Master’s degree. This was challenging and led her to develop personal efficient working systems. Before leaving to London, she was yet appointed for a short period to work in the new Research and Development Office as a project officer. Later, in 2020, she consolidated her skills in this area by completing an online certificate in Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management and taking a traineeship as a research project officer at a Research Centre at Nova School of Science and Technology.
When she was hired, the Research Centre was without a project officer for some months. Processes were delayed, papers were out of place, project budgets were not being controlled, gas supply at the labs was not being monitored, and working relationships with other departments and internal services were damaged due to previous conflicts. After solving urgent matters, a working system was built, resulting in a better understanding of procedures and smoother and swifter operations; good and trustworthy relationships were re-established, allowing an increase of collaboration, which made project management much easier; stocktaking was conducted and a new system to replace/acquire new gas bottles was created; and the website was updated. Furthermore, there were overdue invoices regarding gas supply. After difficult talks with the supplier, the situation was finally settled. In addition, due to the diligences regarding gas supply, the Centre reduced its expenses by 43% in that area.
Between 2012 and 2016, ACPN was a teacher of English, programming, and computer skills for children aged 6 to 10 for four years. At some point, she was appointed as a reference teacher for the pilot project aiming to introduce programming in primary education.
In the meantime, an opportunity arose to be a volunteer in sports events with the call for Setubal 2016 – European City of Sport. As a sportsperson, it was truly inspiring to be at the backstage of the events of different sports helping in different tasks. One of the most important of those events was the FINA Marathon Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. Due to her good work, ACPN was invited to be a member of staff in the international events of the Portuguese Canoe Federation. Her job was to provide assistance to National Teams welcoming them at the airport and then at Info Point, the information station at the venue to provide official information like Start Lists and Results.
ACPN was given more responsibilities during the two years she was a member of staff. Then, she was invited to be a member of the Host Organising Committee for the Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships 2018 and the Canoe Marathon World Championships 2018 with the responsibility of managing the processes of National Teams, Masters Athletes, and Officials, providing assistance to them, and coordinating the Info Point. An efficient information system was implemented to interact with all people involved and efficiently collect and share information. Good and trustworthy working relationships were built during the months prior to the events, which allowed for interactions at the venue to become easier. In the meanwhile, preparations were made for setting up the Info Points in each venue. Based on previous experiences, several improvements were introduced, including the assistance to the Anti-Doping Committee and the Paracanoe Office.