From ever since she was a little girl to the time when she became one of the main executives at Oi, Andreia Martins has always relied on independence to build her career.
Can you describe the time when, during your childhood or adolescence, you first realized you were fascinated with numbers? Who inspired you in this process?
My mother has an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting and she has always worked in this field. I have always admired her as a professional and for her independence. Besides that, when I was a kid at Elementary School I had a teacher who loved Math and really motivated us. At Middle School, in the sixth or seventh grade, when I was 11 or 12 years old, I first saw “Matrixes” and “Second Degree Equations”. Studying made me even happier. I remember my teacher was very funny and close to the students.
Also, in my family, my cousins are much older than me. I witnessed many of them transitioning to become Engineers, Accountants, and Systems Analysts (who were not called that way at the time). I can say I was most influenced by my mother - as an example of independence -, by a good Math teacher and by my big family.
What fascinates you the most in the innovation and transformational capacity of IT?
I like the possibility I have, at every project, to change someone’s life. I like everything that is fresh new, not only in terms of technology. I mean the possibility to work with legal, HR, accounting projects, etc.
I like how IT can be dynamic and the fact new technologies are available everyday so that we can make things differently. More recently, people management is another thing that has been a challenge to me in IT. As an executive, I get more and more about people management. Through people and their knowledge, I can bring technology into my achievements.
A career in exact sciences is not always seen as a typical choice by women. What is your great motivation to choose a career in Engineering and, then, in technology?
I have always sought for independence. Since I was a child, I have always been focused and responsible. There was no specific Computing college when I was having my admission examinations in 1986. There was “Mathematics with major in Computing” and the famous course “Technologist in Data Processing from PUC (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo)”. An older cousin was studying Mathematics at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and had evolved to Computing. Another cousin was also attending the Technologist course at PUC.
I enjoyed Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. On the other hand, I hated History. I chose Electronic Engineering because of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. All three together! Subjects I wouldn’t study in the Technologist or Mathematics course.
Technology came sometime after. I was about to get my degree in Engineering and the Brazilian labor market was terrible for engineers. Again, my eagerness for independence led me to think about a plan B. It was when an intern colleague told me about the extension program in Systems Analysis at PUC. I got enrolled and really enjoyed it.
I was never questioned about my choice for Engineering or the fact that it is more of a masculine career. Deep down, I think it was my thirst for independence that made me choose it, in fact. I’ll explain. If I had chosen Accounting, my mother, father, sister and cousins could end up wanting to heavily influence my choices. Engineering did not allow them to do this as they didn’t know the program very well.
Can you remember the impact you felt when you walked into CETEF/RJ Electronic Engineering class on your first day?
I remember it very well. I felt incredible. I was attending an Engineering program at a Federal University at the age of 16! That was all! I remember feeling butterflies on my stomach and thinking “What now? I have everything in my hands and I have to make it work.”
If you had the opportunity to go back on your fist day at CETEF/RJ and tell yourself one phrase, what would you say?
Be brave, girl! Believe in your future, be friends with the right people, take a chance and don’t be afraid to make mistakes and start over! Chances in life are created by us, as long as you dedicate yourself and be honest.