Teresa Abreu, CQM member.

What is your position / responsibilities / tasks at cqm?

I give support in facilities management operations, materials management, quality and safety of the Madeira Chemistry Research Centre (CQM) facilities and laboratories, at the University of Madeira (UMa), with the purpose of improving the processes related to quality control and safety of the space and equipment. I’m also responsible for mainten and verify small equipments (scales, pH and others) and for implementing quality control and safety standards at the laboratories.

What is your previous professional background and experience?

I have a degree in Chemical Processes and Industrial Engineering. Initially from 1996 to 2000, I was a laboratory technician for quality control of medicines, cosmetics and food in the transnational pharmaceutical industries Smithkline Beecham (now Glaxo SmithKline) and Aventis Pharma (currently Sanofi), and from 2002 to 2017, and in the field of biology, I was the laboratory technician, production coordinator and head of the Human and Veterinary Use Rabies Vaccines Management Division. I was also the Coordinator of analysis, monitorization and continuous improvement in Quality Management, at the National Institute of Hygiene "Rafael Rangel" at the Central University of Venezuela (public sector) an institution that belongs to the health, science and technology sector serving people.

Where did you obtain your degree?

First, I took the degree on Chemical Processes (year 1997) at the Higher Technical University but then I wanted to continue, and I took Industrial Engineer (year 2011) in Venezuela.

In 2017 I brought a backpack filled with documentation of studies and works, to do all the paperwork here and I got all the equivalences and the registration at the Engineers Order in 2018.

Which are the differences between Madeira (Portugal) and Venezuela, in academic and professional levels?

For the years I have been working I can say that, both in public or private sectors, in industry and universities, working conditions and rules are different everywhere. I cannot say that it’s only because of the comparison between Madeira and Venezuela. Each place has its own way of working and managing. We need to adapt to different realities and overcome situations. I’m a very positive person and I like to look at the bright side of life.

The job offer is similar and the laws too, but here there is more order and law is applied. Unfortunately, in recent times in Venezuela, laws are not being followed…

What are the cultural differences between the two?

Although my roots are Portuguese and I recognize myself as Portuguese as well, I think that maybe people from Venezuela are more joyful. We like to sing, dance and throw parties to celebrate. I think we are this way because of the sun and the Caribbean lifestyle! I like to laugh and spend good happy moments, always grateful for what I’ve manage to achieve in life. It is very good to live in Madeira. Because of the immigration wave that started a few years ago and now even more, I can get traditional Venezuelan foods and drinks and even remember some songs at local festivities.

What can you say about the current situation of venezuela?

Venezuela was everything to me: stability, home, car, jobs, a life… and making the decision to leave because of safety reasons was not easy at the age of 43. I literally put my life in a suitcase, a backpack, a computer and wallet, with 3 children and an elderly mother, and came here (Madeira) from the scratch: a big challenge for me. Here I have worked in a café as an employee and in a clinic as an operating assistant, before arriving at the CQM.

I’m a very positive person. I think the best is always yet to come. Even after all the problems I went through, I never stopped smiling and I’m very grateful for everything.

Madeira has the best of the best in the world. And the most important is to have a good life and health, because everything comes and nothing happens by chance.

It’s difficult to talk about Venezuela, because it is a very personal opinion. Venezuela is a great country that is going through a difficult situation. The current situation of this country is above all a lesson to everyone: the ones who stayed and the ones who left.

Now you can see a Venezuelan anywhere in the world, because most had to leave their home, family and friends and accept a new reality.

Goals for the future?

In the professional area I would like to contribute in everything that is possible to improve CQM regarding to safety and Quality Management. I also would like to improve my knowledge in this area, learning more about equipment and managing quality processes. In the personal area I would like to ensure life quality for me and my family, and above all, be happy.