Meet the Team – Q&A with QA Associate, Rita Silvestre
Rita has been involved in the life sciences arena since 2012, initially completing two master’s degrees in Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology, and Medical Biotechnology before moving into industry with a CRO, then joining Tower Mains in 2018.
Here, she tells us what initially attracted her to QA, what she enjoys most about her role, and what makes her tick outside of Tower Mains.
What initially attracted you to a career in QA?
My career started with a deep interest in research and analysis. The environment I was exposed to in my previous role in a CRO resulted in an epiphany, that I wanted to ensure the highest quality standards with a focus on subject safety and wellbeing. I have internally questioned myself on ways to improve laboratory processes to achieve high-quality standards, which is a challenge in a fast-paced laboratory environment where the focus might sometimes be the number of samples you analyse in a day to meet short turnaround times. As a result of the above, and in addition to the ability to dive into a world of challenges and problem-solving, a role in QA particularly attracted me to be able to improve quality systems and to be able to conduct oversight activities focused on organisations and on whether they are adhering to the principles and requirements to ensure that ultimately the end product and/or subject safety is achieved.
What aspects of your role at Tower Mains do you enjoy, or what do you enjoy the most about your role?
Every day at Tower Mains is different and presents a new challenge, which keeps things fresh and interesting. I feel like I have grown a lot as an individual over the past four years. As a consultant you interact with different clients, and you learn how to adapt to various situations and change your approach depending on which client you are working with – learning how to read and interact with people are skills I find are extremely important to life outside work. I enjoy conducting data audits and when the audit is complete and the QA statement is signed, I get an enthusiastic feeling of endgame achieved. I find working within a small company extremely advantageous – I enjoy the team of highly skilled individuals we have and with it being a small group, you can learn a lot from everyone’s expertise and background, which always makes me happy at the end of each day.
What makes you tick outside of Tower Mains?
I have always enjoyed traveling, finding myself lost in different museums, and coming across the most exquisite coffee shop that nobody has ever heard about. The culture of my birth country has been a big influence on me, and as of late I have given myself the goal to learn a new Portuguese recipe every month and my goal is to be able to travel North to South to visit key cultural cities as soon as the book of the COVID-19 pandemic is closed and allows me to do so in safety.
As a result of the pandemic, I have now developed new interests which have been a big focus of my time outside work as of late such as practicing Yin Yoga and developing my drawing and painting skills getting into that state of mindfulness and quietness when you achieve the perfect blend of blues and violets that you have never thought of using before.