Employee spotlight: Yvette Ferreira
Who is Yvette Ferreira?
I have always been inclined towards finding innovative ways to get things done, whether that's thinking outside the box or finding amazing people to work with to get the job done! That lead me to oncology almost 20 years ago, first as a pharmaceutical sales representative and now as the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Systems Imagination. I noticed a trend towards technology about ten years ago, and I knew that this shift would bring rapid changes to the industry. As you can tell, space has evolved and continues to evolve ever faster each year, which is perfect for me as my role is to focus on how to find and leverage partnerships to better align with the companies mission and goals.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There are no real typical days in a startup, one moment, I could be helping on our marketing efforts, and the next, I could be working with the team on new partnership opportunities. A lot of my time goes to working with our technology partners, such as Microsoft and Nvidia, to find unique projects that leverage their technologies. We are a very innovative company, which means we come up with many interesting ideas, and these partners offer cutting-edge resources that help us further cancer research.
For instance, one of our knowledge engineers was working on leveraging GPUs to tackle COVID-19. This is quite a relevant topic, and as an Inception startup with Nvidia, we can submit a presentation for their Nvidia AI workshop in October. We hope to get the word out about some of the research that we're doing that high leverage performance compute technology in GPUs.
What drew you to work for Systems Imagination?
I have been with SII for several years, and I have seen the company's evolution to what it is today, but what drew me in has stayed the same. The people who are committed to innovation and pushing the envelope on what is possible. Having sold therapeutics for years, I have seen the progress that has been made with targeted treatments. However, there’s so much work still to be done. Personally, being part of using technology to make medicine better for each patient is what motivates me every day.
What are some of the biggest takeaways from your time at SII?
That it takes a team who really understands their craft and can work together that moves innovation forward, technology is so rapidly evolving and changing its mind-boggling. What that means is that you need a core group of people who can imagine new outcomes and leverage ever-evolving tools to help get to that goal, which in this case is drug discovery. This means that if you try and solve a silo problem or on your own, its very difficult to keep up.
What advice would you give to a driven college student?
Have an open mind and see every experience as a learning opportunity. I used to think, "why would I learn that I'll never use it" but now I know that no matter what it is, it will be beneficial to you in the long term. So to everyone, be open-minded to new opportunities because you never know what that opportunity can do for you in the long run, from opening up new doors to uncovering a new passion of yours. You won't know unless you keep an open mind and try!
If you had a billboard on which you could post a single message to the whole world, what would it say?
Do what makes you happy and become excellent at it.
September 16, 2020