ADVISORY SPOTLIGHT: 10 Qs with Human Skills Superhero … Alice Almeida

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5 min read

Welcome Alice, and thanks for stepping into the Maxme Spotlight!

You’re an invaluable member of the Maxme Advisory – a true human skills superhero – but you’re also Regional Head of Data, Research & Insights at TotallyAwesome. In 1 sentence, what does role this entail?

Understanding your audiences is key for success. It is my role to design and build research across all of APAC to understand kids and teens in order to build content and advertising that is both safe (our top priority), and relevant for them.

You also run your own research & insights consultancy, Almeida Insights, with vast experience across the marketing, media and advertising industries. In 3 dot points, what do you love about this work?

  • Every project is different – one day I’m researching property, the next a new business in mental health.
  • I work with startups mainly – the passion and thirst to learn is addictive!
  • I work directly with the clients and get to see how much my work impacts their business.

Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?

My qualifications and what I do now couldn’t be more opposite if I tried! I completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science & Tourism, and I work in media research and insights. I went to University for the experience and had no idea what I wanted to do at that stage. I stumbled into the media industry a year after I left Uni, and it has been a passion since. I’m a very curious person so I love that I get to design research to try and understand what makes people tick and behave!

Maximising human potential through the power of human skills is the reason Maxme exists. What inspires / excites you most about this mission you’re helping to bring to life?

Maxme could have helped me greatly as a graduate entering the workforce – and especially entering the crazy world of media where big personalities and high demands are common. I wasn’t mentally prepared for how to deal with all of that. Because of this, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Maxme journey as I see huge value in the whole offering.

Self Awareness sets the critical foundation for all Maxme learning experiences. With that said … what’s your strongest trait / personal super power?

Empathy. Wherever possible I always try to see the other side (even if I strongly disagree with it), as it forces you to constantly learn. Ultimately I think this makes you a better person.

Reflecting on Australia’s current education frameworks, curriculums and workforce pathways, what do you believe needs to be changed, fixed or solved?

There needs to be a lot more support for graduates. I’ve seen first hand in research just how lost and overwhelmed graduates are when it comes to entering the workforce – it’s like we’re setting them up to fail by not arming them with the right human skills to navigate working life.

We know you’re a human skills superhero … but if you had to pick just one to truly master, which would it be and why?

I’d have to say empathy again. It levels you out and makes you more human, which can only be a good thing. Some of the best leaders I’ve had in my career have led with exceptional empathy.

If you could share one piece of career advice with Upper Secondary &/or Uni students, what would it be?

Opportunity (mostly), doesn’t just come to you. You need to be proactive with what you want, where you want to go, and put yourself out there. Sure, you might get knockbacks, but the fact that you’ve been willing to try will be noticed. This is where human skills like resilience and confidence really help!

You’ve been granted approval to add one University graduate to your team, but have 100 applicants, all with outstanding academic results. How do you find your perfect candidate – what are you looking for?

Passion. I look for that person who wants to work with me. Who wants to learn. Who wants to grow. Who shows real interest in the role (hint: ask questions in the interview!). Don’t just sell yourself, show interest in the role and company.

In the words of John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”

What’s next on your #learning agenda?

Time management!! Even after working for 20 years I STILL haven’t got this fine tuned. My inability to say no doesn’t help, so I also need to work on that first!