Carolina Gouveia has lived her life as a perpetual outsider, thrusting herself into foreign environments in order to learn. At sixteen, she moved out of her parents’ rural home on Madeira Island to the city to finish high school while caring for her two younger brothers on her own. Later, she moved to the United States to pursue a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon, something she describes as the hardest thing she had ever done. Today, Carolina works alongside product owners and engineers as the Lead UX/UI Designer at Nuxeo.
It started with a summer internship, where Carolina worked alongside other teams and colleagues with very different goals than her own. The Nuxeo Design Team is small, and it was impossible for her to work in isolation from other departments. After graduation, she interviewed at other companies with larger design teams, but felt that she was missing out on something important.
Before, working in design studios and even in my studies, I was surrounded by other designers. I felt that I stepped out of my comfort zone at Nuxeo, but I learned a lot from the engineers and product owners: the most valuable lessons I have learned so far.
So she called her old manager and asked if Nuxeo was hiring.
Moving to new places and being surrounded by people with different cultures on her own was a lonely experience, and it might have been similar at Nuxeo were it not for the support and collaboration from Carolina’s colleagues. Whenever she approaches someone on the teams she works with about a problem, she says five to six people jump in to help her. Last year, when Carolina was considering applying for the Lead position on the Design Team, she feared that she wouldn’t have the necessary skills to be successful. “My manager, but also the other engineers who worked with me and the product owners: they all said, ‘You are capable; you should not be afraid. We’re all learning, and if you have any difficulties, we’re here. We can help you.’ ” Now, Carolina is looking forward to hiring another designer onto her team, and offering them the same support as they learn to navigate Nuxeo.