Name: Joana Picq
Designation: Head of International and Biz Dev, entrepreneur
What do you do every day? I try and keep my mornings free to catch up on email and exercise, then have all my calls and meetings in the afternoon. In the best of times, when there are no fires to put out or flights to catch, I’ll have to fit quit a bit in a day: 5 to 8 calls or meetings, email and follow-up with over 40 clients, and synch with our internal virtual teams in LATAM, US and Europe, so I really need high levels of energy. Exercise is a religion to me, and an absolute priority: I take 5 minute for deep breaths (breathing in my tummy) and 45min to an hour for exercise 6 times a week. My travel schedule tends to be a bit manic – I’m only home 3 weeks every 2 months, so I end up running and doing push-ups/squats while I’m on the go, and make sure I find time for surfing, kiting, and mountain biking when I’m back home in Cape Town.
How did you get into the tech space? I was always a maths lover, and ended up studying civil engineering. I always dreamt of an international career so I joined IBM for as an intern at age 22. I gave L’Oréal a quick try in 2004, which made me realise I had no passion for shampoo and should be in tech.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Pick your battles.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector?
I’d give them 2 pieces of advice:
1 – Be flexible – technology is the fastest growing and fastest and most ever changing space to be in. Be ready to pivot, change your mind and be adaptable to the change that will constantly be going on around you.
2 – Learn the basics of coding, even if you want to be in sales or marketing. There are various online platforms you can try for free – get your hands dirty and make sure you understand how technology gets built.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My appetite – I wake up craving berries and yoghurt…
Who do you want to be when you grow up? My true self, not trying in any way to be someone I am not.