Before joining PMI, Duarte managed a large social media operation at Sky News. He tells us about coming to terms with British habits, dealing with the frustrations of fishing, and how a previous life as a chef has taught him how to multitask in his current position.
Where are you from?
I’m from Lisbon, Portugal, but I’ve been in London for more than seven years now. So, it’s getting increasingly difficult to answer that question.
How long have you been with PMI?
A little over a year.
What’s your role?
I’m deputy head of social media at the Global Studio in London. That means I coordinate global content going out on our social media channels, as well as delivering content to our markets and affiliates.
When does your alarm go off in the morning?
At 7 a.m. every morning, weekends included. I know it’s not super-early, but I never got my head around this British habit of waking up before the crack of dawn to go for a jog.
Why did you get the job?
I think the company is going through a seismic transformation in moving away from cigarettes, and I had the right experience and ability to document and communicate this pivot. I managed a big social media operation at Sky News before coming to PMI, and I think that experience counted in my favor. Also, I think my organized nature came across – although I hope I’ve never lost my creative spark.
What’s the best part of your job?
The people, by far. Putting together processes that are more agile, and help people around me express their true potential, makes me happy. We work in a highly-regulated business, so if I manage to make the routine and the workflow easier for those around me, I know I’ve done my job well.
What would colleagues say about you?
Some of my colleagues are also my friends outside work, so it’s easy. At the same time, I don’t really know what they say about the way I work. I hope they’d say that I’m a good guy – that would make me happy.
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
People! I know I said they were the best part, too, but it can be a challenge to take other people’s perspectives on board during a time of transformation. But understanding this diversity of thought can produce more creative solutions, and help me to create a more agile and inclusive workflow.
What about hobbies?
I’m just another one of many frustrated fly fishers in the world. Fly fishing must have the highest rate of quitters in the world, because it’s the most frustrating sport ever. It consists of getting a fake fly, tying it into the thread, and imitating the movement of a real fly in the water to trick the fish into believing it’s found its lunch. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of disappointment throughout the day, but it’s outdoors – which makes it worthwhile!
What advice would you give to a person wanting to follow your career path?
There are much easier ways to get where I am. I had a number of jobs over the years, and they don’t all relate to what I’m doing now. But I think they all contributed to where I am. For example, I worked as a chef for a few years, and I think that taught me organizational skills that continue to make my work more agile today.
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