Marta Santos

Marta Santos


Time in tech 4 years
Current role Data Scientist @ Feedzai
Place of origin Lisbon

Tell us more about you:

Early years and where you came from?

I was born in Lisbon, but I always held a tight bond with my parents’ hometown, a small city in the interior of Portugal. I was an only child until I turned 15, and in a world of grown ups, imagination is key to keep you entertained. I was the kind of kid who enjoyed solving math enigmas and writing stories was my favourite homework. Also, I’ve always been quite active. I practiced gymnastics, golf, basketball and handball. I’ve always been kind of all over the place!

How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?

As a fan of math and physical education in school, my choice of a Biomedical Engineering program was quite natural. It was love at first sight. I’ve studied in Instituto Superior Técnico and those years brought me really close to the tech world. It was also there that I first made contact with machine learning, a field that I now love.

Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.

In the first year of my career, I researched data science, in the biomedical field. Then, I decided I didn’t want to pursue an academic career, so I started working as a consultant. That’s when I developed skills in database programming and administration, and business intelligence development. I also gained a lot of social skills in those years. Recently I’ve returned to the data science field, which I’m very excited to keep on exploring.

What part of what you do, you love the most?

The everyday challenge of solving real problems for real businesses and real people. I love to see my work making a difference to someone. 

How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?

The Portuguese tech industry is a small, competitive and rewarding world. Mostly, I believe my academic path gave me the ability to fight, work hard, and absorb knowledge. In my opinion, these qualities are essential to thrive in an industry that is hungry for great professionals and, more than any other Portuguese industry, is able to employ them all. 

What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?

Find your passion, learn a lot of stuff about it and go for it. The best way to find it is to try different stuff. Don’t be afraid to experiment and change! It’s never too late to learn new skills or develop old ones. Don’t commit to a job that doesn’t fit your needs and ambitions just because you have been working on it for a while.

Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese woman in tech.

It’s a pretty ordinary day. I get up early after snoozing my alarm clock a couple of times, face traffic, solve challenges, have lunch, change the world, go to the gym and return back home for some family time.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

There isn’t any big problem that can’t be divided into smaller ones that are easier to handle. Live one day at the time.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

My smartphone is absolutely essential. From all sorts of communications to social networks, from maps and directions to my favourite photos. It has my life in it!

Links that you want to share?

Please visit Feedzai’s website

Anything else you want to share?

Don’t forget your humanitarian side! Techies tend to be very logical and practical, but not all things in life are back and white. Get to know different people, different cultures and different ways of living. You’ll find it very impactful and mind-opening.