Meet the WIICTA winner: Priscila Bernardes of Lancom Technology

Meet the WIICTA winner: Priscila Bernardes of Lancom Technology

Bernardes kick started her technology career by chance after migrating to New Zealand and starting out as a sales assistant.

Priscila Bernardes (Lancom Technologies) wins Shining Star - Partner award

Priscila Bernardes (Lancom Technologies) wins Shining Star - Partner award

Credit: Reseller News

As winner of the Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) Shining Star (Partner) award in 2021, Priscila was recognised for her efforts in super-charging start-up innovation to promote Kiwi technological expertise across the world, leading the ISV engagement program charge via Lancom. In driving a new sales motion and program, Priscila pioneered efforts to assist 45 ISV engagements while adding 30 per cent growth to the wider business during COVID-19.

How did you get your break in the IT industry and progress to the role you have today?

I started working full time when I was 15 but really, my first job was selling candy when I was 10. 

In the early years of my career I worked as a retail assistant, office admin assistant and finally office manager. These experiences helped me develop an appreciation for sound processes and governance.

Migrating to New Zealand from Brazil was the catalyst for starting a career in technology, which happened purely by chance. I was very lucky to be given an opportunity to start as a sales assistant, in recognition of my transferable skills.

Technology was completely new to me and never an industry I imagined to embark in. Having to learn a new language, culture and industry didn’t come without its challenges.

I have been extremely fortunate to have met leaders along the way that supported and coached me to success. During six-plus years, I had the opportunity to progress from a sales assistant role to account management and operations, working with a range of businesses and industries in New Zealand – while furthering my skills through completing an MBA.

These experiences gave me the confidence to transition into a newly created role with Lancom Technology as a customer experience manager.

Joining Lancom Technology at a time of growth gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of customer success, marketing and sales. The Lancom Technology leadership team gave me countless opportunities to challenge myself and grow with the business. This, coupled with my natural inclination to continue challenging the status quo has led me to take responsibility for the business operations and growth as general manager.

What have been some of your career highlights and proudest moments?

My proudest moments come from seeing others succeed be it customers I get an opportunity to work with, or people whom I’ve had an opportunity to influence along the way. 

Having been on the receiving end of mentoring and support, I am a big believer in leaving a legacy behind by sharing my learnings and failures. I consider myself in a privileged position now to be able to give back by creating a platform of support and mentoring, where I can help others find and ignite their purpose.

In the last year, I have been extremely privileged to work with over 50 start-ups, scale-ups and well-established software businesses across Australia and New Zealand. 

What are some of the key lessons you've learnt along the way?

One of the most important lessons I have learnt is to own who I am, my background, my beliefs and show up with authenticity while being vulnerable and humble enough to accept that I don’t know everything, and can always improve.

In addition, I have learnt that those who love growing connections and a community (something I am passionate about) can find technology an exciting place to be. To me, technology is about connection and as contradictory as it may sound a very ‘human’ industry. 

To be connected in an optimal way, systems need a human touch. To understand how to connect systems, humans need humans. So, despite the stereotype of the industry, I am a living proof that IT has a place for those with a less ‘technical’ background.

Finally, I learnt that despite the power of having a supportive community, personal success is totally and utterly individual. It takes courage, curiosity and responsibility to grow both personally and in your career.

What are some of your professional ambitions in the months ahead?

Having recently taken a new role as the general manager of Lancom Technology, my goal is to continue supporting the business’ strategic growth goals across Australia and New Zealand building on the momentum we have in the IT market.

In addition, I am looking to further my knowledge in the areas of governance in finance, risk and strategy.

Finally, and perhaps more importantly, I am extremely excited about the opportunity to influence our graduate and talent acceleration programs by bringing a diverse approach to how we hire, attract, and accelerate talent. Coming from a humble background I am deeply passionate about giving back to the community and looking to leverage my story, experience, and learnings to support others who see the possibility of succeeding in the IT industry.

Who or what has influenced you professionally?

I am drawn to people who are innately curious, thrive in a challenging environment and are self-starters – those that are prepared to both support me but also call it out when I have an opportunity to improve in my approach.

Throughout the years, I have been extremely fortunate to meet a number of people that encouraged me to continue taking risks, embrace my diverse background and growth mindset. I continue to seek to build these relationships and nurture them as one of my core values.

In addition having my family back home in Brazil, reminds me each and every day of where I came from giving me an opportunity to be grateful for the journey thus far, whilst keeping a positive eye on the future.

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