‘Can do’ attitude opens doors for Reinalda

Reinalda Pires is one determined woman. Her focus, courage and drive has led to her having a very varied and challenging career, all while juggling motherhood and completing a university degree.

Reinalda was born in a small village in Baguia and attended school in Viqueque, an area of Timor-Leste around 180km from the nation’s capital, Dili. 

“My family had very limited economic means. I was the oldest girl in the family and I wanted to go to school to make my parents happy because they worked hard for me to be able to [do so],” she said.  After school, university wasn’t an option as Timor-Leste was yet to gain independence, so Reinalda decided to move to Dili to find work.

“I started out as a waitress in a restaurant to help out my parents with some money but I thought to myself: Reinalda you can do more than this,” she says.

“There were lots of UN people here at that time, so I joined the UN working as an admin, delivering letters, record keeping etc. I also tried to do some small interpreter jobs as not many people spoke English back then. My English wasn’t good, but I was brave.”

From there Reinalda held a variety of roles with local and international NGOs as well as the Australian Embassy and USAID, before seeing an advert for a job with ConocoPhillips as Business Services Administrator. She had never heard of the company, or the Bayu-Undan Project, and was unsure if she’d make it through.

The panel was so impressed they were willing to wait for the then seven months’ pregnant Reinalda to finish up with her current role, have her first child and start several months later, in April 2009.

Former Timor-Leste Country Manager Peter Smith hired Reinalda and recalls her starting with the company: “From the start Reinalda had good English, a strong personality and she knew what she wanted – she was very confident.”

“She took on feedback quickly, was very friendly and I never saw her in a bad mood.”

It was during her time in this role that Reinalda was able to revisit the idea of attending university thanks to the company’s employee education assistance program.  “Higher education had always been my goal and it was also my dad’s goal for me, but I couldn’t afford it. Reading on the company intranet I saw that ConocoPhillips provided education assistance.”

Reinalda was the first Timorese employee to apply for education assistance and be accepted, and she soon commenced her degree in Management Marketing from the University of Bina Nusantara in Jakarta, studying online. “I really struggled at that time as I was pregnant with my second child and had just started studying as well as taking up the role of finance assistant.

The deadlines were very tight and it was very busy, as I also had assignments to do and my daughter to look after,” she said.

Around that time the role of Purchasing Officer was created and from 200 applicants, Reinalda was the successful candidate.

“I needed something more flexible and so I applied for the Timor-Leste Purchasing Officer role. I saw that the role would act as a focal point for local content in the country and that was very interesting to me,” she said.

“As a Timorese person I wanted to take action and demonstrate that ConocoPhillips had a commitment to local content.”

The role was created to assist ConocoPhillips in increasing the number of local suppliers providing goods and services to the Bayu-Undan Joint Venture Project. As the Purchasing Officer Reinalda engages with local suppliers, assesses their capabilities and provides information about ConocoPhillips’ procurement processes and requirements.

“What I enjoy the most is meeting potential suppliers and identifying additional suppliers to become ConocoPhillips registered vendors. I provide the local point of contact; facilitating some of our contractors and introducing them to our market.”

It is Reinalda’s courage and ‘can do’ approach that has seen her expand her reach into areas such as government affairs, external relations and community investment.

She is also the ConocoPhillips Women’s Network lead in the Dili office, championing diversity and inclusion at a local level.

She also cites her family’s never-ending support from day one as a major factor in her success.

When asked what’s next, she says: “I always want to take opportunities and have the attitude that if you give me the opportunity, I will show you I can do it!”

“My mission is to keep learning and be an asset for this country.”  

Atitude ‘Bele halo’ ne’e loke odamatan ba Reinalda  

Reinalda Pires nu’udár feto ida ne’ebé determinadu. Ninia foku, korajen no motivasaun mak lori ona nia ba iha karreira ida ne’ebé variada no dezafiante, iha tempu hanesan nia mós hala’o knaar nu’udár inan no konklui diploma universitáriu ida.

Reinalda moris iha suco ki’ik ida iha Baguia no hahú ba eskola iha Viqueque, área ida iha Timor-Leste maizumenus 180km hosi kapitál nasaun, Dili. 

“Hau-nia família iha meius ekonómiku ne’ebé limitadu tebes. Hau mak oan-feto boot iha família no hau hakarak atu ba eskola hodi halo hau-nia inan-aman sira kontente tanba sira serbisu makaas tebes atu hau bele [halo ida-ne’e],” nia haktuir. 

Depoizde ramata tiha eskola sekundária, universidade la’ós nu’udár opsaun ida tanba Timor-Leste seidauk hetan independénsia, ne’e-duni Reinalda deside atu muda mai Dili hodi buka serbisu.

“Hau hahú serbisu nu’udár empregada-meza iha restaurante ida atu ajuda hau-nia inan-aman sira ho osan balun maibé iha loron ida hau ko’alia ba hau-nia an: Reinalda ó bele halo di’ak liutan ida-ne’e,” nia hateten.

“Iha momentu ne’ebá, pesoál ONU barak tebes mak iha ne’e , ne’e-duni hau ba serbisu ho ONU iha administrasaun, haruka karta, mantein rejistrus, nst. Hau mós koko hodi halo serbisu ki’ik balun nu’udár intérprete tanba iha tempu ne’ebá ladún iha ema barak mak hatene ko’alia Inglés. Hau-nia Inglés ladún di’ak, maibé hau iha neon-brani.”

Hosi ne’ebá mak Reinalda hahú serbisu ho posizaun oioin iha ONGs lokál no internasionál sira no mós iha Embaixada Austrália no USAID, molok nia haree anúnsiu ba vaga ida ho ConocoPhillips ne’eb’e loke ba pozisaun Administradora Servisus Negósiu nian. Nia nunka rona kona-ba kompañia ne’e, ka Projetu Bayu-Undan, no laiha serteza se karik nia sei hetan serbisu ne’e ka lae.

Painél sente impresionadu tebes no sira hakarak tebes atu hein ba Reinalda ne’ebé iha momentu ne’ebá sei isin-rua hela ho fulan hitu atu ramata ninia pozisaun ida atuál, hahoris tiha ninia oan primeiru no hahú serbisu depoizde fulan balun, iha fulan Abríl 2009.

Eis Diretór Nasionál Timor-Leste, Peter Smith, kontrata Reinalda no relembra fali wainhira nia hahú serbisu ho kompañia ne’e: “Hosi kedas inísiu Reinalda iha koñesimentu Inglés ne’ebé di’ak, personalidade ne’ebé forte no nia hatene duni saida mak nia hakarak – nia konfiante tebes.”

“Nia simu feedback ho lailais, amigável tebes no hau kuaze nunka haree iha momentu ruma ne’ebé nia iha mood ladi’ak.” Durante períodu ne’ebá ho pozisaun ida-ne’e mak halo Reinalda bele konsidera hikas fali ideia atu frekuenta universidade no agradese ba kompañia nia programa ne’ebé fó asisténsia edukasaun ba empregadu/funsionáriu.  

“Ensinu superiór ne’e sempre sai hau-nia objetivu finál no mós hau-nia aman nia espetativa mai hau, maibé hau labele atu selu. Wainhira hau lee iha intranet kompañia nian hau foin hatene katak afinál ConocoPhillips fó asisténsia ba edukasaun.” Reinalda nu’udár funsionária Timoroan primeiru ne’ebé kandidata an ba asisténsia edukasaun nian no ikusmai hetan duni aprovasaun, no la kleur deit nia komesa estuda online ba ninia diploma iha Jestaun Marketing hosi Universidade Bina Nusantara iha Jakarta.

“Realmente hau dezenrraskas tebes iha momentu ne’ebá tanba hau isin-rua hela ba hau-nia oan ida segundu no foin mak hahú estuda no mós iha tempu hanesan asume knaar nu’udár asistente ba finansa. Prazus ba entrega nian apertadu tebes no kuazu halo hau okupadu tebtebes, tanba hau iha traballus atu halo no iha tempu hanesan tenke tau-matan ba hau-nia oan-feto,” nia haktuir.

Iha períodu ida ne’ebá nia laran mak loke daudaun vaga ba pozisaun Ofisiál Aprovizionamentu nian no hosi kandidatu nain 200, Reinalda mak hetan pozisaun ida-ne’e.

“Hau presiza buat ida ne’ebé fleksível liutan no tanba razaun ida-ne’e mak hau hatama aplikasaun ba pozisaun Ofisiál Aporvizionamentu Timor-Leste nian. Hau haree katak pozisaun ida-ne’e sai hanesan pontu fokál ida ba konteúdu lokál iha rai-laran no ida-ne’e interesante tebes mai hau,” nia hateten.

“Nu’udár ema Timoroan, hau hakarak atu foti asaun no demonstra katak ConocoPhillips iha duni kompromisu ida ba konteúdu lokál nian.” Pozisaun ida-ne’e kria atu ajuda ConocoPhillips hodi hasa’e númeru fornesedór lokál sira ne’ebé fornese bens no servisus ba Projetu Joint Venture Bayu-Undan. Nu’udár Ofisiál Aprovizionamentu, Reinalda envolve ho fornesedór lokál sira, avalia sira-nia kapasidades no fornese informasaun kona-ba ConocoPhillips nia prosesu no rekezitus ba aprovizionamentu nian.

“Buat ne’ebé hau gosta liu mak hasoru malu ho fornesedór potensiál sira no identifika fornesedór adisionál sira ne’ebé mak atu sai vendedór rejistadu ba ConocoPhillips. Hau sai nu’udár pontu kontaktu lokál; fasilita ami-nia kontratantes balun no introduza sira ba iha ami-nia merkadu.”

Reinalda nia korajen no mós abordajen ‘bele halo’ ne’e mak lori nia hodi habelar liutan ninia alkanse ba iha áreas hanesan asuntus governamentál, relasaun esterna no investimentu ba komunidade. Nia mós sai nu’udár líder ba Rede Feto ConocoPhillips nian iha eskritóriu Dili, promove diversidade no inkluzaun iha nível lokál.

Nia mós temi kona-ba apoiu rohan-laek hosi ninia família hosi loron ba loron mak sai nu’udár faktór boot ida iha ninia susesu. Wainhira husu kona-ba saida mak sei tuirmai, nia dehan: “Hau sempre hakarak atu aproveita oportunidades no iha duni atitude katak se karik ita-boot fó oportunidade ne’e mai hau, hau sei hatudu ba ita-boot katak hau bele halo duni!”

“Hau-nia misaun mak atu kontinua aprende no sai patrimóniu/asset ida ba nasaun ida-ne’e.”