Monica Rodrigues

A purpose-driven leader inspiring youth and women

A mind that can think about others and a soul that connects easily is hard to find. But Monica Rodrigues is one of those few people who has not just achieved a lot but continues to learn and pursue a lot more. Educated from a boarding school for military daughters, Monica commenced her career as an assistant professor for War Studies and Geopolitics. It takes courage to shift professions after gaining world-class education and experience, and Monica possesses just that courage. Very recently, she earned her first professional degree in Neuroeducation after she found interest in the field of psychology. 

It does not stop there. Presently, Monica is pursuing a BSc degree in Psychology and aims to earn a Master’s degree in Neuroscience and Neuropsychology. The source that drives her to follow so much is the will to design a new learning generator, an m-LCMS that can help people learn efficiently and autonomously everything, anytime and everywhere. 

By the mere age of fourteen, Monica already had her life planned to teach at the university, finding inspiration in the readings of Sun Tsu and Helena Lopata. She developed a desire for promoting equal opportunities and teaching critical skills, the most important one being helping people develop a prospective mindset. 

Being highly motivated with this purpose gave her the creativity to design two life & career cycles. She became the best student and also the first Portuguese woman specialist in Geopolitics. But at the beginning of the 21st century, Monica felt like she to restructure her life. She searched for new tools and found inspiration in reading Giovani Sartori, Mark Savickas, Martin Seligman, and Antonio Damasio. Now, Monica reigns forward with the flag, “No one must be left behind” and “Neurodiversity” after becoming a specialist in the management of critical skills, talent models, and learnability. 

The three achievements that make Monica feel most proud of herself are the design of a radically new learning generator adapted to neurodiversity, the design of management skill models to develop youth talent and adapt it to work futuribles, and being a PWN Lisbon founder where she developed a Leadership Program. 

Monica finds her strength in having a purpose in life, which keeps her motivated even when threats seem to erase opportunities. The powers that helped her withhold the prospects and succeed in them are her focus, openness to experience, and conscientiousness. She finds her weakness in being insecure at times, which sometimes leads to hesitation when making a strategic decision. 

Role models have the power to stir anyone beaming with the desire to do something extraordinary with their lives. When Monica realized this, she categorized her role models into Concept Group and Life Model Group based on the areas in which they inspired her. Some names include Socrates, Roman Stoic Emperor Marc Aurelio, Kant, and Raymond Aron, and Peter Drucker, to name a few. Besides her father, Monica also found inspiration in Indira Gandhi, Oriana Fallaci, Maria Leonor Beleza, and Manuela Ferrerira Leite. 

Challenges are always an opportunity to grow. “The challenge of not having children was my biggest one. How did I overcome the challenges?  First, the main rule is to adapt, as Darwin said. Second, we need to transform complex tasks into simple ones. Third, trust your intuition- you may not know, but intuition requires tremendous experience. If everything fails? Start from the beginning because every end is a new beginning.”

With such a progressive and undying spirit, Monica became one of the founding members of the Professional Women’s Network in 2011. She advocates five strategies that could help women gain more prominent roles in their organizations. “The first is knowing yourself, the second is breaking free from stereotypes, the third strategy is building your own future, the fourth is challenging yourself daily, and the fifth strategy is self-promoting.” 

As an X-generation member, Monica feels she was raised as if she was supposed to be a flawless multitasking woman. People expected her to balance her home, family, & career with perfection, study art history instead of geopolitics and stand second to male colleagues when dealing with war situations. These are only some of the barriers that she overcame before becoming the energetic pioneer she is today. 

Monica’s message for the youth is, “HOPE. Have faith in your purpose and transform your dreams into ethical adaptive objectives.” With the mantra to promote equal opportunities and equality because no one should be left behind, she continues to steer talent management programs to help youth self-design their talented futures.

Previous article

Mehreen Raj

Next article

Niketa Thacker

About the author