Could you describe your career to date?
I moved to the UK from Portugal in 2012. I was working as a nurse, specialising in anaesthetics. I was very fulfilled in my role, but I knew that I wanted to do more. I had studied for a Master’s Degree at home in Portugal, but I was keen to study in English. In 2013, I applied to King’s and I was so excited when I got a place to study the MSc Advanced Practice (Leadership) at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery. I studied alongside people working in NHS hospitals, in nursing and other roles, and that was very eye-opening. It allowed me to reflect on my practice.
In 2014, whilst still studying, I founded my first company. I was always keen to improve practice and, after spotting a gap in the market, some colleagues and I created a company that provides training for doctors and nurses who administer sedation. It proved profitable from day one.
I graduated in 2016. I was still working as a nurse, but I began to move to leadership roles within the NHS and was planning my next steps. I knew that my next venture would be related to infertility. I am infertile myself. I discovered that I was born without a uterus when I was 18. It was very challenging, but when I graduated from King’s I was able to look back and see that I had actually coped with it rather well. I wanted to show other people how to do the same. I saw that with my own experience of infertility, along with my nursing skills, I would be able to give something back. So, in 2017 I founded my company inFertile Life. From then on I dedicated myself to fully understanding the needs of people dealing with infertility, and how I could help them.
Andreia Trigo accepting her award for 2017 NLP Pracitioner of the Year
What has been the most interesting or exciting experience in your work?
A year ago I decided I wanted to run a big event a King’s. I had a vision of a room filled with people that I would be able to help in their struggle with infertility. I found sponsors, booked the room, ordered food, and over 80 people registered for the free event. I was feeling confident. But, no one showed up. I was devastated. There were many reasons why people might have decided not to come. It was pouring with rain, the Mayor’s show was on the same day so all the roads were closed, and, significantly, I had just started the company and I didn’t have a presence in the market. But, I learned a lot from this experience. Just a month later I was invited to do my TEDx talk. Highs and lows are absolutely normal and in fact it is just what we have to deal with when we are infertile. Since then I have been able to quit my full-time job and dedicate myself to my businesses. It was scary, but with my Master’s I know I will always have something to fall back on if I need to.
Andreia delivering her TEDx talk
How did your time at King’s influence you?
I remember the first day I entered the Waterloo campus, I loved everything about it. Everyone was so supportive from my fellow students to the professors. Studying [at King’s] opened my mind and enabled me to reflect on my practice. The course also enabled me to increase my earning capacity as a senior practitioner.
What advice would you give to students and alumni for success in life after King’s?
Make the most of the skills that you gain at King’s. It is not just what you learned in class, or when writing essays, but while you are at King’s you are also discovering yourself. You are discovering the professional that you want to be, meeting people who work in different environments, seeing how they do things and how you can improve your own practice or help them improve theirs. Take all these learnings with you when you go back to work. You have so many new skills that you can do anything and you should feel empowered to do that.