Introducing Sandra, Orri’s Research & Development Associate.
She works closely with Dr Paul Robinson, Director of Research and Development, and shares below what’s involved in her day-to-day role.
Can you take a moment to introduce yourself?
I am a cisgender woman, a white Latina of mixed ancestry. I am Peruvian, born and raised in Lima, where I also studied Nutrition and Dietetics and started my career as a dietitian years after.
How long have you worked at Orri and what were you doing before?
I started working at Orri in April 2022. Before that, I was studying an MSc in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition at UCL, the reason why I moved to London in 2020 after working for four years in Peru. I have always been very passionate about health and wellbeing. While working as a dietitian in Lima, I tried to keep my practice away from diet culture, and my curiosity about eating disorders grew. My interest brought me to study an MSc in the topic. After finalising, I was willing to work in research to create new information that will help deliver better treatment to those struggling, raise awareness and prevent more people from having an ED.
What’s a typical day in the life of a Research & Development Associate?
A typical day for me at the moment is meeting with Dr Paul Robinson to get aligned on which are the most relevant outcomes we should be focusing on. Then I collect and organise data so that it can be analysed after. When the statistical analysis has been conducted, I prepare a monthly report about the clinical outcomes. Besides that, we are currently working on a study, for which I have to meet with the clients to invite them to participate.
I also have to coordinate with external parts willing to do research at Orri. Something vital for the role is to keep me curious to create novel, accurate and relevant data.
What is your favourite thing about working for Orri?
One of my favourite things about working at Orri is being surrounded by excellent professionals who work with passion, dedication and kindness to make every day of Orri a home and shelter for our clients.
At Orri, you feel that anything is possible and being witnesses of our clients’ struggles and vulnerability, but strength and resilience motivates me to keep working on making recovery possible.
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
I do simple things that make me enjoy and be calm, like going for a long walk, swimming in the sea and being under the sun, reading a book, listening to music, or cooking something to share with my loved ones. I also go to therapy myself to have a safe space to take care of my “inside” personal world. Exercise is also essential in my personal routine; I like cycling and doing yoga or Pilates.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
‘Like sunflowers, I’ll stand tall and look for the sun even on the darkest days.’
If you could say one thing to someone struggling, what would it be?
Sometimes, the bravest thing to do is ask for help. And to hold on to treatment, that recovery will not be easy or linear; that there will be many ups and downs, but every step, even the tiniest ones, make progress.