Director of Project Management
What are the five words that people would use to describe you?
One of the questions that most people dread, I suppose. Luckily for me, we recently did peer feedback sessions at FM and I can actually share how my colleagues see me: attentive to detail, driven to achieve results, assertive and strategic. Interestingly enough, they also thought I was patient, which I don’t necessarily think is always my strong suit.
When did you know you wanted to be a Project Manager?
The truth is no kid grows up wanting to be a project manager :) they want to be firemen or doctors (or in my case, archaeologist like Indiana Jones). I started my career as an IT PM sort of by chance - while at university and then while living abroad I’d work as a tutor and as freelance translator. It was fun for a while but then I started to long for a different professional experience - at the time I didn’t really know what it was except that I wanted it to be new and exciting. For someone with humanities background, software development is as “new and exciting” as it gets. It wasn’t exactly easy - I had a lot of learning to do, but it wasn’t too long in the job that I realized seeing things through and getting complex things done gives me the rush I was looking for.
What is your favorite thing about your job and why?
If you’re the curious type of a person, being an IT consultant is pretty much the best thing that can happen to you. No two projects are quite the same - there’s a variety of industries, variety of technologies, even the team may differ from project to project. What other job would make you a whiz in mortgage origination systems on the one hand, and an expert in 500+ different kinds of oysters on another? I’m guessing not that many. And it’s not only the business domains that you get to know - there’s so much to learn about software development (programming, QA automation tools, UX principles) and digital product development (design thinking, startup business strategy). The opportunities are almost endless - the only thing limiting your learning experience is the extent of your curiosity. That’s what I love about being a PM at Freeport Metrics the most.
What would people never guess about you?
Mhmm I don’t know - most people know I’m a serious book junkie, only recently converted to Kindle. Maybe some might have a bit of a hard time guessing what music I like - I remember one of my colleagues being absolutely shocked when he learned I was going to a heavy metal concert. Also I’ve raised a few eyebrows by admitting I occasionally play computer games.
What motivates you?
Having a purpose and knowing that what I do matters. Knowing that I make a difference and one way or another I impact people’s lives - be it through a social benefits mobile app that I just helped to develop, or by mentoring a junior colleague as they start their career as an assistant project manager.
What is your favorite FM project and why?
Most of the projects that I remember fondly where the ones that had a great team working on them - both on our side (we only have great team members, obviously) but on the client’s side as well. Try all you may, sometimes not everything goes according to plan - having a team that you can trust and rely on is pretty much your only salvation.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I wouldn’t say I necessarily look for inspiration. I read. I talk to people. I observe and I think. I admire people who are visionaries determined to change the world and who are not afraid to fail before they try a different approach. I guess it’s vision and persistence that inspire me.
What are you afraid of?
I wouldn’t necessarily use the word “afraid” but given my rather gloomy outlook on mankind, I’m quite concerned where we’re headed as a collective.
What’s the last book you read?
That will be “Hooked” by Nir Eyal. On a side note, at the moment I’m reading Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories (in case anyone thought books on business or product management are the only thing I read in my spare time).
What’s the most memorable place you’ve been to?
I like history and arts and wherever I go, I always end up visiting historical sites and going to museums and art galleries. Each of them have been their own unique experience and I wouldn’t value one over the other. Let’s just say that I hope the most memorable place and the most memorable journey is still ahead of me.
What are the top five songs you would put on your playlist?
- Metallica - Orion
- Depeche Mode - John the Revelator
- Rammstein - Zerstören
- Michael Nyman Balanescu String Quartet - No. 3 Beginning
- Lao Che - Govindam
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Yeah, I really cannot answer that.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Cannot name just one person and truth be told I’m not sure if it’s only people that shape who we are. Sometimes a chain of random events may change your life forever. However, I like to think that we ourselves are responsible for who we are and what kind of life we have - in the end, it’s all about the choices we make. Being unhappy and not taking any action to change that is also a choice.