How I became a Project Manager

I’ve always been fascinated with technology and people. I also loved math and programming algorithms since I was in high-school and that’s how I ended up by graduating the Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Informatics at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. To me, it felt a little too technical since most of my classes were in math and programming. That’s how I realized that I needed more. I wanted to learn about technology and the business aspect too.

My parents are both entrepreneurs, they started their own business 25 years ago, and so I grew up discovering all aspects of their company. Working side by side with them in vacations, I learned the importance of mixing technology with business to increase the profit margins. A valuable lesson that I learned is that technology without people has no value, so I started to improve my social and communication skills as well. It’s not a surprise that one of my hobbies is self-development books and coaching. I have always been fascinated by how people think, what motivates them and the importance of building interpersonal relationships.

I took my passion for technology and communication with people, and I discovered that although I loved programming, I needed something different in my life as a long-term career path. That’s how I started the Masters Program in Informatics Project Management. During those two years, I realized that this was the right path for me because it involved both technology and business.

Since I had the chance to work as a Junior Project Manager in the retail area right before I started the Project Management Master, I had the opportunity to understand in practice what I studied, and it definitely showed me that this is not only a job for me, this is also my passion.

After two years and a project that I successfully implemented, I took the next step in my career, and I worked for three years as a Regional Project Coordinator in a European Funded project that gave me the opportunity to interact with more than 100 companies, which improved my negotiation and communication skills. At the end of this project, I was very proud to accomplish the project objective on time, with higher KPIs than expected and with a lower budget.

When I finished the project, I realized it was time to take the next step in my career and manage my projects, so I started to work as a Business Project Manager for a distribution company. It was an entirely different field for me, but it was beneficial for me since I had the chance to understand what exactly means business value for the client and how can you achieve it.

One day I decided that I would like to come back to my first love, technology, and programming and so the next phase of my career steered me towards finding a Project Manager position in a big IT company. I treated this goal as a project, and one of the most important milestones was to become PMP certified.

In December 2016 I got my PMP certification after two months of studying, and I had a great feeling that apart from the certification, I learned so many tools and techniques that will help me in managing the future projects.

In March 2017 I achieved my goal and started a position as a Project Manager for an SW project. It is a tremendous chance for me to work on a Worldwide Project with project team and stakeholders from all over the world. This is my chance to apply what I studied so hard for the PMP exam and also to improve project management soft and technical skills.

Beyond achieving more experience in my Project Management career and reading, I’m continuing to pursue my passions for Project Management and sharing best practices with my colleagues and people from all over the world who are interested in this area.

I hope that some of these articles will help you in your own Project Management quest. If you have any questions about how I became a Project Manager, or lessons learned, feel free to comment below or write me an email at ralucaglisca1@gmail.com.

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