Since January, Anca Apostol, has embraced Enea family and has become Program Manager, having as a main duty to keep her two teams members happy. Let’s find out from her how hard that is!
You have a strong CV there, 23 years of experience, numerous teams to coordinate, big diversity of projects! Tell us more!
– If I were to count the years by specialization, there are for sure more than 23 (she laughs). Let’s see: there are 19 years of experience in IT&C, 21 years in Project Management, Marketing and Sales, including 15 years of people management. I ran big projects in private and public sector, in software and telco industries, within companies with more than 1,000 people. Some of those projects have become stand-alone platforms which are interoperable with different applications out here, targeting internal and external use. Also, I have coordinated teams of more than 100 people.
How many people are you working with right now, at Enea?
– I am coordinating two teams, meaning 75 people in total, within telco and banking industries. They are divided into teams of 5 to 11 members, that means about 50 ongoing projects.
How were you received? Did you take them out for a beer?
– No, not yet, but I am planning to. So far, I had one to one meetings with them and must say that I received a pretty nice vibe from them. I am also planning an event for next months, a team building in summer time and several trainings coming ahead.
How exactly have you made the decision to switch from marketing to Project Management?
– It’s a long story. How much time do we have? (she laughs) I graduated Strategic Marketing within Economics Studies Academy when “marketing” was in its early beginnings in Romania. I formed myself as a marketing specialist within Bitdefender and into 2008 I draw the conclusion that I have to reinvent myself and make a professional switch. Thus, I took part in the development of an ecommerce platform addressing B2B and B2C market segments. In this position I had to analyze the processes within a company, write down the functionalities, work with the developers and build the platform architecture. While working on this project, I realized Project Management is what I wanted to do further. What I find really fascinating about project management is that you never get bored. It’s a really complex, seething environment, working with different stakeholders, understanding their needs and responding to them in the best way.
How did you choose Enea?
– I met Enea’s management 10 years ago. Back than the team was smaller. As I was obsessed with strategies I couldn’t help notice that they really had a strategy. Though we didn’t keep in touch I followed the brand and got really impressed by the fact that they managed to achieve their goals. What I like about the current Enea brand is that they still target development, that they are a strong brand on embedded software and have impressive teams working for highly standardized industries like aerospace, medical, avionics, telecom. Most of all, I appreciate the fact that there are engineers working for Enea for more than 10 years, requested within projects by clients. Last but not least, I see a lot of involvement from management side into making people feel appreciated, understood, helped.
If you would have only one word to describe each of the two teams what would that be?
– In just one word is impossible! (she laughs) Let me do a full description: mature, dedicated, creative, communicative, strongly built as teams, passionate, friendly, willing to continuously evolve. There are also some geniuses within the teams and I am not exaggerating not even a bit. They are really beautiful minds and very nice people!
What goals do you have regarding your teams?
– To keep them happy! (she laughs) I am a so called „People Happiness Manager”. My job is to help them grow and together with them the projects they are involved in. To build them strong as teams, to ensure a nice working environment, to listen to them and make it easy for them to develop in the direction they wish to. I also hope we can learn from each other.
What about the management?
– I wish us to be on the same side in motivating the teams and helping them work better, develop better projects and approaching new project opportunities. If everyone is evolving as an individual we will be evolving as a team.
What are your hobbies?
– I have some hobbies that I get to practice every week like swimming and reading. My most recent reads are “JFK” by Stephen King, “Three daughters of Eve” by Elif Shafak , “The shadow of the wind” and all the other titles by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I also like to ski, ice skate and climb mountains.
Loving to ski and to climb mountains
Do you plan to make some of these hobbies themes for next team buildings?
– Sure, why not, and also other colleagues’ passions. Some of them are practicing ski, aikido, archery and so on.
Last question: describe Anca in one sentence!
– Maybe a phrase? (she laughs). I am an analytical, communicative, active, enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate person in my work. I’m looking for quick and practical solutions in everything I do. Generally, I’m a forward thinking person and a shortcuts fan. A true project manager is a juggler, having to deal with a lot of issues he has to debug in the end and sometimes under huge time pressure.