Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I have been working as a Project Manager for almost 5 years and I’m very passionate about what I do. My previous experience included managing educational and game projects, in positions such as: Sales Manager, Middle Project Manager, Team-Lead. Life is unpredictable. A few years ago, I would never have thought that I could work as a Cybersecurity Project Manager one day and actually enjoy it.
Can you tell us about your role with The Project Foundry?
My current role is Cybersecurity Project Manager, working fully on the client’s side. I have already built strong relationship with their team and continue to do so every day. My main responsibilities are:
– managing one of the biggest Cybersecurity projects in the client’s company;
– reporting on identified vulnerabilities, as well as helping to find resources for remediation;
– working with different departments to make the environments more secure.
What motivates you to do what you do?
I am motivated by a deep passion for Cybersecurity and the critical role it plays in safeguarding organisations from evolving threats. My work as a Cybersecurity Project Manager allows me, together with the team, to be at the forefront of defending against cyber threats, and this intrinsic interest in ensuring digital security serves as a constant motivator.
The collaborative nature of cybersecurity initiatives further motivates me. Working closely with cross-functional teams and stakeholders to establish and maintain a secure digital environment fosters a sense of collective responsibility. The knowledge that my efforts contribute to the overall safety of the organisation and its stakeholders is a powerful driver.
How have you evolved personally and professionally over the years?
My project management path began when I was studying at university; I was young and full of desire to learn and grow in the management field. I wouldn’t say that the path was easy, as I struggled with a lot of challenges on the way.
In my first company, I started working as a sales manager and, three months into the role, the project manager left the organisation, and I was the only person who agreed to take on the projects in his absence. It was one of the first challenges I had, as the client was angry that the previous manager left without saying a word and I was totally new to the projects. The main thing I learned from this is to be flexible and learn everything fast. Less than in a month into the project, I had built strong relationships with the client, and we successfully finished the project without any delays.
Life will always present challenges, but we need to always believe in ourselves, continue growing and learning as much as we can and not to hesitate to ask for a help or advice if it is needed.
What does Culture in a work environment mean to you? Why is it Important to you?
Culture in a work environment means a lot to me as it relates to the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that shape the overall atmosphere and interactions within an organisation.
A positive work culture promotes collaboration and teamwork among employees. In cybersecurity, where effective communication and coordination are crucial, a culture that encourages open dialogue and knowledge-sharing can enhance the overall security posture of an organisation.
Also, my opinion that we usually choose the organisation whose values we share. Personally, for me, those values are a good attitude to the colleagues and clients, respect for personal boundaries and a desire to grow and develop professionally.
How do you maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life?
That’s a tough question for me as I’m still learning how to set these boundaries and maintain the balance, but I want to share some tips I’m trying to follow:
- Communicate with your team: Maintain open and clear communication with your team members. This can help in setting realistic expectations, coordinating tasks, and avoiding last-minute emergencies. If something goes wrong, I prefer to share it with the team at the same minute. As my client says; “Bad news doesn’t get better with age”.
- Practice time management: Develop effective time management skills to optimise your work hours. This can help you accomplish tasks efficiently and avoid unnecessary overtime.
- Engage in self-care activities: Dedicate time to activities that promote your physical and mental well-being. These can include exercise, hobbies, or pursuing personal interests.
- Set clear boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Define specific working hours and try to stick to them. Try to avoid checking work emails or engaging in work-related tasks during your personal time.
Are there any misconceptions about your work/field that you would like to clarify?
There are a lot of misconceptions about the field of cybersecurity – these are the main ones.
1. Cybersecurity is solely the responsibility of Cybersecurity team: While Cybersecurity team plays a crucial role in implementing security measures, cybersecurity is a collective effort that involves everyone in an organisation. Employees should be aware of best practices, such as strong password management and identifying potential threats.
2. Cybersecurity is only about preventing external attacks: While protecting against external threats is important, cybersecurity also involves safeguarding against internal threats, such as insider threats or accidental data breaches.
3. Cybersecurity measures guarantee 100% protection: No security measure can provide absolute protection against all threats.
Is there a particular aspect of your work that you are especially passionate about?
My first thought was to mention communicating with different people across the company and that’s true, I really like communicating with different team members. However, when I started thinking about it more deeply, I realised that I am passionate about increasing the level of protection and security in the company environments. I think that it is important not to hide identified vulnerabilities, but speak loudly about them internally with the support team and be transparent with the leadership.
How do you deliver value to clients?
I support project execution by proactively managing the performance of deliverables.
I effectively manage the customer relationship, ensuring communication alignment between stakeholders while champion the overall project plan and conducting reviews to ensure its success.
I highlight identified risks and contribute to building remediation plans for potential challenges, and report on all identified vulnerabilities, assisting responsible owners in preparing and executing remediation plans.
I prepare status reports for the main stakeholders to keep them informed of project progress, in addition to driving separate small projects with vendors/suppliers that are integral to the initiative I am leading.
What is the one thing that very few people know about you?
I always will choose reading books against watching movies. When I have free time, I usually grab some sweets, a cup of coffee, a fluffy blanket, a book and hide in a ‘different reality’. I am always deeply imbued with a book and really empathise with the main characters if something happens. One of my deepest desires is to build my own library with special edition books.