[Meet Our Industry Ambassadors] – HP Inc. Romania

//[Meet Our Industry Ambassadors] – HP Inc. Romania

Miruna Scrima, current Automation Agile PMO Lead & Peripherals Operations Manager – HP Inc. Romania

I’m Miruna Scrima, current Automation Agile PMO Lead & Peripherals Operations Manager HP Inc, IT Computer Hardware, Printing and Peripherals

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

My first step was a Customer Service part-time job for Orange Romania, while I was still finishing my university studies. I learned about team spirit, collaboration, and leadership as I was fortunate to meet amazing leaders who guided, stretched, and inspired me. Certainly, after having direct exposure to their needs and challenges, putting customers first has been on my every action and decision since.

My solid foundation in Sales and Customer Support enhanced my empathy, networking & presentation skills and inoculated a principle that I still live by even today: offering value added in every interaction.

From early on, I envisioned a career in Project/ Program Management, having role models & mentors around me who often showcased the beauty of this path: staying in the front row of change, continuously upskilling by experiencing new areas according to the project scope, and meeting lots of people.

What were your key career moments?

The first key moment was the opportunity to start my path as a Project Manager. Big thanks to Florin Popa for the confidence you offered me back then and the amazing boost you generated for my career. First, I experienced projects with Country exposure within Orange Romania, then switched to Global magnitude and high-scale transformation within HP Inc. These finally piled up to more than 12 years of hands-on experience on all Project leadership frameworks, fully complemented by Change management.

The second moment was for sure the leap of faith I took to join HP Inc. for a 3-month limited assignment as a contractor after working for 10+ years with Orange. This change certainly held a risk, but my self-confidence prevailed and opened the door to an amazing new stage in my career. Once embarked on the journey, my only focus was to do my best, seize any opportunity to upskill and increase my network. All these made the job stability risk nonexistent, and high-calibre projects came one after the other: HP separation, CRM, ERP solution deployment, and many others. I truly appreciate the fantastic journey and accelerated upskilling I’ve enjoyed, guided by Erik Chang.

The third was surely the leadership opportunity I unexpectedly received while enjoying my maternity leave – apparently out of nowhere, a senior leader from halfway around the globe, whom I didn’t know before, reached out asking me to be his Chief of Staff and Strategy & Planning manager. This is an amazing example on how your network can boost your marketability even when you might not be actively seeking for a new opportunity.  Even though I was immersed into the unknown, I had an amazing mentor along the way – very grateful to Yves Cabanac for the inspiration, coaching, and tremendous support.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?

  1. Be your own CEO – you’re the only one accountable for any decisions regarding your career. Be intentional and mindful when you draw your path to a better version of yourself. Others can guide and support you, but only you are responsible for the actions that get you where you want to be.
  2. Only constant is change – stay ahead in an ever-changing complex world, take time to strategize, and look a few steps ahead. Realize that upskilling never ends, and you can overcome any challenge using your growth mindset.
  3. Networking is marketing – always be on top of your marketability and actively attract ways to boost it. It is more about who knows you and what they share about you when you’re not there, than about who you know.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

I was always inspired by the start-up energy and legacy that HP Inc’s culture brings with Bill & Dave’s garage in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley’s birthplace.

Keywords such as “Keep reinventing” or the recent “Future Ready” are really part of the mindset and action plans, with our customers on the front row. Immensely proud of the ambition to become the world’s most sustainable company, by making an impact every day.

Within HP, I’ve always been empowered and sponsored to drive innovation and incubation, and to develop myself as a professional. Glad to have an active role in driving Operational excellence, adopting RPA at scale (robotics process automation), embracing an agile mindset, and integrating innovative companies such as HyperX and Poly into our ecosystem.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?

I’m very fortunate to have amazing support at home, filled with unconditional love. My energy sources are boosted by activities that bring me mindfulness and unfocused time: either through my daily workouts, attending rock concerts, or going snowboarding, just to name a few. My recharge mechanism also relies on consuming artistic activities that create beauty, whether in the visual, literary, or performing arts.

If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do?

I would immerse myself into new tech and develop solid coding knowledge, working on RPA (robotics process automation), AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning). I would be on the lookout for opportunities to work with:

  • Blockchain technology and its applicability in various industries
  • Metaverse and its features: avatars, NFTs, AR/VR, Web3, and intersection with AI
  • DGI/ ETF investment portfolio, to have a strong foundation on passive earnings

What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?

  1. System thinking (to complement Design Thinking) – finding the interconnectedness of different elements, a deeper understanding of the multiple levels of factors that affect a user/ customer.
  2. Super-tasking (as opposed to multitasking) – thriving while simultaneously delivering various endeavours.
  3. Work-life harmonisation (as opposed to integration) – excelling on self-driven flexibility through presence, intention, and purpose.

What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals

Time has nowadays become the ultimate luxury; therefore, making the most of every moment should be our mantra. Either in your personal or professional life, add intention to everything you do.

This means taking a step before immersing into action where you mindfully ask yourself: “what do I want to get in the end?”

You first envision the end state and then think about the steps you need to take in order to see that vision come to life. Surely you might say that leaving space for surprises and the unknown is part of the beauty of life, and you’re right. Being intentional does not mean that you control the outcome, you just plan ahead better and increase your chances of seeing a larger amount of your projected vision.

Think about a vacation where you take some time to plan your days, check opening hours for tourist attractions, and check restaurant ratings versus one where you just manage on the go. Either version is great, still you’re increasing your chances of having a better experience and collecting only the icing on the cake by adding some intention.

Same at work – you can go to a meeting waiting to see what happens, without checking the agenda or preparing anything which might be in your area of expertise. Or you can ask the relevant questions before the meeting, so you can make sure that the limited time you have is used at its best.

Nicoleta Saghin, Supply Chain Customer Operations Director – HP Inc. Romania

I am Nicoleta Saghin, and I work with HP Inc. Supply Chain Customer Operations as the North-Western and Central and Eastern European Markets Director.

HP Inc. is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, offering a product and services portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions, and having close to 60,000 employees worldwide, out of which almost 1,500 in Romania.

How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?

I am proud to be one of those employees who have had a nearly lifelong relationship with their employer. My beautiful story with HP started as a contractor in 2006, soon after graduating college. My first role was Customer Service Representative. I was excited to be part of a team with amazing people and so many possibilities to learn. It was the beginning of my journey, and I rarely thought about a genuine career plan back then. Questions like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” would make me feel uncomfortable. All I wanted to do was get better every day and delight the customers I was serving. And I did that, and the customer focus stuck with me throughout my career.

What were your key career moments?

There were many great things that shaped my career journey, from job changes to simple things, like having a good, honest talk with the right person at the right time. For instance, I remember one conversation I had with my manager two years after I had joined HP. She was one of the many extraordinary people I had the privilege to work with at HP. She drew a simple graph on a piece of paper and asked, “If you were to be a VP before you are 45, how should your career journey look like to get there?” I was speechless, and it was the moment that made me realise that career progression is a very personal endeavour. It was soon after that conversation that I decided to pursue my first people manager position. I only hope that, through the years, I can also inspire others to learn and grow.

What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?

Looking back, I believe there is a lot I learned from the successes, but even more so, the failures have also been an excellent source of learning. So, focusing only on the top three lessons:

The first one would be to say YES to opportunities, even if sometimes they are “dressed-up” as challenges. They not only enrich knowledge, but they are frequently excellent opportunities for increased networking and visibility among different levels of management or organizations.

The second important lesson is that with change comes opportunity. Corporations are going through constant changes and transformations to cope with competition and macroeconomic headwinds. Every big change that I experienced revealed excellent opportunities for development. You just need to be in the right mindset and remind yourself why you do what you do, so always have in mind that big, hairy, audacious goal that you have set for yourself.

Last but not least, I learnt that failure IS an option, as long as you learn something. And learning only works if you actually change something. And here I will share again a personal example of when I pursued a certain role that I didn’t get at the time (and it happened more than once), but got the exact same role 12–24 months later. Because the constant ambition to learn and change helped me become the right person for the job.

Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?

I applied for a role in HP in 2006, just one year after the Global E-Business Center opened in Bucharest. I was familiar with the HP brand, I got good feedback from friends already working at HP that they care about their people, and I was inspired by the opportunity to work with corporate customers from different countries and cultures. In time, it became obvious that I could link my personal aspiration with HP values: uncompromising integrity, agility, and teamwork. I still find myself embracing all these values, and I love to discover them in the people I work with.

Secondly, I am inspired by HP’s goal to become the most sustainable tech company in the world by 2030, and concrete steps are being taken in this direction, positively impacting the environment and communities.

Lastly, I love the diversity of the opportunities that HP is enabling for its people. From working on different geographies, business units, closer or further away to the customers or to business, strictly operational or more strategic. I personally had the chance to explore some of those, and it feels like I have just scratched the surface of what is out there.

Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?

For me, the best way to relax and truly disconnect from work is to spend quality time with my daughters and husband, my extended family, or friends. My daughters are 8 and 5, and they (still 😊) love to spend time with us, and so do we, so most of my off-work activities include them, whether we’re spending time doing outdoor sports/activities, playing board games, replicating DIY projects we see online, cooking or travelling whenever we get the chance. Other ways to relax are to read a good book, or listen to music, which is a must-have in my free time, and also go dancing once in a while.

If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do?

One thing that I would probably do differently earlier on in my career, would be to look for opportunities to temporarily relocate. I had always shown an openness to doing this if I were offered the opportunity, but I didn’t actively pursue it. I am still open to it, but for sure I would have to weigh and think through much more, considering it would not only have an impact on me, but also on my family.

What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?

Assuming the question is still referring to an early career, I would work on a mix of soft and hard skills:

  1. Analytical skills – and the use of tools to analyse data, represent them visually and tell the story;
  2. Growing the agility, and not only referring to Agile, as project management methodology, but also as an approach and mindset towards coping with challenges;
  3. Improve communication skills – which help in a multitude of situations – connecting with customers, building relationships, negotiating and influencing decision-making, and presenting to small or wider audiences.

What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals

The most valuable lesson for me is that you are the only person responsible for your own success, be it in your personal or professional life. It is like you are walking through a desert, and you meet all kinds of people along the way who are trying to help you with directions and advice, but you can only succeed if you dare to take matters into your own hands. Regardless of the position you are in, if you know what you want, opportunities are endless, and we should never hesitate to dream big. And act upon it. Take time to identify not only your “hidden” talents, but also those activities that you absolutely love doing, and look for a job that would allow you to do more of those.