How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
I started my professional life almost 20 years ago and currently I hold the position of General Manager of OMV Petrom Global Solutions (OPGS). The seeds of my current role were planted at PwC, the job where I spent 12 years, which helped me to define my principles as a professional and offered me role models.
At the beginning of my career, it did not really matter the job position or specialisation, I wanted access to a dynamic and competitive working environment, to international trainings opportunities, to knowledge and expertise. And I got what I wanted: a great school to train, develop and grow. I had the privilege and opportunity to work with extraordinary people/leaders who shared their experience and guided me along my career path. Growing within the team came naturally, from Junior Consultant, Senior Consultant to Manager and Senior Manager.
This is an advice I would give to other young professionals. Be open! Instead of having a clear target to get a certain position or job, rather decide what really matters for your future career, beyond that job. And a specific recommendation related to a job in Business Services: working in a Shared Service Centre can be a great start for a career. First, operational tasks have the challenge that your job directly impacts the clients: what you do, how fast and how you do it can make a difference. Second, in today’s world clients have the expectation that Shared Service Centres think through their perspective and come up proactively with ideas and suggestions for improvements, as well as with insights for business decisions, insights that would come from all the info and data that is usually available at SSC level.
What were your key career moments (those that had an impact on your professional journey)?
Looking back to my career moments, I would definitely mention two of them as being key for my way to the current leadership role. First one was when I received higher management responsibilities, becoming fully in charge with financials, people management, practice development of a department – it became clear to me that such a position has attached the challenge of keeping a balance between the pressure coming from meeting targets and the motivation of the team. I believe in people and in building a culture of dialogue, in fairness and trust.
Second one was when I joined OMV Petrom Global Solutions. I was not looking for a change of job at that particular time, but it was a great opportunity to join as Leader of Employee Services Business Unit. Working for the Shared Service Centre of the biggest company in Romania, having a team of over 150 people, switching the perspective from consultancy to business, all these were challenges I could not miss and allowed me to grow and develop even further. The professional expertise built step by step, the management skills developed by listening to the people and being open to learn from them, the high professionalism of the people in OMV Petrom Global Solutions and the support from my peers and my manager cleared my way to success.
Why Business Service Industry? What are top 3 reasons for choosing Petrom?
It is known to everybody that OMV Petrom is one of the biggest companies in Romania, proud of its tradition and ambitious about its future. In my previous consultancy role, I worked with hundreds of clients, but the variety and complexity of matters that I deal with in OMV Petrom Global Solutions is by far higher. Here one can find a great environment to learn given the complexity of the oil and gas industry, the high number of employees and projects and being part of a dynamic international Group. In OMV Petrom Global Solutions, I have met again extraordinary people, with high expertise and I feel proud, as member of the team, and comfortable, as Manager, knowing that we have the capabilities to answer our clients’ requests and needs. In OPGS we have the possibility to contribute – pro-activity and simplification/ improvement/ automation ideas are much encouraged and appreciated. Here we have the opportunities to grow training by training, mentor by mentor, as investing in its people is one of OMV Petrom Group’s investment strategies.
What do you think would be the keywords of the year for managers in the Business Services industry? Automation? Cutting costs?
Simplification, automation, invest to upskill people, cost discipline, value delivery.
Business services is a diverse and dynamic industry. The existence of the Shared Service Centre allows our clients to focus resources on their core competencies and therefore bring efficiencies in the broader economy. We have always to focus on efficient operation, to prioritise talent management and to address technology threats and opportunities. At OPGS, these challenges are met day by day by people striving for the best. Working with them, learning from them makes me a better leader.
Tell us a little bit about your private life. Tell us about your passions, family. What do you do to relax?
I have learnt that work for sake of working is not a good option. You have to prioritize in order to be a successful professional, but also to have a life outside the workplace, because it does affect overall performance. “The most important career choice you’ll make is who you marry”, said Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. I’ve made the right decision, as I find in my husband support and equilibrium, which are much needed especially since one year and a half ago when we faced a big “disruption”: a baby girl.
So, my private life went through some important changes to adapt to the new reality. Before, I used to travel more and longer distances (Peru, Ecuador, US, NZ, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam etc) and travelling with good friends is my favourite way of “investing” my free time and my money. Now, such travelling experiences are reduced, but it’s just a break. Still, I keep as a goal for this year to visit two new places abroad and two new places in Romania.