Sana Tesneem Ali

"After my internship, the company offered me to work as Project Manager "

Role: Project Manager

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My first interaction with Europe was back in 2010 when I did my masters in European and International Business Law from University of Vienna. After my studies I went back to my country Pakistan and worked as a lawyer. In 2014 I decided to move back to Europe to open new door of opportunities. And that is when I read about this Master course from Pixel and I found this programme very practical which could also complement my legal background. I attended the 4th edition of the course for the year 2015-2016 in Florence, Italy. The course was unique combination of theory and practical insight into European Projects. All the trainers themselves were consultants and experts in the same field who could provide examples from their own experience.

Another reason to apply for this course was three months internship which was the part of this Masters. Pixel arranged internship for me in Inovamais consultancy firm. It’s a Portuguese company but I worked for their office in Brussels, Belgium. From the very first day I was involved in European projects, I never felt that I needed guidance from my supervisor because I was aware of everything related to European Projects. After my three months of internship, the company offered me a job to work as Assistant Project Manager which I accepted happily. As an Assistant Project Manager, I was involved in more horizontal tasks and I was assisting three project Managers. With the passage of time, I was involved in main tasks specially writing proposal, tenders, collaborating with partners, designing work packages, monitoring ongoing projects implementation. My company was really happy with my work and offered me the position of Project Manager. So in less than a year I became Project Manager. Now as a Project Manager my work requires more dedication and focus. I am front person for project partners. I have to provide strategic directions during the implementation of projects. I prepare interim reports for the Commission and participate in meetings with the Project Coordinators from the European Commission.

Our company is also a contractor for Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA). At the beginning of this year (2017), my company asked me to become External Relations Manager for MCAA. It was a challenge but at the same time a chance to grow professionally, so I accepted this position too.

I am also Board Member of European Youth Forum (EYF) which is a political social platform that fights to substantially improve the working conditions of youth in the European Union. Being board member doesn’t require constant work but I dedicate my time and share my idea whenever needed.

An advice that I would like to give is to have confidence in your own skills and don’t change your own way of thinking or doing work. There is nothing right or wrong but your perception. I managed to become Project Manager within a year because I was never shy to ask if I don’t understand, to share if I think it’s important to share, emphasis if I think it requires reconsideration. You don’t have to prove something to someone but be the best version of you. Be honest, be reliable, be professional and always have “Can Do” attitude.

Brussels, April 2017