Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Edita Kemzūraitė, Senior Project Manager @ Bentley
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
My professional career started when I was a 3rd-grade student of Technomatematics and applied to the Software Quality Assurance Analyst position in one of the industry-leading software solutions companies. Since then, I walked all the career ladders from Junior QA Analyst to Senior QA Manager until I found my passion for Professional Project Management. After passing my Project Management Professional (PMP) exam I found great opportunities to transform my role from QA Manager to Project Manager at the company I work for. And at the moment from a practical perspective, I still work as IT Project Manager with the complex projects that deliver innovative software solutions.
From the other hand, I am a Co-Founder of Project Management United (PMU). This is the company my partner and I created with our mission to enhance Project Management Profession by connecting different PM Education and Certificate Providers, Corporate Organizations into united network. Our main product/service is an annual international conference BRIDGE (pmconference.org) which is the biggest conference for Project Management & PMO at least in the Baltic region. Organizing the conference always requires both strategic & operational level of the PMU leadership. As a Head of Content I focus on providing the leading topics of the conference each year and bringing the professionals on board to share their stories from practical perspective.
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
I'd say, creating the Project Management United was one of my most challenging but it is also the most rewarding experience at the same time. It started with a lot of uncertainty and additional obstacles, because we decided to create the organization when pandemics just started. So, I spent hours and hours discussing the whole concept and related issues with my partner almost all ONLINE that is not always as effective as we wish.. Another challenge - my partner and I were very new in the entrepreneurship journey and we had to create everything from scratch: establish the organization, create the team, find the partners, sponsors and attract the participant to join the international conference from all over the world. And we are so happy that many people believed in our ideas and our aspirational targets, they offered their professional contribution on the content and valuable partnerships so that people from more than 50 countries joined us online & onsite when we just launched it last year! Of course, it always requires a lot of our personal time and committment, but we feel that the community we build around us is getting stronger and it is such a great driver for our Team every time despite multiple challenges we are facing every day!
This experience totally changed my mindset because it showed how adoptive you need to be in such a fast pacing and always changing environment and how much you can achieve if you don't stop believing in your main mission and love what you do.
When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain contexts, what do you think?
First, I try to understand the reasons, why I got surprised and what would be the best way to respond to the context. I can tell that not all surprising situations are bad. Sometimes it is leading for bigger opportunities and better ways of working. So, I believe that in the surprising situations it is always important to find at least a minute to stop, analyze and rethink without initial judging.
What’s the key success factor for a female entrepreneur in cross cultural context based on your experience?
I think it is not a single success factor, but a mix of leadership skills, personal characteristics (e.g. like resistance and flexibility) and supporting environment. In fact, the personal believes and confidence that the services you provide or products you create can bring value for society is one of the leading factors too. And of course, it is a matter how you represent yourself and what actions you make supporting the ideas. Usually, it requires courage and going out of your comfort zone, especially in cross cultural environment.
From my experience I truly appreciate that as a co-founder I have a great and trustworthy partner on my side. We can support and critisize each other at the same time as well as learn together how to come up on the best decisions and make things better.
Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader/manager?
Empathy can be the key success factor working as a female leader. I believe, knowing your team and stepping into others shoes just to see how it can impact personal feelings can help to create welcoming environment for everyone. Even if it can be so powerful, empathy is not always easy to achieve, therefore the true female leaders need to stay proactive at the same time - predict potential threats and find creative and innovative solutions for every potential challenging situation. Usually, the ability to create "togetherness mode" and great communication skills are the drivers that help to achieve results more effectivelly.
Edita Kemzuraite, PMP, PMO-CP, GPM-b - Co-founder and Head of Content of the PM & PMO Conference and Project Management United, currently working as a Project Manager with the complex projects that deliver innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Modern and sustainable project management, as well as corporate sustainability, are Edita’s areas of interest and research. Edita is focusing on bringing valuable content to the BRIDGE Conference on Sustainability as a leading topic around Projectized-Digitized-Connected ideas. In addition to that, she is taking a Sustainability Ambassador’s role at her company connecting colleagues and partners around the globe to discuss about the importance of acting Together Towards Tomorrow providing innovative solutions for Environmental, Social, and Government issues, and supporting Sustainable Development Goals.