We caught up with Cezara Messel ahead of her session at European Women in Technology to discuss her role at Fortech and as a woman in the tech industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a highly motivated and enthusiastic leader with a successful track record in project, program and portfolio delivery and operations management. Skilled in different systems and tools, team management and change management, with a great dose of communication and stakeholder engagement, I can adapt to any context and I'm a fast learner. As I have a lot of energy to spend, after work I am a group class aerobics instructor at a local gym.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
Rarely are two days the same. On average, I start with a good coffee, I check all the planned meetings and create my to-do list for the day. Then, I just try to find time for unpredictable tasks or discussions that might arise, and I always make time for a good lunch! For productivity and work-life balance reasons, I've set up an important rule for myself - not to do overtime, unless something "burns", indeed.
What influenced you to pursue a career in tech?
It first started as adapting to the market trend, due to the dynamic tech environment in the area I live. Then, I've discovered that tech is exciting and innovative, which meant that I would learn continuously and I wouldn't have time to get bored. And then, it just absorbed me completely.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Being provided with the opportunities to improve every day operations of the company I work for and therefore making my time as valuable as possible (for a company or a person or an NGO).
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your role and how did you overcome it?
My role exposed me to different components of the business, one of the most important being the software development services, a core area for us, as IT services outsourcing provider. Being a non-techie, I've had to constantly keep up the pace with the techies and with all of the constantly evolving technologies.
Perseverance, self-confidence, (sometimes) stubbornness, a lot of curiosity and a great dose of interaction and empathy (or active listening) with anyone around me were the key elements that proved in time efficiency in overcoming my work challenges.
Why have you decided to get involved with European Women in Technology?
This is a unique conference in Europe due to its size, diversity in topics and backgrounds. I have wanted to attend this conference for the past two years; this would have been the third year I wanted to attend, but didn't. Things needed to change!
Additionally, I love sharing the good things I get to achieve and listening to the achievements of other women. I am excited to experience the incredible atmosphere of this conference.
What will you be speaking about at the conference and why have you chosen this topic?
I have a successful record in building business relations and communities of practice. It's the part I enjoy the most from my role. Thus, I've decided to workshop the topic of building, evolving and thriving a community of practice.
During this workshop, we'll dive into the essence of the ‘community’ idea: the journey, the challenges, the ups and downs and all the bitter-sweet gains of building, driving or just being part of a community of practice. And hopefully we'll all leave the session with new ideas on how to improve our group mastery skills, or at least, with new discoveries about ourselves in group interactions.
What potential developments in technology in the next 10 years are you most excited about and how do you think this will impact peoples’ lives?
I am interested in any technology that will impact the way we interact, just to name some: Artificial Intelligence, Neural Interfaces, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, and Blockchain.
I look forward to seeing the developments in Neural Interfaces and how this ability to hook our brains directly into the internet will impact social media. I'm also excited to find out more about how Robotic Process Automation will impact the labour market and people's ability to adapt, and how Blockchain will change the banking industry.
Join 4,000+ industry professionals for two days of career-boosting workshops, inspiring keynotes and networking opportunities at European Women in Technology on November 26-27.