So far, Andreea’s career has been like a roller coaster. Every time I speak to her, I learn that she has taken on new roles, growing as an IT professional and fueling her passion for complex challenges while discovering new places and people.
Now she’s in Bucharest, Romania, coordinating several projects, and a few months later, she’ll move to Guadalajara, Mexico, to help put in place a new development team.
Currently, Andreea is a Practice Manager at Pentalog Mexico where she and a team of 20 IT specialists are on a mission to conquer a very attractive outsourcing market, well-represented by American clients.
Download Pentalog’s e-book for Product Owners! Learn from Andreea how to build the right product with a happy team.
I find Andreea’s career adventure quite inspiring! Just four years after joining Pentalog in Bucharest, she has already advanced to a top management position.
Reality Check: From the EU Translator Dream Job to Practice Manager in Guadalajara
As an English and Spanish Philology graduate at the University of Bucharest, Andreea’s dream was to become a translator for the European Parliament.
“I always pictured myself outside of Romania and doing something challenging. I am doing that now, but 10 years ago, I was trying to find my way through English and Spanish literature, civilization, linguistics, semantics, morphology, translations and so on.”
In her second year of college, Spain’s Erasmus scholarship whet Andreea’s appetite for traveling. At the same time, an MA in American Studies with a focus on media, creative writing, communication, multiculturalism, and globalization gave her the idea to become a narrative designer for video games.
Andreea managed to join the gaming industry as a QA Tester, combining her interest in video games with a passion for writing.
Starting with her passion for foreign languages and traveling, along the way, Andreea had the idea to join the IT field. With great confidence in her skills, determination and courage, Andrea gave her all to every project she was part of and worked hard to develop new skills. And, she gained relevant management experience, responsible for ensuring that our teams efficiently implement Pentalog’s vision.
A Blue-Eyed Girl’s Mexican Experience
In early 2019, Andreea accepted a Project Director position and moved to Guadalajara, the location of a brand new agency. She started preparing for this position when Pentalog began the arrangements for launching a delivery center in Mexico.
At that time, Andreea was a Product Owner at Pentalog Bucharest. She was also involved in Product Owner and Scrum Master assessments and played an important mentor role – all while participating in the integration roadmap to better understand her job expectations.
Many colleagues pointed to Andreea as the right person to coordinate the team and projects in Guadalajara. They spoke highly of her management and leadership abilities, knowledge of Spanish and adventurous personality.
Did I mention Andreea’s capacity to make everything possible?
Any job transition is difficult because you have to change perspective. In this case, Andreea’s shift to her new role meant seeing Pentalog from an international perspective, while also moving more than 10,000 km away from home and experiencing a completely different culture.
One of the most challenging parts of her daily activities as a Practice Manager is motivating her team.
“I make sure people understand their purpose and the impact of their work. It’s important for them to know our objectives as a company, the goals for the product, and the project they are working on and how important their input is. We are all a team, and we will succeed as a team.”
Inspiration, Discovery, Learning, Friendships, and Fulfilment
Described this way, Pentalog embodies the harmonious workplace:
- It offers growth opportunities to those who have the determination to learn and be better
- New challenges constantly appear so you can advance quickly in your career
- An agile company helps you to develop a growth mindset
- Pentalog provides support through mentorships and training
- Freedom to use your creativity
- A place to be inspired by really cool and smart people, and for you to inspire as well
- Contributing to something – having a purpose that can help improve and influence people’s lives
- Helping people grow and find their potential
- Learning new things every day
“The shift of perspective helped me learn a lot, improve my self-awareness, my empathy, my relationship management, and my leadership skills,” Andrea says. She is a true believer of professional success (her own and others’) through constant growth and purpose.
It’s been more than a year since Andreea’s departure to Guadalajara. She fit in quite easily with the help of her colleagues and new friends.
“After a few months, everyone, even myself, had the impression I had been in Guadalajara for a lot more time than I actually had. My Romanian accent in Spanish is no longer that noticeable and people start to believe I am from here, from a region called Los Altos de Jalisco. A lot of French and Germans came and settled there – so people have lighter skin, blond hair and a slightly different accent.”
Life in Mexico has been a surprise – the country’s warm people have welcomed Andreea and are genuinely interested in learning more about her culture. Also, Mexico has so many wonderful locations, festivities, and tasty food.
Andreea enjoyed celebrating Dia de Muertos to better understand the concept of death in Mexican culture. Christmas with her friend’s family was another heart-warming experience. The butterfly sanctuary in Michoacan, the pyramids in Teotihuacan, and the cities and villages near Guadalajara (Tequila, Mazamitla, Chapala, Jocotepec) all have a special place in her heart.
I ask her, what’s next? More traveling, she says! And plenty of work as a Practice Manager!
Will she go back to a product experience or move toward a more product strategy-related position? Time will tell! For the moment, she enjoys the ride and is happy to welcome new PentaGuys and PentaGirls to the fun side, aka Pentalog.
Check out some of Andreea’s articles:
- The Product Owner: Jack-of-all-trades or Niche Master?
- Product Owner – Practical Advice to Improve your Practices
- Product Owner: Resources & Tools for Great Agile Product Management
(To be continued. Keep an eye on us for the following episode of the series!)