Interview of Urszula, Industrialization Project Manager at Valeo
Meet Urszula — mother, gardener, dancer, hiker, project manager and a real people person. In fact, what stood out very quickly during our interview was just how much she values the people she works with. We spoke with Urszula about the secret to effective project management and why thanks to her role, she could moonlight as a psychologist.
Tell us about your journey to Valeo.
Urszula – I studied material science at the Technical University of Mining and Metallurgy. It just so happens that as I was finishing my studies, I literally just happened upon a flyer from Valeo at our university career center. It was the early days of the internet, so I looked the company up online, thought “why not,” so sent my CV through, interviewed, and got an internship in the purchasing department! That was in 2003. Over the course of the next 12 years, I have worked in a number of different positions in purchasing, before moving into project management in 2015.
What is your current job and what are your responsibilities?
U. – I am a P1 Project Manager, specifically I work on projects related to radiators and condensers. In order to ensure that all our projects are successful, it is my job to manage performance objectives (quality, cost, profitability, delivery and timing) in compliance with the Group and customer expectations.
Although no two days look the same, they all start with the red box meeting. Everyday at 9am, using the QRQC method, the team sits together to define what we will do during the day so we can follow the progress of the projects underway. This meeting allows us to identify any potential issues or roadblocks and build quick responses to these together.
What motivates you?
U. – The people. When you manage a project, you’re managing people, and in order for them to do their best work, you need real trust and mutual understanding. We can openly discuss anything, there is a lot of trust, we rely on each other. I am motivated by seeing other people do their jobs well, because it means I did my job well.
What skills are the most important for your role?
U. – Pricing, organization and leadership skills are the obvious skills that come to mind, but what I‘ve come to realize over the years is that you really need to know your team. Not everyone will understand the same words in the same way, essentially, you also need to be a psychologist! You need to find the key that motivates each of the people in your team.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
U. – It’s a hard question, there are many things at Valeo that I haven’t discovered yet. I’ve always wanted to become a P-13 manager, working to improve the costs of the company in different areas. We will see, at Valeo the opportunities are endless!