Meet Elizabeth, Project Manager

Criterion Careers | Day in the Life Series

Meet Elizabeth, Project Manager

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Please describe your job: What do you do?

I am an IT project manager for the Cybersecurity and Privacy Services program at one of our customers in Washington, DC. My projects mostly consist of implementing cybersecurity software and hardware within the organization, and, recently, providing cloud security oversight for application migration into the cloud. My role as a project manager requires constant collaboration and coordination with the client and cybersecurity engineers, including external technical teams to carry out project activities.

What are 5 things you do almost every day?

  • Facilitate project team and client meetings
  • Provide project oversight simultaneously on 3-4 cybersecurity projects
  • Review and update project plans 
  • Manage project team deliverables and project communications
  • Develop and disseminate weekly project reports to stakeholders

Do you have a morning ritual? Something you do to start your day?

I start my day by meditating on positive words, which sets the tone for rest of my day and helps me cope with whatever challenges I might experience. I then review my weekly plan, assess progress, and determine what I intend to accomplish for the day.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

You need to be an excellent communicator and know how to efficiently manage your time, resources, project constraints, etc.  Being extremely organized helps you stay on top of things and provides you the ability to effectively manage project deliverables and stakeholder management. Additionally, despite having subject matter experts readily available to support you, learning as much as you can about the subject matter is also imperative as it will be instrumental in your decision-making process.

What do you like best about your job?

What I love the best about my job is the exposure to various technologies and the opportunity to work with highly skilled and self-motivated cybersecurity engineers.  It takes a highly motivated team to succeed; during the past year, my teams and I have delivered several projects that were deemed a success by our customers.

What advice would you give to someone looking to become an IT project manager?

You must be extremely organized and be an excellent communicator, both orally and in writing. Emotional intelligence is also key as you will encounter challenges with navigating your project environment.

What is the craziest/oddest job you have ever had? Something that might surprise your peers?

I am not able to specifically name an odd job, I believe every job I have held in the past, including jobs not within my profession, helped me build upon skills I needed in future positions. One thing that might surprise my peers is that I am an avid ice skater.  I love to skate so much that many years ago, I opted to invest in my own pair of skates instead of renting them from ice rinks.

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