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Interview with a Sprint Project Manager

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Interview with Andrea C.

Andrea is a Project Manager working for Sprint Nextel Corporations. She works on call center technology, which is making sure that when people need help with their Sprint phones, the number to call is working correctly. She works in her office from home.

What exactly do you do at your job?

I make things happen. As a Project Manager it’s my primary responsibility to make things happen. My specific responsibility is to make sure that projects happen that allow Sprint customers to get help. To get customer service when they need it.

What is a typical day at work?

A typical day includes reading lots of email pertaining to various projects, of which I spoke on earlier, composing and responding to emails related to those projects, having status meetings on the projects, updating Sprint Executives on the status of the project, creating project plans, following up on tasks for team members, and helping my team to solve problems.

What skills are needed for your job?

Good communication skills are essential and the ability to work with all different types of personalities. You need to have the ability to be a good mediator. The ability to grasp information quickly and problem solve effectively is needed.
Most people don’t go to school to be a Project Manager. They work in an industry and then become Project Managers within that industry. For example, I was an engineer and worked in a technical field before I became a Project Manager.

How often does your work stress you?

Well it depends on my work load and type of project. It is also my responsibility to manage my work load. It is also dependant on the type of project. For example if a project requires working from midnight to 6 am several times a week it is stressful as mother who has morning responsibilities with children.

What did you want to be when you were my age?

When I was your age, I wanted to be a flight attendant because that seemed like the cool thing for ladies at the time. [Laughs]

How did you first realize you wanted to become a Project Manager?

I realized that I was good at all of the skills that I mentioned were essential to being a Project Manager. I am a good communicator and I like problem solving and I enjoy coordinating things and making things happen. So I pursued Project Managing and I enjoy it.

How does your job affect the rest of your life?

I am able to work from home in my current job and that makes a huge difference in balancing work and family. But that doesn’t necessarily mean pummeling the territory of Project Managing. It’s a factor of company tolerance for having virtual employees. However some jobs lend themselves to working from home better than others and Project Managing is one of them. For example, if you are a factory worker, that’s obviously not something you can do from home, but managing people, talking to people and following up on action items is.

What is your jobs impact on the rest of the world?

My job’s impact on the world is letting people enjoy the convenience of cell phone technology. Imagine 20 years ago when not everybody had a cell phone and they had to use payphones and house phones that weren’t portable. It was much more challenging. Also it is convenient of business efficiency.

My last question is, what does “The American Dream” mean to you?

The American dream is being able to apply your skills and work ethic to get what you want whether that is money and tangible things or just the satisfaction of doing it.





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