On the job…

IAAPS’ new blog series giving a glimpse into a day in the life of our team members. This time we speak to Kristina Burke, Project Manager.

Kristina Burke, IAAPS Project Manager

What is your role, and what does it involve?

Being a Project Manager involves asking a lot of why, when and how questions, getting random and often confusing answers, and then spending hours researching them and trying to crack their meaning. A bit like Indiana Jones. There is often a map of some sort at the end….and a treasure.

How long have you been with IAAPS?

I started in January 2020, so I’m just about to celebrate my second birthday at the company.

What does a typical day look like?

Checking emails, organising priority and then checking my calendar and Trello board (I am a sucker for agile boards, they help me organise my days), before diving into preparation for progress meetings, looking into project plans and coming up with new ways of how to keep on top of things without too much effort. That takes a lot of effort.

What excites you about being part of the IAAPS journey?

The prospect of working on projects that will have a major impact on the way we manage the climate crisis and how we live in the near future. I am not the one making the ground-breaking engineering discoveries, but I sure am close enough to have my eyebrows slightly grilled by the heat of the brain energy of my colleagues leading these developments.

The team is relatively small but growing. What opportunities does the SME environment bring?

An SME environment can be challenging. It’s an agile world that is unpredictable and changes from one minute to another. It requires wit, courage and quick reaction time. But it’s a great opportunity to pick up new skills and apply them right away in a real environment – much better than doing online courses.

Which of the IAAPS values is the most important to you personally, and why?

It’s hard to pinpoint one. I’d rather say that they share the spotlight, depending on what I work on. But to come back to the question about SME environment, it would have to be ‘collaborative’ and ‘curious’.

When you think about your work, what aspects are most important to you?

I appreciate the flexibility, the friendly and supportive team and the fact that I can bring my dogs to work.

What helps you to be your best at work?

Trust and support of my colleagues, enough coffee and biscuits to keep me going, and the feeling you get when you complete a 1000-piece puzzle – satisfaction, that’s the word!

What do you most enjoy about working at IAAPS?

I enjoy the challenge and the vision we have as an organisation. It’s important to work in a place where you believe in what you do, and you feel the passion everyone has for their work.

The pandemic has had a big effect on workplaces. How have you maintained a sense of connectedness with the team?

Our Friday coffee mornings via video helped, but when I started to go back to the office once or twice a week, I definitely perked up. I missed the impromptu chats in the kitchen or people stopping at my desk and striking up a conversation, which more often than not helped to resolve at least one thing I had on my mind for a week and was struggling how to tackle.