Rachel Mata, Project Management for Women

Today, I interview Rachel Mata Lead Project Manager at Edutech company Instructor Brandon. She lives in Bogota in Colombia, and I was thrilled to learn more about her life and career.
Rachel, how did your journey into project management begin?
It just happened. I began working at the age of 16. My previous jobs were centered around planning, coordinating logistics and getting things done.
Rachel MataWhen I turned 23, I was hired to supervise a medical startup company in Caracas. I coordinated and planned the induction, training and performance measurement for all my team members and new hires over six months.
I was then offered a job as a coordinator in an educational institute, where I managed resources and supported the completion of projects. I didn’t know Project Management was a career.
What is the best thing about being a project manager
Your work as a project manager is a source of innovation. You feel successful when you manage a flow and get things done. Your team will achieve their goals if they achieve them. You can support your team by providing the tools and resources necessary to make it happen. This increases the trust you build. That is my favorite part.
What was the most challenging aspect of a project? How did you overcome it?
Coordinating people from different cultures and different time zones has been one of my greatest challenges. I can’t say that I have yet overcome this challenge. It has improved tremendously since the first time it was presented to me as a challenge.
Communication is essential — smooth information sharing and a way to work around any issues or blockages.
As a project manager, it was not my job to coordinate but to find creative solutions to help the team get the resources they need to do their job.
Next: 15 Practical Tips for Enhancing Project Communication How was it like to study while you worked? What do you think your degree has done for you?
It has! In November 2020, I received my master’s degree.
It was a real challenge as studying takes dedication and time. It is difficult to find time to study when you work 12 hours a days. Let me tell ya, I found the trick in my case was to study the topics I needed most, while I was working. This allowed me to learn and implement what I needed simultaneously. I also learned the things I didn’t like about my practice.
What are you most concerned about in project management next year?
My opinion is that Project Management needs to be reinvented. As a Project Manager, there are many things I think we should do. Not only planning, but also adapting to changes quickly to ensure the project’s outcomes and times don’t get affected.
It’s about making projects more agile, but also making sure that project management can be more flexible to the changing world.
We should be focusing our efforts on improving our ability to adapt to changes, manage risks, and adjust to unexpected ones. To support and receive support from our social networks, we should improve our networking.
What advice would your give to people who want to be project managers in Colombia or in general?
Read, think, analyze, then try again. Never stop innovating. Google everything. You should use your brain to be resourceful. This will give you so much internal satisfaction that it will be well worth all the effort.
Next: One of Colombia’s top 11 cities for project ma