Women in Project Management: Koviljka Lukic

Today, I interview Koviljka Lukic CAPM (r), a volunteer for the PMI Chapter Serbia, mother, and sales engineer. Below Koviljka discusses how it feels to study for project management exams while raising small children. She also shares her experience with finding a work/life balance.
Koviljka, tell me a little about your career path.
Koviljka LukicI have worked in a variety of capacities for an international sales company over the past ten year. As a regional sales engineer, I was responsible for project management.
I was responsible for sub-projects that involved the installation of equipment in complete waste water plants. Although our project methodology was not uniform, we had to keep within budget, deliver within the scope and quality. Because the machines were custom-made for each customer, the end product was always unique.
What is it like to be a woman working in the waste water plant industry
I spent several years in the Balkans’ waste water plant industry. I had the opportunity to meet some of the most respected subject matter experts in Slovenia and Serbia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Serbia as well as other European countries.
I realized that the region has a lot of water treatment needs and that we all face challenges that may seem daunting.
Perhaps such an environment reinforces gender stereotypes. When I asked an older colleague for career advice he jokedly replied “Get married and have children”
It was important to me that I always put my best foot forward, and not on stereotypical views.
Now you are more involved in project management. How did this happen?
The experience of managing projects with a variety stakeholders is what attracted me to project management. I had to consider not only the customer, but also sub-suppliers, installers and end users. Contractors were also included. Technical support was available from the central office, the purchasing division, factories around the world, and the central office.
I realized that there had to be better ways to organize these projects. I had a conversation with a friend who was a project manager in a large construction company at the time. He suggested that I look into PMI.

What was your involvement in PMI?
I had the honor of volunteering for PMI Serbia Chapter as well as attending a local project society conference.
Volunteering was a great experience. I met amazing people. People are willing to share, help and accept a newcomer.
I was involved in the preparation of Project Society conferences, including translation, editing, and administration. The feeling of community is what attracted me to the PMI. I cannot wait for the next opportunity.
Have you ever taken any PMI exams.
My first daughter was born in November 2015, and my second in November 2017. After taking a step back during my second maternity leave, I decided to take the time to look into PMI certifications.
The reason I took the CAPM(r), was to learn how to better organize the projects we undertake at my company.
Another reason is that I feel the necessity to be prepared for my future career and any changes within the company. After my first maternity leave, it was difficult for me to travel as much and there was a significant reorganisation within the company. All of these changes made me realize that my work environment is constantly changing.
I want to grow professionally, so it was a natural step to get a certification.
I am proud to have passed the CAPM exam with an overall score that was higher than the target in May last year!
It was difficult with a toddler and a baby who were not sleeping, but I am glad I used the previous year for project management education.
Podcasts, blogs, and webinars are all ways I learn about project management. I look forward to applying the knowledge that I have acquired.
Your blog and your tips about work-life balance are very motivating.