Your ideal project manager, Anastasiia

Photo from a personal archive

Anastasiia is a fresh graduate of UT’s Democracy and Governance master’s programme from Ukraine, busy with numerous projects. She even calls her master’s thesis a project, which it surely is. Her first visit to Estonia was also within the framework of a project.

Anastasiia works with the Institute of Baltic Studies, she is a grant officer in an international project, she initiated the series of 15×4 Tartu events, she acted as the president of International Student Ambassadors at the University of Tartu, she organized jam sessions for ESN, and so on and so forth. And, she is looking for a job, which is fully understandable if you consider the fact that much of the work she does is unpaid volunteering.

Before starting a project, Anastasiia goes through a mental checklist: How much time should I offer to this project? How much time is required to offer? Is there a clash? How important and how impactful can this project be for me? How is it going to change my life? Can I put it on my CV? Can it give me new contacts with people? Can I get some profit from it?

Photo from a personal archive

Anastasiia admits that she is into multitasking. She is organized and likes to plan everything in detail when it comes to projects. She is used to working with people, as you would expect a project manager to be. Was it difficult to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds whom she met in Tartu? Anastasiia’s smart, spontaneous answer is: “It’s always difficult to communicate with any people, even from your own country.”

Later, she adds that it feels like people who come to Tartu already share common values and that makes it easy to get along. Also, she did not feel that there were drastic problems talking to people from different cultures, but it was insightful to learn about other cultures.

Not all projects are created equal – the master’s thesis was a tough one. In May, Anastasiia wasn’t sure if she was going to graduate or not. It was an emotional roller-coaster. In five minutes’ time, she could go from “Oh my god, it’s such cool work” to “Oh my god, it’s the worst work I’ve done,” and from “Oh my god, I should be proud of myself” to “Oh my god, I should be ashamed of myself.” However, Anastasiia managed to overcome the panicking mood and realized that she could just do the job.

According to Anastasiia, it has been a huge and thorough investigation of herself here in Tartu during the last two years. She has become bolder, started to respect herself more, and came to think that there are no borders other than those in your head. She gained a lot of inspiration, knowledge, and good contacts.

So, if you need a perfect project manager, you know where to look.

Listen to the interview with Anastasiia Popova:

Anastasiia receives her master’s diploma. Photo by Andres Tennus
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