Emma Lee: The Many Skills of a Project Manager‍

Emanuele Del Rosso
> 3 min
|
May 22, 2019
When asked as children what they want to be when they grow up, people tend to give differing answers: a professor, a soccer player, a journalist, an astronaut. Our Project Manager Emma had to wait a little longer to realize what she wanted to be.

“You know, I grew up in China. You’re kind of just… told what to do. You’re not encouraged to share your dreams, so I don’t recall dreaming a whole lot about my future job when I was little. Maybe I knew I wanted to go to America!”

A Globetrotter From China

And so she did. Emma’s life follows a pretty neat timeline. She grew up in China, in a remote province. “The Chinese period of my life would be the teenage years. My memories of those days pretty much revolved about the gaokao, the college entrance exam.”, she says. “You go to school twelve or fourteen hours a day, from Monday to Sunday morning, including extracurricular activities.”

Back then, the Internet was really booming, and the most appealing jobs were in IT. “My mum wanted me to study computer science. I liked how the internet changed people’s lives, and I wanted to be a part of it. But, I remember thinking, ‘I can’t code, I can’t… do this.’ Of course, I didn’t tell her, but I knew that wasn’t the real me.”

What followed was ten years of living in the States, in a dream place called New York City. A vibrant environment for startups, where she had her first jobs and started the career she now continues in Amsterdam. “Eye-opening” is her word for it. There, she started to understand “how different society is, the politics, and how people think and live their lives.”

And now she’s in Europe, the very heart of it. “I have been here in Amsterdam for 9 months now, and I can see a lot of cultural differences between the US and Europe. They’re not shocking differences, but they’re definitely fascinating. Now that I live in Europe, I can continue to explore new cultures and try new things.”

Being a Project Manager at Dashmote

Life at the Dashmote Amsterdam headquarters definitely moves fast. You could imagine it as an ivy on a wall: it’s constantly getting stronger, and sometimes it takes you in unexpected directions. And Emma likes it.

“The best part of being a project manager is that everything is chaotic, yet exciting. There’s much work to do and you can contribute to the innovation progress of the company. You can talk to prestigious brands and help them solve business problems with our technology.”

The core skills of a project manager

Clearly, managing projects is not a walk in the park. Dashmote works with big clients, such as Coca Cola, Heineken, and Unilever - just to name a few. Many teams are involved in multiple operations, and a good Project Manager has to have - according to Emma - a specific set of skills.

First of all, one has to be detail-oriented. “You have both the big picture and the small details. It requires some years of experience to work in a multitasking environment, meeting stringent deadlines, and have a good business acumen.”

Then, to be a good project manager, “it’s crucial that one is able to understand business needs and what clients want.” Things have to move fast, even toward failure, to be able to fix the mistakes and deliver a product that suits the clients’ needs.

Lastly, “some understanding of data is required. For example, what kind of data can solve this problem or find the answer to that business question?” To Emma, data provides the tangible evidence required to take informed decisions and refine the process.

What’s ahead

From China to America and then to Europe, Emma has always been a globetrotter and that’s what she wants to be.

“I will continue to explore,” she says. And this job at Dashmote is just what she needs. “Being a Project Manager at Dashmote gives me the opportunity to keep innovating and entering unknown and exciting territories!”

About Dashmote

Dashmote is an AI technology scale-up headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. With the goal of bridging the gap between images and data, we are working to bring AI-based solutions to marketers for clients like Heineken, Unilever, Philips, L’Oreal, and Coca-Cola. We add value in areas such as Location Analysis, Trends Analysis, and Marketing Intelligence. Doing so on a global level, our company today has offices in Amsterdam, Shanghai, Vienna, and New York.

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project manager, career, artificial intelligence, startup

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