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Why Did I Become an IT Project Manager at Intel? – Aharon Blau

Aharon Blau is a member of the ProjectManagers.Org community. He shares his story on why he became an IT Project Manager at Intel in the following interview:

Why did you become a Project Manager?

Project manager role has a lot of disciplines starting with managing without authority, technical challenges, working with customers/users and the outcome is that the PM really influence the whole result.

What work were you doing previously?

There were few roles. First one in the electronic design, than I shifted my focus into the operational world, starting as logistics person, continuing with purchasing, engineering, manufacturing and then landed in the Project/Program manager role.

What are you doing now?

My current role is Program Manager. That includes managing Hardware/FW portion needed for the Intel’s next generation CPUs programs.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

As soon I realized that making a difference is on actually delivering a system to the users, than you need to provide a holistic solution.

Are you happy with the change?

Yes lot of Fun & Challenges

What do you miss and what don’t you miss?

Project/Program management is talking on matrix management. It is real challenge, also doing it on multi-sites, different cutlers and different time zones. All these challenges are making this interesting. Everyone can do simple things but I’m looking to the extreme.

How did you go about making this career move?

While I was an electronic designer, one of my roles were to transfer the product from design to manufacturing. The job I did was appreciate by the production manager so I felt I have a chance to talk to him about a career change. So here my journey started.

What didn’t go well? What ‘wrong turns’ did you take?

Wow, this is tough one.. I really can’t recall, maybe it seems now that it is not important. I recall once that I got into a situation where I wasn’t planning to be and after a while it turned to be a good place. So here is a tip “don’t fight the nature of things”

How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?

I can be proud and say that I did it by my own. I took courses at night, learned a lot during my career and always looked beyond the finance. I’m sure that it is not an easy to do, but I did it and I’m very happy with what I have gained.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

There are three things, First one is ”mindset” the second is “mindset” and the last one is “mindset” as well J Keep your mind in the future on where you would like to be.

What were other difficulties and how did you overcome them? Keeping the balance between work and family this is the most challenging one. Big part of my success belongs to my wife.

What help did you get?

So first comes my wife with the support and understanding that it is important to me. Beside of that I think that few managers that gave me the space to grow.

What have you learnt in the process?

If it isn’t tough, check your path, you might be going down the hill and not climbing.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Learned more in my early days, the ways to present an opinion and that the team comes first.

What would you advise others to do in the same situation?

Take your future into your hands, Ask from someone that you trust to be your “mirror”, keep climbing the hills.

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