Speaker interview: Natalie Semczuk
Natalie is a consulting digital project manager whose work focuses on helping small-to-medium size agencies and in-house web departments manage digital projects, clients services, and implement processes that help design and development teams work better together.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My parents swear I used to say I wanted to grow up to be "the boss". So I guess I've always been a bit Type A! From what I remember, I wanted to be an artist or a writer—I've always loved to expressing myself creatively.
What’s your favourite aspect of your current role as consulting digital project manager?
I love working with people to get through their project and communication challenges. Even though the company, project, or team might be different, there are similar patterns of sticking points across all of the projects I work on, and it's gratifying to be able to help solve those.
What do you find to be your biggest work-related challenge, and how do you approach that challenge?
I work remotely a lot, so communication can become a challenge at times. I try to be as transparent and direct as I can be to help with the asynchronous aspect of remote work. I also tend to keep multiple communication channels open across my teams at any given time, so they can reach me in whatever manner is best suited to their personalities and to the question at hand.
We’re thrilled to have you at the first ever Ground Control! What made you want to be a part of the conference?
Thank you! I'm so excited to be a part of it. The DPM community is ever-growing, and I am excited to be a part of a new conference for project managers with such a range of topics and expertise covered. I am all about communication, and I think it's so important to have these kinds of resources available to us in our field. I'm so thrilled to be a contributor to Ground Control, and I'm sure I'll be learning a lot myself!
Finally, what piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started out in the field?
Never be afraid to admit what you don't know. I realized this a few years into my career, and I wish I had realized it sooner. As the PM on a project, we're tasked with "knowing things" for the client. But in reality, we collaborate with all of our teammates on every aspect of a project—and if we don't know or don't understand something, we can say so, pause, and ask.
Don't miss Natalie's session on making post-launch a success!