Sofia Hess: Inspiring Women to Project Management
Sofia Hess is Head of Marketing for Cerri. Today I interview Sofia Hess (Head of Marketing at Cerri). You may be wondering who Cerri is and what does a Head Marketing Officer have to do with project management.
Sofia works for Genius Project software, who generously sponsored my blog (although, in full transparency, I was not paid for this interview). Sofia’s job involves talking about project management tools all the time.
This area of project management is often overlooked. There are many career opportunities in tech areas that can help us do our projects day-to-day. Sofia will tell us more about this area.
Let’s get into the interview.
Sofia, how did this job become yours?
It was very random. Cerri had provided freelance translation work during my studies as a translator/interpreter. My assignments were solely system translations at the time. This was a prerequisite because I had to know the system inside out.
Additional contracts I had included writing white papers. These papers were related to project management topics. After I completed my studies, I was offered a job as a marketing manager. I accepted it without hesitation. Because of the flat hierarchy at Cerri, I was able gain so much experience and knowledge in all fields within a short period of time. We really work together as a team and value training employees. After a while, I was promoted to the EMEA marketing department.
Your job is to promote project management. Are you able to use PM skills in your job role?
Yes, daily! It’s almost automatic for me. My job is multifaceted and requires many skills. I use these skills when working with my team. I also use negotiation and risk management skills to plan our medium- and long-term marketing efforts.
We use our project management system Genius Project as well as our new productivity tool Cerri. I am very ambitious in using project management skills and techniques. I also value the fact that they are valuable.
Do you see yourself as a project manager?
I don’t consider myself a project manager. I consider myself a doer, with both strengths as well as weaknesses. However, I have many skills that would make me a good project manager.
Your role shows that project management is not limited to managing projects. What advice would you give a project manager looking to move into marketing?
A Project Manager already has many of the necessary skills for a position in marketing because they are used to focusing on the right work at a particular time. Marketing requires many skills. You either have them or you don’t. It’s more about talent than skill, I would even argue. It often comes down the individual.
There are certain overlaps between the jobs. Both positions require you to be a team player, communicate well, be creative, and be able to make quick decisions with little information.
You are based in Germany. Are you able to work with the Canadian team? How do you manage that? Do you have any tips or tricks for virtual meetings?
Yes, every single day. We work well together. We are market-oriented but there are certain things we can only do together with our Canadian team. Our North America Headquarters is located in Montreal, and our marketing director is also there. We have been friends for nine years.
We do have virtual meetings now, but not as often as we used to. This is because we are like a well-oiled machine. Our marketing team also hosts virtual meetings.