Tell us about your volunteer experience at PMI and your Chapter?
My history with PMI began in 2008, when my previous employer’s business partner said we needed two PMP Credential Holder project managers on the team to renew our Premier Business contract. I worked as PMO Manager for my previous employer and wrote my final college thesis on project management, so I was familiar with PMI and the PMBOK® Guide already. I prepared for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential exam and I obtained my PMP® credential in 2010. Since 2008 I attended most of the local PMI events and I joined PMI and the local chapter in 2009. When I wrote my MBA final thesis I asked for help and guidance from the local Chapter’s President who finally became my external counselor and he was the one who asked me to join the PMI Budapest, Hungarian Chapter Board of Directors in 2012. I was lucky enough to be elected by my peers as Vice President of Operations at my local PMI chapter for three years. I believe that a project manager should always be looking for new ways to develop and move forward, so when I was notified that PMI was looking for a new PMI Region 8 Mentor for Eastern Europe, I paid close attention. After looking at the requirements, I felt this is what I had been looking for and submitted my application and after a rigorous selection process I joined the prestigious PMI Region Mentor team in 2015. I am responsible for eleven countries in Eastern Europe.
How do you see your role as Regional Mentor?
I believe in servant leadership. The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that I want to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings me to aspire to lead. I like helping people and I volunteered to the PMI Region Mentor role to share my experience at chapter level and inspire local chapter leaders. I have been there, done that and seen that what my sub region chapter leaders are facing with currently so I believe I can help them. I am a volunteer liaison between PMI and the community leaders in Eastern Europe, providing advice, information and guidance on governance and organizational practices and policies to PMI community leadership in the region to foster and strengthen relationships, and enhance two-way communications. I encourage networking and facilitate collaboration among chapter leaders. I support chapter leadership in strategic, operational, and transition planning and provide advice, information and support to PMI staff. Being a PMI Mentor is a great opportunity to learn from other professionals and give back to the community in a diverse multicultural environment. The Region Mentor works hand in hand with the PMI Chapter Partner and the Chapter Administrator and we have a common goal to support the local chapters. I am so thankful the PMI Chapter Development Team.
What has been your greatest challenge in your role as Mentor and how have you dealt with that challenge?
Sometimes I have the feeling that 24 hours are not enough for me and I need to coordinate my work-life balance a better way. I am a volunteer and at the same time I have a full time job, my family, my wife and my two daughters and my hobbies so I have to find the right balance and that can be challenging. But I have to admit it is a rewarding and exciting challenge and I still love it after many years ans my family and my employer supports my volunteer work.
What has been your greatest reward serving as Region Mentor?
The Eastern European region is very dynamic. There are six local PMI chapters in eleven countries consisting of over 1500 PMI members and nearly 3000 PMI certification holders. I work with these chapters to increase the number of members they have and strengthen their retention rate. The greatest reward for me is when I can help PMI chapters in the region to complete the PMI chapter formation process. I learn every day from them and I am very happy when I see their success. Year on year the number of PMI members in my sub region increased by 5% and the number of PMI Credential holders by 14%. I see a huge potential for PMI in the region. We have been working with three chapter formation communities currently. I really like meeting different people and develop professional and personal relationship with them and learn from these excellent leaders. PMI Volunteers meet three times in person a year but I always have the impression that we can continue the conversation where we finished several months ago and I always learn from them and develop myself to become a better PMI Region Mentor and Project Manager also.