As a project manager at the OCM Group in Dubai, Rasumon Manuel, PMP, loves working with people of different cultural backgrounds, sharing his knowledge and helping his team come up with new ideas to turn challenges into opportunities.
As a civil engineering student at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, Manuel got a job in a very small company, supervising a team of masons, carpenters and laborers working on home renovation projects. He came to realize that project management was something that he loved and wanted to continue doing. Today, Manuel serves as a construction project manager for the OCM Group in Dubai, where he is responsible for delivering and establishing strategic plans and objectives for complex capital projects.
Rasumon, why did you want to a career in construction project management? I saw construction project management as a career that would allow me to help build something that people could use and benefit from. Every day is different, and there is always something new to learn. I am thankful that I get to do what I love while still being able to make a living.
What do you love most about the work? I love that I can work and connect with so many people of different cultural backgrounds. It gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge and help the team come up with new ideas to solve challenges and turn them into opportunities. I love the freedom that comes with being able to manage my own schedule, finances and deadlines.
What do you find most challenging? There are many complexities that come with this job. The most challenging part is having to juggle multiple projects and clients at the same time. It can be stressful because you must make sure that deadlines are met while still making sure that you are taking care of yourself. It is important to make sure that you are not neglecting yourself and your family while working on these projects. I find that managing deadlines is a lot harder than managing people. When a deadline is set, it cannot be changed without a lot of effort.
Does your approach change depending on the country or organization you’re working in? Yes, it is important to learn the culture of the country or organization you are working for so that you can adapt your approach accordingly. It’s important that I have an open mind. In some cases, my approach is more about listening and understanding what people want and how they want it done. In other cases, my approach is more about making a decision and presenting it to the group.
What's your proudest professional achievement? From my first project to my most recent one, I am proud of every single project I have accomplished. Recently, I successfully completed a project with the help of highly skilled and professional people that had a lot of experience in construction. We faced many obstacles, and the most challenging part was when we had to complete the project within schedule and budget despite the effects of the COVID pandemic.
I am also proud that I’m now in a position where I can help others with their careers as well.
What's the best piece of advice you've received or can share? “You will always have obstacles in your life, so take the time to enjoy the moments.” Some of the most memorable moments in my life have been when I was just taking it all in and being present. We should take time to appreciate the good things in our lives, whether it's a sunset, a simple dinner with the family, or a small win or accomplishment. Don't worry, don’t overthink it, and live in the moment.
How has ProjectManagement.com helped you in your work and career? ProjectManagement.com has been a great resource for me in my career, and I can't imagine what I would do without it. The resources that I use regularly are the webinars and knowledge sections, which contain a variety of resources on project management topics. There are articles on the website that are broken down into different categories, including project management best practices, project management tools and project management software. The site also provides an online community where members can discuss project management topics and share their experiences.
What interests. do you have outside work? I enjoy traveling with my wife and kids, serving at our local church, and engaging in sports activities like basketball and cycling.
What's your favorite TV show, artist or movie? Big Bang Theory and science fiction movies such as Star Wars and the Marvel series
Best vacation? When I'm spending time with family and friends back in my hometown in the Philippines.
To connect with Rasumon, visit his ProjectManagement.com profile.
This interview was conducted by Kelley Hunsberger.