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Getting the whole picture: Ivana Mikolić about creativity, agency & leadership in project management

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

In the 10th episode of Women in Blue we invited Ivana Mikolić to have a chat about her work as a Project Leader at NATO.

Since 2020, Ivana Mikolic is an EC Projects Leader at NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), and also serves as the CMRE NATO Science and Technology Board Secretary. She is leading 11 maritime scientific and research projects funded by the EU and EDA. She obtained her Master's degree in Control Engineering and Automatization at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG-FER) in 2012. During her studies and after, she was a member of many NGOs, private companies, organizations, and institutions where she designed, developed, and organized more than 200 cultural, educational and sports projects and events. Between 2015 and 2020 she was a Project Manager of 16 EU-funded scientific and research projects at the Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies – LABUST and Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems – LARICS at UNIZG-FER. Ivana is the recipient of the stipend International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, and was awarded as one of the three Best Young Project Managers in Croatia in 2018 and in 2019.

In the interview, Ivana explains how due to her passion for the organisatory side of technical projects she has chosen a career in project management, how managing festivals and concerts for more than 20.000 people prepared her for a career in project management and the way in which her technical education enables her to adopt an efficient problem-solving approach in the projects she oversees. For Ivana, project management is not only about reports and numbers, but also about creativity and freedom to organise your own day. According to Ivana, project management enables you to: “tailor your day as you feel like, as long as you meet the deadlines. It is such a broad term that even your role you can develop it as you want.”


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