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Erita Gong, Project Manager:”For me, it takes an obsession for automobiles, an interest in model cars and the persistence to follow things through.”

 

Sometimes a dream comes true. What happens when your hobby also becomes your profession?

I have been an automobile fan since I was a little girl. I even had a model car collection. After graduation, I was lucky enough to enter the automotive industry. Currently, I am employed as a project manager at Continental. In my opinion, the most important thing you need to do your job well is passion. However, passion alone is not enough. My practical experiences have taught that, next to passion, loving cars can open a door to the automotive industry for you. Sometimes you are just not aware of your potential.

Let’s start talking about my daily work. The duty of a project manager is to manage individual jobs well enough to be able to finish the project as a whole. This task can be very complex. Similar to building a model car, you have to bring tasks from different areas in the right order and put together the pieces – for example tasks from chassis, powertrain and appearance. Besides, a project manager should have a clear understanding of the distinguishing features of different systems. Also, they should know how to professionally deal with customers. Likewise, allocating resources and the overall controlling are part of a project manager’s job. Since childhood I have been acquiring my knowledge of automobiles and first experiences with management tasks. These two factors help me when assembling model cars and leading projects. I really enjoy my tasks.

Everybody knows that people have different tempers. As a project manager, I put a lot of effort into getting to know my team. I think it is very important to be aware of the different characters in your team. That way, you can work most efficiently. Like a vehicle, teamwork needs time before it runs smoothly, but once it does the results are great. This reminds me of the time when I was travelling around with a road testing team. We would travel the streets of Shanghai, China, to perform vehicle control. We tested new cars close to the mountains to be able to adjust the low temperature parameters. On other occasions, we used a speedway to drive perfect curves under the scorching sun.

Spending time together creates a community spirit. With the road testing team, I also learned a lot about cars and acquired many valuable skills. Next to working with different project teams, constantly learning is what I like most about my job. In my opinion, focusing on things and investing time to get something done right is important not only at work but also in personal life.

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