Lara, ALTEN South-West Structured Project Leader for Airbus
With 12 years’ experience at ALTEN, firstly with Siemens VDO Automotive (today Continental) as a Systems Engineer then for Airbus, for almost 2 years now Lara has worked as a Structured Project Leader in an operational capacity at Airbus Customer Services, following a successful tender bid in which she took part. This huge field includes all of Airbus’ activities linked to airline companies: market research, future requirements, maintenance and repairs to aircraft already in service, etc.
As the winner of the 2018 ALTEN Awards in the “Project Leader for Structured Projects” category, Lara is keen to highlight the progress and efforts made by the whole team: “we have successfully convinced a client of our skills and creative value through our activities”.
The project began in January 2017 with an initial team of 15 people, which has now swelled to more than 40, managed by Lara with five Team Leaders. On a daily basis, she has to deal with strategic decision-making and internal organization matters: resources and technical responses to clients, risk analysis, planning deliverables, contractual and budgetary monitoring or tracking progress with the project, etc.
“People often think that working in management means a lighter workload. In reality, it’s very time-consuming: I’m always running around from place to place! And it’s precisely because my job is so intense that it’s so rewarding”.
If Lara has so much responsibility today, it’s because her perfectionism has helped her to shape a tailored career path. As a young graduate from the ENSEEIHT in Toulouse, when she joined ALTEN South-West in 2006, it was vital for her to first acquire technical experience in order to understand the work of her future teams of engineers, which would then enable her to move up to a managerial post, a career goal she soon shared with her superiors.
With this objective firmly in mind, from 2009 onwards Lara raced to gain expertise in the aeronautics sector, an industry she knew nothing about up until then. For three years, she worked on an initial structured project for Airbus which involved managing the design requirements for the A350 from a transnational viewpoint, affecting all parts of the aircraft. Lara continued towards her goal, learning about cross-functional project management, and electrical connection methods for aircraft equipment.
In 2014 she discovered aeronautical certification, a field which ended up being her stepping stone to her initial objective, that of becoming a Manager. At the start of this new structured project assignment, Lara assisted with the creation of a process to describe maintenance and repair activities performed on aircraft in service. Having acquired a wide spectrum of skills after more than 9 years of assignments with this aviation giant, she felt that she could now legitimately pursue her managerial ambitions: “I became the Cluster Leader within this new team of 15 people and that marked the start of a real human adventure”.
Lara was appointed as Project Leader in May 2018, a form of consecration which has enabled her to really move forward:
“I was able to successfully demonstrate my skills as a leader and a Manager, my organisational abilities, my perfectionism and my expertise in activity management processes at Airbus. I’m learning a great deal as a Project Leader. What really makes me happy is to give young consultants the encouragement they need to surpass themselves”.
Find out more in the “Tales of Women Engineers” Portfolio