Soon to be mother of two, Arshia’s, biggest learning at Airbus has been the one of a supportive team who proofs that “just because your circumstances change, your opportunities should not.”
After graduation in International Business and Information Systems at the University of Auckland, Arshia started her career as Technology Lecturer teaching IT to students whose first language wasn’t English. Thereafter she continued her career as Customer Analyst for a bank, then moved to another company as Business Analyst, Portfolio Specialist and, finally, to a Project Management role before joining Airbus Australia Pacific Brisbane in 2018 as Business Improvement Project Manager.
A typical day at work for Arshia involves leading projects, providing coordination and implementation of work as directed by the Business Stakeholders and making sure to deliver on time, quality, cost and scope. “My role involves a lot of conflicts but –strangely enough – I like when many people think differently. It is so important to have diverse views and consider alternative approaches to problem solving. Diversity and individualism are important because they bring out the best in people and the project develops with a holistic view. If everybody would think the same way, we would all reach the end of the road realizing that many things are missing.”
What Arshia enjoys most about her job is the ability to influence and lead people in her project team without being directly responsible. “I work behind the scenes, like a conductor who directs the performance of a piece of music. My mission is to ensure that the project goals are achieved to standards while ensuring the team goals are maintained and respected.”
Among the techniques used to manage a project, Arshia likes to use the storytelling approach, in order to bring new ideas to the team and exchange on previous experiences and success stories. “My role is probably not a classical engineering one, and related to the products we make. I am rather strongly linked to the people, who actually make it fly!”
Arshia believes that change is constant, and results in challenges while dealing with people. “Dealing with people is interesting because when they shift their mind, there is a new opportunity for innovative thinking. Everything around us is changing, but the ability to learn on how to manage this evolution is key to success.”
Among her memorable experience, Arshia was offered to enroll to a Leadership Management Course at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, the program was delayed and, in the meantime, Arshia’s personal life evolved so the possibility to attend this course could have been compromised. When Arshia explained the changing circumstances to her manager and People & Culture representative and was about to renounce to the opportunity, she got positively surprised: “Just because your circumstances have changed, I do not think your opportunities should.”
When applying to a job opportunity, Arshia recommends to choose wisely the right manager, because this will mark the kick off in the career development. But – how to recognize the right one before getting hired? “When they interview you; you interview them. Make sure to ask them questions that are important to you, which generally are value-based and what is their leadership style. You want to work for someone who empowers you and leads you to the top. Airbus is a place full of opportunities. It is just about how you manage to get it.”