EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
BECOMING A HEAD OF EU PROJECTS SECTOR
Do your students have an interest in STEM-related fields? Do they also have excellent negotiation, communication, analytical and research skills, and the ability to work with tight deadlines? Have they even shown a proactive attitude and some abilities for teamwork? Tell them about career opportunities as heads of projects in STEM-related fields!
Check this new profile to find out about the possibilities of a Head of EU projects sector position in a tech environment, and let your students know about their potential future career!
Meet Ilia Christantoni
For this STEM Job Profile, we talked with Ilia Christantoni. Ilia is a freelance Scientific Collaborator for the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF), and the Head of EU Projects Sector at DAEM SA – City of Athens IT Company. Her background in Computer Science and Telecommunications (BSc), Radioelectrology and Electronics (MSc), and Neurosciences, Socio-biology, and Education (MSc), makes her a unique asset when it comes to managing ICT EU-funded projects!
Her experience as a financial and project officer in EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency), European Commission, has inspired her to follow this unusual career path.
“ My short experience working for the European Commission inspired me to work at the actual implementation of research ICT projects and their applications. The co-working and networking with partners at a European level and the multi-cultural nature of the projects’ consortia are a strong drive for my career…”.
Curious to find out more about Ilia’s job? Read about the related skills and scroll down to find and download her career sheet.
Find out about the key skills to become a Head of EU projects sector.
When writing a proposal for a funded project, it is crucial to prepare yourself by researching the project’s main topic and identifying potential project partners to work with. “Research skill is necessary to make it successful”, have a chance to get the proposal approved and benefit from the funding.
Whether it comes to human resources, allocations of tasks or administration, working as Head of EU projects always comes with high managerial responsibilities. Having had experience or training in project management is essential for a smooth projects’ organization and management.
As head of EU projects sector, “collaboration, presentation, nonverbal communication” and “all skills that refer to public speaking, participation in discussions, presentations etc.” are tasks that require social skills and that you will often have to fulfil.
While a head of EU projects main challenge is to handle staff, cost and deadline, another considerable aspect of the job is related to content. “Writing and editing” documents such as “reports, deliverables, emails, or other written communication, are daily tasks, hence writing skills are a pro”.
If you decide to work on ICT EU-funded projects, having some background in ICT will be an asset to ensure the smooth run of the projects. “AI, software engineer, mobile development, user interface design, web architecture and development, network and information security, tech support” are among the skills that will help with the “monitoring of ICT projects“.
As a Head of EU-funded projects, “the main challenge is meeting the deadlines. To be able to meet these deadlines, the only solution is to be highly organized when it comes to workload, internal organization, identification and implementation of internal ways, tools, and processes (calendar, tasks, inbox, teleconferences, archiving, management tools etc.)”.
Advice to take away
“I would advise teachers and parents to provide children with as many stimuli as possible in different domains such as science, arts, theoretical studies, cinema, sports etc., and let them free to explore and select their passion.“
” Also, I would advise them to provide a ground for personal and educational evolution for their children/students, while in parallel withdraw to help them become independent and self-standing adults.” – Ilia Christantoni
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0: all the materials and content presented on this STEM Job profile have been co-created by STE(A)M IT, in collaboration with DUET, a project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No.870697.