Do your students show interest in management, political science, and technology classes? Are they eager to learn about technological innovations and project management? Do they possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively? Do they like to explore the field of STEM and management? This job profile is for them! Managing directors in the field of technology deal with everything regarding project development and digital transformation. Meet Susie Ruston McAleer, Managing Director at 21c!

Meet Susie Ruston McAleer

For this STEM Job Profile, we talked to Susie Ruston McAleer, managing director and founder of 21c. Her expertise lies in leading digital transformation projects within the tech industry on the European stage. By collaborating with experts from academia, public sectors, businesses, and NGOs her company successfully secures funding for transformative projects and delivering initiatives. Susie brings together management with technology by leading and managing tech-related projects.

“I have observed that qualifications alone don’t guarantee success. Instead, it’s emotional intelligence and critical thinking that make individuals stand out. Good mentorship from parents, teachers, and other adults plays a vital role in developing these skills. By practicing social and emotional skills like conflict resolution and perspective-taking, you can help foster self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication in young people, which are essential in the workplace”.

Curious to find out more about this job? Read about the related skills and scroll down to find and download her career sheet!


Find out the key skills to becoming a Managing Director.


“Communication is the cornerstone of success, regardless of whether you’re managing upwards, downwards, horizontally, internally, or externally. Effective communication is key. For instance, if your manager is swamped with tasks, sending them a lengthy email with multiple attachments might not be the best approach. Instead, concisely bullet points the 3-5 key pieces of information they need to know, enabling them to quickly digest the content”.

Critical Thinking

“Critical thinking is an essential skill to nurture. Continuously question the status quo and challenge yourself to explore why things are done in a particular way. Can they be improved? Is the research being conducted accurate and reliable? Embracing a mindset of critical thinking opens the doors to innovation and improvement.”


“Collaboration may sound cliché, but its truth remains undeniable. The strength of your work is intrinsically linked to the team with whom you collaborate. Foster an environment of open communication, trust, and shared goals. Together, you can achieve remarkable outcomes that surpass what any individual can accomplish alone. Achieving this means you need to respect the time of others, be polite in your communications, follow-up and do the tasks you promise, and always, always, always take the time to celebrate achievements!”


“Negotiation is also an extremely invaluable ability in this job. Collaborating with various entities, including clients, partners, forging strategic partnerships, and securing funding for transformative projects requires strong negotiation skills.”

Project Management

“Project management skills are necessary to plan, execute, and monitor digital transformation projects, ensuring they are delivered on time, within budget, and meeting the desired outcomes.”


“Leadership skills are essential for setting a clear vision, motivating teams, and driving organizational success.”

Advice to take away

“First, pursue your passion and embrace opportunities that genuinely excite you. Following your interests’ fuels motivation, helps overcome challenges, and brings fulfilment to your work. Remember leaving school is not the end of your learning, it’s just the beginning. Secondly, build a strong network and cultivate relationships with like-minded individuals in your desired field. Lastly, embrace resilience and see challenges as opportunities for growth. Learn from failures, develop problem-solving skills, and bounce back with determination. Cultivating resilience will help you navigate uncertainties and persevere in the face of adversity.  In essence, stay true to yourself, your values, and your strengths and you will carve your own path to success”.

–  Susie Ruston McAleer

This Career sheet has been provided by means of the URBANAGE project.

The STE(A)M IT project has received funding from the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme project STE(A)M IT (Grant agreement 612845-EPP-1-2019-BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD) coordinated by European Schoolnet (EUN). The content of the document is the sole responsibility of the organizer and it does not represent the opinion of the European Commission (EC), and the EC is not responsible for any use that might be made of the information contained.