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Are your students excelling in classroom activities when they are designed based on the project-based learning method? Do they dream of working in tech, medical, engineering or other STEM-related environment but do not want to follow STEM studies? We have some good news for them: there is more than one way to work in a STEM environment! Scroll down to find out about the possibilities of the “Projects and Network Director” in the STEM field, and let your students know about their potential future career.

Meet Lea Hemetsberger

Photo of Lea Hemetsberger, Projects and Network Director

For this STEM Job Profile, we talked with Lea Hemetsberger. Lea works in the field of ICT standardisation supporting the digital transformation of cities and communities.
As Projects & Network Director of Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC), an international city network, she is not your typical STEM profile.

If someone had told me at the age of 18 that I would end up working for an international smart city network, supporting, and coordinating cutting-edge ICT projects in Europe as part of my job, I would have laughed straight into this person’s face. Me? In ICT? No way.”

Curious to find out more about Lea’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 Projects and Network Director.


For a projects and network director, curiosity is the basic skill. Projects and network directors are dealing with many different stakeholders. Therefore they need to be curious to develop a broad skill set ranging from social and management skills to analytical and communication skills.


For someone working in a director position, it is not unusual to collaborate with professionals, organisations and partners from all around the world. “It happens that you start your day with a call from Australia… and end my day catching up with colleagues in the Americas”.


A Network Manager’s role is to ask themselves “how can we improve things so that it is more valuable to you?”. To find answers to this question, they might be trying out new tools, formats, etc., to engage the community.

Openness Towards
Feedback and Criticism

Network Managers work with may collaborators who sometimes might have different ideas and opinions about strategies and actions. “In Project and Network Management, you should always have your feelers out to hear about current sentiments in the network”.

Project and People

As highlighted in their jobs title, projects and network directors work simultaneously on different projects and with many collaborators, whether they are colleagues from the same organisation or projects partners. Regardless of the management style, having strong management and coordination skills is essential for this position.


Having a high-level job, such as this one, implies having many responsibilities and a lot of work. As projects and network director, it is your responsibility to deliver on the promises made to the different parties involved. Therefore, you might often have to ask yourself: “how can I improve workflows to make them more efficiently?”.

Advice to take away

“What is important is that you might start off with something completely unrelated (like journalism) and nevertheless end up working for an international smart city network. If you are interested in tech, but you do not really want to go down the engineering path, you can also choose a subject in the humanities and specialize by selecting certain courses or pursuing internships. Internships during your studies can be also extremely helpful to find out what you do not want to do.” – Lea Hemetsberger

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.


Vanessa James

I am a communication coordinator in the Science Education Department of European Schoolnet (EUN). Holding a BA degree in Public relations and digital communications, I am passionate about graphic design, photography, web development and content management.