30 August at 01:00PM
Member of the Month: Elizabeth Bartolo
Introducing PMIT’s Member of the Month
Elizabeth Bartolo is a dedicated and fully committed volunteer of PMI Toronto Chapter. She is the Communications portfolio’s Lead for Social Media, Graphics and Brand Marketing. Having had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth for several months, I know she is quite deserving of this recognition for her incredible and creative work and her commitment to the Chapter. Over the year, she has created and managed several marketing strategies for several Chapter events, OPMC, OPMYC, mentoring programs including the upcoming Fall Career Accelerator Program.
Elizabeth is invaluable to the Communications team and I have been very lucky to work and get to know her during our time with the portfolio. Elizabeth became a volunteer in August 2020 starting as a Marketing Coordinator. Since then her leadership and creative savvy has shown through several social media promotions and marketing campaigns. She was promoted to her current role and has been busy training new volunteers while continuing to promote several upcoming Chapter events and courses.
Please help me in congratulating Elizabeth on being recognized as PMI Toronto Chapter’s Member of the Month.
Elizabeth’s Road to Success in Project Management
When Elizabeth thinks of success she thinks of what Eleanor Roosevelt said “A stumbling-block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”
Elizabeth explains that “success isn’t just about achieving that final goal, but rather seeing the big picture and working towards obtaining all the small successes in a project or with your team. Success means obtaining all the stepping-stones needed when working with your team and working together in tandem toward a common goal for a successful project execution.”
Currently Elizabeth works in the automotive industry for Liberty Spring as a Corporate Sales Coordinator and services high-profile accounts, manages all aspects of client financials, client relations, quoting, technical review, supply chain, forecasting, prototypes, etc. She has been working on global virtual teams for two and half years and really enjoys what she is doing. As Elizabeth says, “there is a benefit to working in-person with co-located teams, but the virtual skills that I have developed and which are utilizing every day to manage my projects has made me successful in many aspects of my role.” In her current role, she works with cross-functional teams including those in production, logistics, engineering, etc. for plants in Ontario, Quebec, and China. Her customers are located in Canada, the United States, Brazil, China, India, Germany, and Romania. She communicates and coordinates with internal and external stakeholders in several time zones. She explains that “the time difference for Asia is a challenge but everyone on the teams are accommodating and receptive.” In her role she is given “the opportunity to utilize and engage in my soft skills allowing me to effectively communicate with everyone.”
Experience and Education
Elizabeth graduated with a BA in Communications and Political Science at York University. And if attending university wasn’t enough, she entered the joint program with Seneca College during her third and fourth years of university. After completing the joint program Elizabeth also earned a diploma in Broadcast Production along with her BA.
After university Elizabeth worked in the media industry for 15 years in media and marketing roles. She worked at Rogers Media where she was able to utilize the theoretical knowledge from university along with the practical and technical skills she gained from college. She has even managed her own freelancing business but decided to walk away to pursue a new adventure and journey.
Elizabeth was looking for a chance to utilize her organization, planning, and leadership skills so decided to pursue a career in project management.
A New Road toward Project Management
Since she had experience in managing stakeholders, timelines, leading many agile projects with cross functional teams, and even mentoring team members, Elizabeth decided it was time to pursue a PMP certification. She explains, “I enrolled in a program, wrote the PMP Exam and here I am, it was the best decision I have ever made.” Realizing that her project management skills could be utilized in any industry, Elizabeth was able to adapt quite easily. With the help of a career coach, carving out a career plan and goals Elizabeth was able to easily transition from the media industry into the automotive industry.
After several years and completing successful projects Elizabeth describes some of the lessons she has learned:
I think one of my biggest lessons learned would be to make sure you have a well thought out project plan in place. I took over a critical project and not too much planning had taken place; roles and responsibilities were not defined, the scope of the project was not well defined, needless to say it was a rough start. However, I entered the project early enough to be able to plan out the project and get the project back on schedule. Everything is in the planning.
Another lesson is to ensure that communication is flowing with every member of your team. You can have the best plan, but nothing can destroy your project faster than having the right people not obtaining the right information to complete and accomplish their tasks on time.
Why Did You Join PMI Toronto Chapter?
In August 2020 Elizabeth joined PMI Toronto as a volunteer. Her decision to join was because she wanted to be more involved in the project management community. Being an active volunteer meant that she could connect and network with fellow PMP’s, grow her skills and continue to use some of her graphic design and marketing skills she learned during her studies and in her years working in media. She emphasizes, “I loved the creative aspect of it, so I thought why not use those creative skills for PMI Toronto to market all the great events, courses, and programs we offer.”
Further Career Aspirations
Since obtaining her PMP, Elizabeth has been able to transition industries that often times seems impossible for some. Her transition prompted her to achieve career success. Now, she is considering acquiring the DASM. She has set her sights on achieving this goal in 2022. As she states, “Based on my career plan goals and everything going on in the world right now with the pandemic, 2022 seems to be the best window to pursue this certification for myself.”
More About Elizabeth
Maintaining a Routine: I have maintained the same schedule that I have always used pre-pandemic. I find keeping this schedule helpful especially in a virtual home environment. I have a planned list of priority tasks that I make each day to keep me on schedule and action items that I need to follow up on with various cross functional team members. I check my emails to see if there is anything immediate that needs my attention and reorganize my day accordingly.
Work Passions: Communicating effectively with people and providing a positive customer and team experience are both important if you are going to build good business relationships. In addition, understanding that communication isn’t about just talking to people, it is understanding others’ perspectives, listening to others carefully, and working together to achieve a common goal.
Personal Passions: I love reading, crafting, and fitness but it is my family that is a significant priority in my life. Recognizing that time is not eternal, spending time with them is very important. The pandemic has both allowed and restricted this, but you do what you can, and enjoy time spent with the ones you love.
During 2020, Elizabeth took on baking and decorating her children’s birthday cakes which shows how dedicated, talented, and creative she truly is.
Favourite Quote: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." — Thomas Edison
Elizabeth Bartolo is confident, friendly, and incredibly resilient. She has stepped up for the Communications team and become a true leader. Thank you Liz, for all your amazing work. I have been luckily to work with you and you are so deserving of this recognition.
Nominate a Fellow Volunteer
If you would like to nominate a fellow PMI Toronto Chapter volunteer to be featured in our monthly Member of the Month series please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.