January 25, 2017
One of our own is being recognised as an outstanding leader at the 2017 Women in IT Awards, which highlights the outstanding innovation achieved by women in the IT industry. Bluewolf Engagement Manager, Ioanna Hadjivasili, was a “Future CIO of the Year” finalist, and chosen for her standout achievements, as well as a demonstrable understanding of how technology can create business value.
We caught up with Ioanna on how she started her career in technology, her contributions to successful client projects, and how she continues to lead at Bluewolf.
Bluewolf: Congratulations on this distinction! What was your path to technology consulting?
Ioanna Hadjivasili: Thank you! I’m very honoured.
I was born and raised in Cyprus, and dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. Unfortunately, I had a severe ankle injury in my late teens which prevented me from pursuing a career in sports. But I was determined to follow a new dream: I pursued economics instead.
During university, I took up an opportunity for an extended visit to South Africa. The experience changed me. What I once viewed as a beloved and beautiful country was tempered by the HIV crisis I saw unravelling first-hand during my stay. I became involved with the UN’s refugee programme, and went on to enrol in a Master’s programme in international development at the London School of Economics.
Coincidentally, I saw a job posting the LSE website looking for roles in international development, and stumbled upon Bluewolf, who was recruiting for its new graduate scheme. I was immediately attracted to Bluewolf’s proposition and prominence in its market, and drawn to the technology we implemented–and the idea that cloud enabled new experiences, both for customers and employees. Technology makes the impossible, possible.
Bluewolf’s culture was also very attractive, the fast-paced but supportive startup-like environment and the thrill of working with fellow challenge-seekers who put 1,000% into everything they do. I become a Business Analyst and then a Consultant after four months, and started to take on bigger projects spanning the UK and US businesses.
Bluewolf: What types of projects have you worked on in your career at Bluewolf?
IH: I was involved in a Bluewolf flagship project with the world’s leading event organisers, and eventually became the project manager and worked onsite directly with the clients. The project was enormous and complex, lasting nearly three years and left me with an experience that was hard to top.
Soon after, I was brought on to help run another highly complex project shortly, with one of the largest multi-national media companies, who came to Bluewolf with the challenge of wanting to roll out a brand new on-demand service and customer community focused on reality TV. The client had already gone through a research phase with their customers, and heavily focused on the user interface, but did not have a clearly defined customer journey or vision of how the system would need to be built.
Bluewolf: What did you implement for this client?
IH: The client was looking to Bluewolf to fill in the gaps and develop a workable service, this provided the blank slate for my team to develop a new solution. I stepped out of the normal to do things differently, and took an adaptive approach, embracing the constant challenges and changes, and worked to design the primarily Salesforce-driven system on-the-fly.
The reality TV services market was already a crowded space, and with our client’s tight timeline, our team delivered the Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud and Social Hub within a 10-week timeframe. The client was thrilled with the approach and the subsequent results.
Bluewolf: That’s amazing! This project sounded like a great opportunity to demonstrate your leadership capabilities to your clients and prospects. What else is on the horizon for you?
IH: I’m now an Engagement Manager, and continuing to rise to the professional challenges that I love, but I also make sure I set aside time to empower the next generation of Project Managers. I manage PMs, Senior Advisors, and consultants, and help run Bluewolf internal camps, professional development trainings that supports colleagues with real-life experiences so they’re better equipped to take on projects head-on and are set up for success.
Congratulations again, Ioanna! If you’re interested in joining our Pack, visit us at: www.bluewolf.com/careers