A day in the life of a Project Manager

Meet our builder Filipa Fernandes and get a glimpse of what a typical day looks like for her, working as a Project Manager at BGI.

Being a Project Manager is like wearing different hats: in a single day you may have to act as a salesperson, a marketer, a designer, in addition to managing the expectations of customers and the internal team. But despite the similarities between colleagues in the same profession, the truth is that the routine of each Project Manager varies depending on different factors: industry, workplace, lifestyle, age, among other things.

Today we tell you what a regular day is like for Filipa, our Urban Mobility Project Manager. Read on for some of her daily tips and insights for practical project management in the real world of entrepreneurship.

Meet Filipa, “The [Stray] Zoo Keeper”

Filipa is the Urban Mobility Project Manager at BGI and manages projects related to mobility, smart cities and sustainability, such as Mobility Booster, InnoCap, CrossInnoHack and City RAPTOR. Filipa has a background in nanotechnology engineering and her interests include permaculture, bioconstruction, smart cities, natural medicine and veganism. We called her "The [Stray] Zoo Keeper" because there are 6 people living in her house, but only 2 are human.

For her, being a project manager is about “knowing how to manage the present, when you must be the one who sees the path to a strategic future”.

A typical wednesday for Filipa

In hybrid work, Filipa's routine varies depending on the day of the week. Office days include the trip from Aveiro to Lisbon, while home office days allow her to fill her travel hours with other types of activities.

8.30 am - Rise and shine

Filipa's morning starts with a walk. After taking her dogs outside, she returns home and enjoys her breakfast while she gets to work. Her typical breakfast includes oatmeal with flaxseed, walnuts, vegetable drink and fruit. Her morning is mostly full of meetings until 11 am.

11.00 am - Time for action

After the meetings it's time to get the work done, always in the company of her pets and music. "This is the time I work best, not only because I'm more productive in the morning, but because my dogs and cats are sleeping".

01.00 pm - Good food, good mood

At lunchtime, Filipa always chooses to cook her own meal. “I like to eat food that I cook myself and try to follow a WFPB (Whole-Food Plant-Based) diet.”

Lunch break is usually spent with her boyfriend and it's also the time when she takes her dogs out again for a walk.

By 2 pm she's back at work, and her favorite tip for getting back into work mode is listening to music. As she said: “I need music to get to the point where I no longer hear the music”.

04.00 - Snack o’clock

Around 4 pm, hunger strikes and it's snack time. This is the last snack before Filipa dives into a moment of great productivity and inspiration. According to her, this is a good time to write reports and applications and to send emails.

For those who work in project management, here's a tip from Filipa: one of the most useful things is having an easy-to-update to-do list with the latest updates, deadlines, priorities and notifications.

Organization is a priority not only in her work, but in her personal life. “I can say that I have always been a project manager. I have a folder called 'OCDying life' with several Excel documents to keep track of household chores, eating habits and personal expenses”, she told us. "For expenses, I usually use the '50 - 30 - 20' technique. Around 50% of the money goes to needs, 30% goes to wants and 20% goes to savings or investments, and if you can increase this last percentage, the better! "

The productive rhythm continues until 6 pm, when she leaves work. This is the time to do a small reboot, which varies between watching TV, tidying the house and doing some research on personal interests.

07.00 pm - A planet-friendly dinner

While making dinner, Filipa takes the opportunity to watch videos, tutorials, blogs and other types of online content.

One of the things she's been implementing into her routine is having an early dinner. Also, at least once a month, she turns off the electricity and electronics in her house during dinnertime and has a candlelit dinner with her boyfriend so they can catch up. Here's a tip to encourage socializing and help the planet.

21.00 - Just keep going

After dinner, it's time to bike to Ria de Aveiro for a therapeutic run along the bank.

"If you're lucky enough to live in a 15-Minute City, make sure you walk or bike as much as you can." - says Filipa, reminding the importance of choosing eco-friendly vehicles and exercising for a healthy mind and body.

Back home, and before ending the day, Filipa likes to have a relaxed evening, taking the opportunity to meditate, read or watch TV.

Managing projects for a better future

Finally, we asked Filipa what it was like to manage projects related to entrepreneurship and sustainability. Filipa told us:

"When I started to be more sustainable on a day-to-day basis, I realized that the impact of my actions had a limit and I could no longer act alone. The greatest potential for change lies in companies, especially companies in the private sector because they are typically more agile. As I work in this area, I finally feel like I'm not so close to that limit."

For those who wish to have a further chat about entrepreneurship programs and opportunities within sustainability and urban mobility, feel free to contact Filipa by sending an email to filipa.fernandes@bgi.pt.

Also Read: Female Entrepreneurship: Strengths and Challenges