WIT4Impact: UNOPS is an exciting place of work with challenges to overcome every day.
“I have feelings of pride and accomplishment brought by the success of sometimes impossible missions”, says Jeanne, UNOPS Project Manager, Morocco.
“After graduating from the “Ecole Nationale de secretariat” I started my professional journey as an executive secretary in 1983, four years later I became an executive associate and special assistant to the regional director. In 2000, I was promoted to finance controller associate after graduating with an HR management degree from the University of Dakar in 1996.”
“I joined UNOPS in Senegal in February 2006 as a portfolio assistant. Since then, I have been growing through different roles as portfolio associate, portfolio analyst, and project manager. Each time with increased levels of responsibility and project size, across different geographies like Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Morocco. Since February 2018, I have been managing the program of support to civil society in Morocco, a 12.5 million euros project that UNOPS is implementing with EU funds. During my career in UNOPS I have taken advantage of the training and learning development opportunities offered by the organization.”
What advice would you give your younger self-starting your career journey?
To stay humble and to be patient, selfless and persistent. To be a good listener, attentive, a hard worker and to be respectful of diversity and inclusion. It is also important to be a good team player and support your team members during hard times. Please also do trust your supervisors.
What is a typical day for you at UNOPS?
“My typical days at UNOPS have always been challenging yet rewarding. One of those days was in 2014, just at the very beginning of the Ebola epidemic outbreak in Guinea. At that time, I was the officer in charge of Sierra Leone Project Center and we had just finalized the construction of three pediatric health centers funded by UNICEF in 3 different regions. For political reasons, the inauguration ceremony and transfer of infrastructure were delayed but we were informed that the Pediatric Medical Center located in Kono District could be used for the management of the Ebola first cases in Sierra Leone. Although the area was declared at risk and that the UN Department of Safety and Security strongly encouraged to strictly reduce travel to risk areas, I informed my supervisors of the need to accelerate the handover process of the health infrastructure. Accordingly, I got my travel authorization approved after I requested the security clearance for an on-site mission, together with the project engineer, to meet with the chief medical officer of the Kono district to accelerate the transfer of health infrastructure. The following week, the official transfer of infrastructure to the Pediatric Medical Center was successfully carried out. The next day of the handover of the health center, I heard that the first cases of the disease reported in the area were managed in the Center.”
If you were to describe UNOPS for your friends outside the organization, what would you say?
“UNOPS is an exciting place of work with challenges to overcome every day. I have feelings of pride and accomplishment brought by the success of sometimes impossible missions. It is also an ongoing learning journey with much diversity as each project is unique and different from the others. It is an organization of opportunities to discover new places and cultures in the world as part of field missions and of numerous career development opportunities leading both to professional and personal self-fulfillment.”
Disclaimer: “This testimonial is a personal opinion and does not represent the views of the organization.”