After Hours: Elena Alecu
Elena Alecu, Business Analyst at Cisco Systems
How did you end up where you are now?
Working with a big multinational organisation has always been my goal since I was a teenager. So when I was approached by Cisco back in 2009, I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for. Right from the start, I enjoyed meeting the customers, sharing their plans and helping overcome their issues. Being able to make a difference made it very clear to me that I wanted to work with an organisation where its mission aligns to my priorities.
What is your management philosophy?
I believe in setting an example. My favourite managers are the ones that work smart and efficiently. I learned a great deal and found that leading by example is a strong way to influence direct reports to work diligently.
What was your first computer, and when did you first use it?
My first computer was an IBM PC and I first used it in 1997.
What is your greatest achievement?
I like to think that my greatest achievement is yet to come. But if I have to list one of the great things I am proud of accomplishing, that would be the collection of different experiences that have brought me to where I am today.
What is your biggest mistake?
Oh, I’ve made many mistakes along the way! But by failing I grew. I learnt new and important things and I got one step closer to reaching my goals. Big dreams and big goals can only be realised as long as you are ready to fail, again and again.
What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle Eastern IT industry?
That would be the first Gitex I have attended, working as a part time promoter for a local IT company. The experience was a real eye opener as I knew the IT industry was strong in the Middle East, but this really set the stage as to how big. I knew right then that this would be the industry I want to build my career in.
What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2016?
I would say cloud computing. Working with salesforce.com, which is a cloud solution, I get to experience day after day the benefits of its flexibility, security and easy access to information from anywhere in the world, on any computer or mobile device, at any time.
What do you find is the best way to deal with stress?
Doing something I’m passionate about. Drawing, doing yoga or going for a long walk on the beach would get me back in a good mood in no time.
Number of years in the industry: 10 years
Favourite food: Japanese
Holiday destination: An isolated island somewhere in Thailand
Favourite David Bowie Album: All Saints
Dream car: Aston Martin DB9 GT
Movie: The Notebook
Piece of advice: Go for whatever makes you happy!