We’re talking with Jen Rico, one of our project managers. Jen has been a professional project manager for 13 years. Jen’s talents keep our client projects running smoothly.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up and went to school in the Upper Mid-West. I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit since then, but I’m currently happy putting down some roots in New York (not the cool part).
What got you interested in project management?
I kind of fell into a project management role in my first job out of college. At the time, I was an office manager of a small design and branding firm. Like in many start-ups, if you show any interest in basically any role, you can just sort of show up for the meetings and start working on things. I found that I have a fondness for creating order out of chaos. Project management sang to me and I loved (and still love) helping solve problems and making things a little more beautiful.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job? What part do you enjoy most?
These two are kind of wrapped into one for me, because the most challenging thing I deal with is that I do so many different things all the time. There is no opportunity to sit back and have an off day, because there are always new clients, with new projects, and new deliverables. I rarely have an opportunity to do something the way that I did it last time. That said, I really do enjoy it! If I had to do the same thing day in and day out, I would not be a happy camper.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
When I’m not working, I’m usually tackling some kind of home renovation project. I’m HGTV’s most loyal fan! I also enjoy cooking for my family, hiking, and traveling.
What would your ‘perfect day’ consist of?
Reading a book cover-to-cover (a novel or something not important). It’s a “guilty pleasure” I used to do often, but never find the time for anymore. Also, pizza!
What’s the secret sauce in dealing with clients?
I find it’s so important to remember that everyone is just trying to do the best job they can. There are a ton of different personalities and preferences and experiences out there, and sometimes it can be hard to see eye-to-eye. I view the project manager as being a pseudo mediator who makes sure that all parties are on the same page and that goals align so that everyone is happy with the final product.
Anything else that will help the client know how good you are at what you do (you are!)?
My most favorite thing is when clients say that I’ve made their day easier. It’s so satisfying to know that I’ve been able to help!