Guest post by Ines Nasri, 2014 Emerging Leader from Tunisia
TechWomen was often called a “life-changing experience,” and it was!
Being a manager in today’s competitive world is a more and more difficult and an increasingly demanding task. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who lack initial management and communication-specific training. I founded my company “WebPower” in 2007 , after completing my master’s degree in innovation management and entrepreneurship from National Engineering School of Tunis, preceded by a computer science engineer diploma from Tunisia Faculty of Science and two preparatory years in the Preparatory Institute for Engineering Studies of Tunis. Through my 22 years of studies, I was almost always ranked the first in my cohort. I was a hard worker and really enjoyed learning. What I really appreciated about school and learning was the discovery of new visions of our world from different points of view: scientific, philosophical, geographic, historical, and artistic.
After finishing my studies, I was so excited about creating this company that I chose to start it right away with almost no budget — just my personal computer in a garage! The proving point was that I concentrated all my energy immediately in setting up and growing this business, but the weak point was my lack of professional experience as an entrepreneur. Although I read a lot about business, management skills, I especially lacked a female model who could foster my personal growth and help my business in turn.
Through all those years, I learned that the way you manage your projects and employees affects the productivity of your entire company and its future, so mastering management skills is absolutely crucial.
Visiting Silicon Valley companies, big and small ones, discussing with managers, CEOs, and engineers really changed a lot in my managing style, and guess what? Now, only after three months back home I am already seeing the results, and they are just amazing!
Only after three months after my TechWomen mentorship I noticed: more effectiveness in problem solving, better and quicker results, more suggestions from team members, better communication, more self-confidence, and more engagement within the company. I must say that a lot of it was possible thanks to my professional mentor, Christine Duran from Adobe. I really feel like I owe her an everlasting debt. I cannot thank her enough for all the effort and time she spent doing her best to arrange the maximum number of appointments with relevant people to my profile and my professional goals.
Thanks to the multiple meetings she arranged and the discussion we had together, I learned more about:
- Working as a team rather than a group of persons led by one person giving directions
- How effectively manage versus micro-manage
- How to give more autonomy in making decisions
- Protecting my time as if it were gold!
- Communicating regularly by providing meaningful feedback in real time
- Becoming more persuasive
- Setting clear goals and actually achieving them
I came back from Silicon Valley with a HUGE amount of energy, and felt empowered and so optimistic. Meeting and discussing with great powerful women from companies like: Adobe, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more, and discovering that you share a lot with other technical women from around the world was so rewarding. I immediately felt like I belonged in this huge movement TechWomen has created, with Emerging Leaders and Mentors all together in justice and respect for women.
Ines is a Computer Science Engineer and holds a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management from the ENIT (Tunisia National School for Engineering). In 2007, she founded her company, WebPower, a recognized Tunisian digital web agency specializing in web and social marketing, web development, and brand content, with prominent local businesses on the company’s clientele list. Through her seven years of experience, Ines has developed strong skills in marketing campaign management, new marketing concept creation, leading innovation, communications consulting, and outstanding customer experience. She is open-minded, flexible, and always looking for new professional opportunities and experiences.