At CIVITTA, every project is carried out by a group of individuals that makes the results unique and impactful. To introduce those who are operating behind the scenes, we invite our colleagues to tell their stories.
This time, we asked a Senior Consultant from Romania —Vlad Irimie — to share his story with us. Read about what motivates our people to challenge themselves and what it means to be a management consultant — below.
I’m a Public Policy Senior Consultant working within the Public Stream of CIVITTA Romania since 2019. Before that, I worked for the Romanian nuclear regulatory authority, where I dealt with implementing and monitoring technical cooperation projects in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Now I’m looking to further expand my knowledge and experience, particularly in public policy and program evaluation, and I consider that CIVITTA is a perfect environment in this respect. In my spare time, I try to compensate for the long time spent in front of the laptop, so my main hobbies are trail running, cycling, and swimming.
I joined CIVITTA as a Consultant. This was my first experience in a private environment. Therefore, I remember being quite nervous in my first months in the company. However, I appreciated from the beginning the importance and trust given to the young people in CIVITTA. As a young person, it is never easy to find a place to integrate and grow, nor to find a job according to your aspirations. For me, CIVITTA was this place, and from the first days here, I was pleasantly surprised by the team I found and by the willingness of each colleague to help you grow.
If I have to choose just one of CIVITTA’s values I identify with – I’ll choose Growth. These days we all notice that the world around us is rapidly changing, right before our eyes. Both challenges and new opportunities arise, and our duty as consultants is to continuously develop ourselves to help our clients tackle the challenges of the societies and communities we live in.
If I were to recommend three ‘key skills’ to a consultant, they would be the following:
- Availability to take chances. I believe that accepting new challenges is the thing that can help you the most. Moreover, while working in CIVITTA you have an extra advantage - Adventure is one of our central values.
- Develop self-leadership. Beyond proper organization, I consider that the success of a project depends to a large extent on everyone's ability to self-organize. It is essential to be responsible and to understand what your role is in a project and what is expected from you.
- Go that extra mile. There is no shortcut to success. Sometimes we have to work hard to make a difference and at some point, your willingness to do so can make a difference.
Until this moment, I’ve mainly worked on evaluations of ESIF programs, especially for public institutions in Romania, but not only. I’ve been involved in several projects within a wide range of sectors such as justice, education, transport, or cross-border cooperation. Although all these evaluations were important in our perspective, it is difficult for me to say which had the most significant impact.
“Very often the "impact" of an evaluation cannot be observed directly, and it takes time for the responsible institutions to implement our recommendations and for them to take effect.”
I advocate for evidence-based decision making and I consider that there is room for science in policymaking. I believe that there has never been a more significant potential for such decision-making models to be applied in the public sector, and even beyond. I’m referring to the huge amounts of open data we have at the moment, the data analysis tools we can use, as well as the increasing investments in the monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs and the growing public focus on policy results. Thus, for me, an ideal project would be any project that would be designed toward the goal of adopting evidence-based decision-making models among public institutions.
Together with my colleagues, we try to consolidate and further develop deep expertise in public policy and program evaluation and beyond. I think there is a lot of potential in this area, and the public sector is still in the early stages in terms of the efficient use of such tools. Thus, I am motivated by the challenge of participating in the development and consolidation of our team to support governments and other public institutions in addressing a broad range of challenges.
I’ve learned for sure that we have the capacity for resilience in CIVITTA. Of course, no one was really prepared to continue its activity in the context of a crisis situation but we all adapted, eventually. However, it’s clear that we still have to be more prepared for the unexpected from now on. Fortunately, I am among those people who have been least affected by the pandemic, but I admit that I miss my team and I’m looking forward to being able to return to the office in large numbers.