Sofia Coelho's Career Path at Prime Group
Meet Sofia Coelho's Career path and get inspired by her growth at Prime Group.
November 25, 2021
6 minutes read
Here, while managing the team, I’m still a Business Manager and still love finding new projects, new clients.
Being part of Prime Group has been an amazing ride, a ride that started in 2016 and for the past 5 years I’ve been learning, growing, and building a career like I would have never imagined when all started. When I finished high school, I struggled with understanding what I wanted to study because I loved learning new things. Amid Sports, Biology, Medical School and Nutrition, my intuition led me to Biology and afterwards a Masters in Ecology and Environmental Management. Little did I know about Management being part of my path and a true passion.
In 2016, after finishing my Master’s Thesis and deciding that research wasn’t the sector I wanted to follow, I told my family that I needed to start my way up from scratch in a company. I started as an Office Assistant at Smart Consulting (one of the companies of our group). Yes, it all started at the front desk and it was the best experience ever. I got to know all the company consultants through my activity, all the company roles and it brought me a wide perspective of the different roles , as well as the capacity to appreciate everyone and each department. After the first week, I was invited to also work as a financial assistant helping with payroll, billing and other tasks. So, very quickly and after a huge vote of confidence from my CEO (Rui Neves at the time), I started to manage HR and Financial department tasks. Following 5 months of playing these 3 roles, Rui asked me what I wanted to do next.From that moment on I’ve been asking that question to everyone who works with me.
So, I answered Rui that being a Business Manager would be the most challenging role for me. After a final interview with Ricardo Carvalho (our administrator), he told me that he had some doubts about my chances of succeeding as a BM, but his final decision was that the organization should give opportunity to everyone who would put their effort and heart into the team. Can you imagine? A top student with an introverted personality… I did understand Ricardo’s doubts, but I was willing to grow as a person and to adapt myself to the job. Therefore, the job became a passion, I worked on my communication skills to develop partnerships with clients and consultants, asked for help together with more experienced colleagues, developed my “coopetition” skills, kept my assertiveness and used the organization and planning skills I already had to become the best manager possible.
I won’t lie, the first year was very difficult. At first, maintaining KPIs every week was challenging, but I was always told that it was the key for success, and it was. Then, I really wanted to build a team of consultants and the company had a rule that said the juniors had to reach new clients by their own. Thanks to that, during the first year we opened 7 new accounts. And I should say “we” because I wouldn’t have done it without my Senior Business Manager that pushed me to my limit every day and brought to light a commercial side of me I never thought I had. Despite opening new accounts, I had a lot of changes with the consultant team and the year closed without great numbers. However being a manager is like a marathon, not a sprint. Thus, I kept learning.
Second year was amazing because I kept growing more and more and all I wanted was to help others to be successful in their careers. Luckily, my CEO and Head of Business Development thought it was time for a new challenge and I had the chance to work with junior managers. Since then, my role ceased to be about me and instead it started to be about the others in the company and I loved that. This has been the biggest challenge because managing people isn’t always easy and leading and coaching others make us see that there’s still a lot to work on ourselves.
In 2020, I was proposed to enter to PrimeIT and have a team here. So, what can I say? It’s amazing! I get to work with people with more experience than me and have 5 other business unit managers working as a team. The competition is strong and I needed to stay in a bigger structure in order to feel small again and uncomfortable. This was the challenge I needed in order to keep growing. Here, while managing the team, I’m still a Business Manager and still love finding new projects, new clients. My priority is to keep working side by side with everyone. Even though I’m aware there’s a lot of effort and work from my side, I still need to thank everyone who has guided me (at the moment Joana Leal and Gonçalo Mousinho) and believed in me. That’s the main reason why I’m still here, motivated while developing a journey at Prime Group. (The sky is the limit 😊).