The one who gets things done
In the big and sophisticated world of power plants, one woman is helping make things better. Anna Jarowicz, General Manager, Project Management in Wärtsilä North America is utilising her project management skills to accelerate the business. Read on to know more.
Working with power plants is no simple matter, and especially so when you have to constantly prove yourself to your peers. Don’t believe us? Ask Anna Jarowicz from Wärtsilä North America.
“I have worked for other Canadian and US companies before joining Wärtsilä and I always felt that I have had to work so much harder than my male counterparts in my roles,” she says.
However, things took a turn for the better when she joined Wärtsilä.
“It felt like a breath of fresh air. Working for Wärtsilä, I feel like I am being treated as an equal and that I get rewarded for what I do,” says Anna.
It was this environment of equal opportunity and empowerment that helped Anna grow in her 11-year long career at the company, from being a mechanical engineer in Wärtsilä Energy Business to donning other roles such as Chief Mechanical Engineer and Project Manager to finally becoming the General Manager in the Project Management team. In her current role, she and her team take care of power plant projects in the USA and Canada.
Demolishing the Us VS. Them culture
When asked what her greatest contribution to Wärtsilä is, Anna says it was fostering deeper collaboration between the different departments including Sales, Legal and Project teams.
“When I first started with Wärtsilä, there was a bit of an ‘us’ against ‘them’ mentality. When our engines were sold, the handing over from the sales process to project implementation was very stressful and not collaborative at all,” she explains.
But that was back then.
Over time, Anna instituted new processes and ways of working that improved transparency and communication lines between the different departments. As a result, trust and cooperation between the different teams improved.
“Today we are used as an example of how to effectively work as a team, with everyone contributing to the final product,” she says proudly. “Wärtsilä has significantly grown in the time I have spent here. In the US we have gone from performing on average 1.5 power plant projects per year to doing 13 projects in 2017.”
So, is there a secret to the way she has managed to pull all this off? Anna says the key is to take each day as it comes.
“One day, I can be in meeting with a potential customer and our sales team discussing how Wärtsilä implements projects and how a power plant gets built. Another day, I can be in the office giving inputs to our legal team on technical specifications for a request for proposal (RFP) and the next day, I could be at a project site meeting with our commissioning team and seeing how the plant construction is progressing,” she explains. “Being involved with projects makes each day very different and you need to be ready to meet and solve many different challenges.”
Going all in
Her experience in project management has stood Anna in good stead on many occasions, for instance in sealing a 225 MW Smart Power Generation plant project in the USA.
The goal here was to provide balancing power to the community, which is moving towards a green, low-emissions power system, and aims to have 70% of its energy produced by renewable energy sources by early 2019 as part of the community's renewables plan.
“The signing of the project was a very important deal for me and all of the Americas regions. Being part of the negotiating team for the project was very special,” explains Anna. “This deal would enable the customer to go 70% renewable energy which was unheard of at that time. I am very proud that I have been – and continue to be – part of the ‘renewable energy is the new base-load’ movement.”
Over the next decade, Anna feels that the transition to renewable energy will fundamentally transform the global energy market. And Wärtsilä, she says, is on the ball when it comes to innovatively tapping this crucial moment.
“The biggest innovation that I have seen within Wärtsilä is the way we looked at the energy market and how we figured out how our technology could best fit into the market before our competition. I am looking forward towards the new challenges that the decade ahead will bring,” she concludes.