Today we have guest Maria Luiza Pruna, who is an Executive Assistant at Tetra Pak International. She will be sharing not only her background, but an amazing way for women to help discover their own power and voice through an inspirational global workshop.
CH: Hi Maria, thank you so much for being here! Could you please give us an overview of your background?
MLP: Many thanks for this exciting opportunity, the pleasure is all mine.
I was born in Romania where I studied languages and did a Master degree in American Cultural Studies. I speak five languages fluently: English, French, German, Spanish, Romanian, and I am currently learning Dutch.
I moved to Belgium 7 years ago and have been working here ever since in different administrative roles in the public and private sector. At first I just tried different admin roles to experiment a bit and to understand what the pros and cons of each sector were before deciding on my focus. I chose to work in the corporate world because a fast-paced environment gives room for initiative, independence, and resilience. In June 2018, I was elected as the National Public Affairs Officer for IMA, the International Management Assistants Association, which is the only global network of management support professionals.
CH: Could you please tell me more about your experience with IMA?
MLP: I became a member at the beginning of IMA in January 2018. It is the only global network for management support professionals. Here I discovered a great professional network where I was surrounded by lovely and supportive members. In June I was elected National Public Relations Officer. I am responsible for organizing the monthly events for our members and our national training days. IMA is a platform that encourages and promotes self-development and we are aiming to always organize high-quality events. For example, in October our guest speaker will be Thierry Geerts, Director at Google Belgium.
CH: I know you are involved in the #IamRemarkable initiative. Could you please let us know what that initiative is?
MLP: Yes, indeed. I first got invited to attend an event for Women’s Day at the Google office in Brussels where they were hosting one of the workshops. That’s when I discovered what #IamRemarkable is: an initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond, thereby breaking modesty norms and glass ceilings.
CH: Wow, #IamRemarkable sounds incredible! How have you been involved and what is your role?
MLP: I have been a workshop facilitator for a couple of months already and I have delivered it to my acquaintances and professional contacts. I am currently organizing a big workshop event for IMA which will take place on November 15 in Brussels. There I will be delivering the workshop together with the Training Officer to our members who are mainly women.
CH: What have you learned from being involved with #IamRemarkable? Have you experienced any profound moments by being involved?
MLP: Working with women has been a huge learning experience. I realized that women never even dream of taking credit for their hard work and their achievements. Society teaches them from an early age that their voices should be humble and they should never think outside the box or make claims to positions of power generally secured by men. The workshop works like an “aha” moment where women discover how much power they have and what their true value is. This helps them take back what is theirs - a unique, remarkable voice that makes them stand up and gain control over their private and professional lives.
CH: If anyone would like to get involved in the initiative, where can they learn more?
MLP: Anyone who wants to become a facilitator can register here: https://iamremarkable.withgoogle.com/
CH: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MLP: I would just want to say that today we have the luxury to live in an open society where we can speak our minds and become the best version of ourselves. If we are aware of our power and uniqueness, we can use them to our benefit. However, if we are full of self-doubt and weakness, we will never achieve our dreams. Professionally speaking, women miss opportunities not because they are underprepared but because they THINK they are. A positive and confident mindset is a prerequisite for success.
CH: Thank you for taking the time to share about both your background and this impressive initiative, Maria!
MLP: Thanks so much Christina! I am honored to have shared my thoughts and views with you and your readers.
Maria Luiza Pruna is an Executive Assistant at Tetra Pak International. She is also the National Public Affairs Officer at IMA (International Management Assistants Association). She organizes monthly networking events and training days for the members of the association. In addition, she is an #IamRemarkable workshop facilitator.
You can connect with Maria on the following platforms: