What is on your business card?

Sara Barkeshli

Project Manager, MBA


In which industry do you work?

Railway industry


What is your role as a project manager in the company, in the organisation?

As a project manager I am responsible for the whole project from the management, coordination and motivation of the project team to the project scheduling, finance, supply chain and resource allocation. I am also the main interface to the customer and take over the active communication and negotiation with the relevant stakeholders.


Can you tell us about a current project?

I am managing an ETCS (European Train Control System) project in Hungary to support the Hungarian railway infrastructure operator to create the single European railway network. This is a strategic target for all European railway operators to follow the common EU rail transport policy. This project includes five stations, located on the railway corridor from Budapest to Romania. We are upgrading the railway infrastructure in order to increase the train speed up to 160 km/h and to allow interoperability for cross border train operation with ETCS. Currently we are in the factory testing phase to achieve our upcoming contractual milestone; Customer acceptance. The project closure is planned in April 2023.


What skills are necessary for this job?

Since the project is complex and has many stakeholders, I think combination of very strong leadership, negotiations and coordination skills is very important. Those projects take usually around three to four years therefore a project manager must have an effective communication skill and be able to keep the team motivated for the whole life cycle of the project.


What advice do you have for young people who want to become project managers?

My advice to young people is to get involved in projects first as project team member to get familiar to the nature of the project management and gain experience from senior PMs.

They should know that one of the first success keys in this field is having strong communication skills. So, get out of the comfort zone, ask questions, be active and improve your soft skills.


What is the advantage of a project management certification / Agile Leader certification?

A project management certificate gives a certain trust and confidence to my customer that their project is in the hand of a professional project manager with dedicated skills and experience in this field. It is also a proof for me and my company that I have gained sufficient experience to take over much more complex projects.


What is it that fascinates you about your job?

In the projects the frame work, start and finish dates are given and defined in advance. But the way to get there and how to get there is in hand of the project manager. Sometimes the unexpected obstacles on our ways, and finding solution in a limited timeline, make the whole work more challenging and interesting. Also, to be responsible for the whole project makes us interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures in order to achieve our common goals, which is fascinating.


About the interviewed person


  • BSc.  Applied physics
  • MBA


PM certifications

  • pma/IPMA® Level C Project Manager


Professional experience

  • Project manager in Turnkey Railway Projects in Thales
  • Project manager in AustriaCard