This week, we’re getting to know Carmen Cristea, our Finance Manager and currently Interim Co-Director General.
Hi, Carmen! What does a typical day look like for you so far? What kinds of issues do you deal with in your job?
My day starts with a cup of coffee, opening my inbox and following up on the previous day. Every morning I list the priorities for the day and try to address the most urgent ones first.
I deal with financial issues, general operational issues of BBMRI-ERIC and office administration issues, some of which I do together with other staff. We don’t have an HR department per se, so I am basically the HR generalist.
There is also a lot of work with EU grant financial management for our projects. Governance (AoM, Finance Committee) issues come up periodically, and at the beginning of each year we prepare the yearly financial closing and the audit.
Where has BBMRI-ERIC taken you?
BBMRI-ERIC has taken me to a few places around Europe. I always attend our annual European or Global Biobank Weeks – since I started, they’ve been in Vienna, Stockholm, Antwerp and Lübeck. I travel to Vienna often for governance meetings with our Member States, and occasionally Brussels, where I used to live.
What is the most interesting aspect of your job?
Daily challenges and novelty – I can’t say I’m ever bored! Each day something new pops up.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Navigating the niceties of interacting with our different governance structures – at the same time it’s interesting to see how these structures function and how we interact with them. Trying to keep expenses at a minimum while having a maximum output is a daily challenge but so far successful.
What do you love the most about working at BBMRI-ERIC?
I think we’re a great team. I like that we’re so diverse with a whole flow of ideas and life experiences channeling into the office. I truly enjoy that about BBMRI.
I strive to perpetuate relationships built on trust. I think we’re all experts, we should all trust each other, and I try to let everyone be accountable for their own work. I am always happy to be told to stop micromanaging! 😉
What kind of work did you do before joining?
Before joining I was already working in finance, for an NGO that lobbied for wind energy in Brussels. I’ve always enjoyed working for organizations that give me a higher sense of purpose, and I feel that way now at BBMRI.
I started here as Finance Administration Assistant and after two years I took on additional responsibilities for a new role as Finance Manager. I like that at BBMRI-ERIC a lot of our staff have moved into new challenges – vertically or horizontally – and are able to grow.
Learn more about working for BBMRI-ERIC here. And look for the next interview soon!