Job title: PMO Manager
Employer: HELB Ltd.
Year of graduation: 2009
Supervisor: Mario Vražić
Study profile: Electric Machines, Drives, and Automation
I’m Dominik Dobrotić, I live in Kozinščak and I work at HELB in Božjakovina as a Project Management Office (PMO) Manager. We mainly deal with installing and commissioning substations, and I mainly manage projects related to wind farms, solar power plants, and infrastructure. I spend most of my free time with my wife and two daughters. I mow the lawn, scratch bushes, and plant fruit and olives. I cook ajvar, jam, and sausages. I trade cryptocurrencies using the energy from the solar panel. I prepare supplies and kid myself that I’m a doomsday prepper. I wash the dishes, play memory, and stack Lego Friends.
When did you develop an interest in the field you work in today?
I spent a lot of my free time with my father in his electrical workshop, repairing electric motors and various appliances and tools. I wasn’t bad at maths, so after primary school I enrolled in the 15th Gymnasium, and then in FER. At FER, I quickly realised that my previous knowledge from high school wouldn’t be enough without the work habits which I was forced to acquire after repeating the second year. I then enrolled in the Electric Machines profile, which I was interested in, and finished my studies more or less routinely with the great help of my mentor.
What are your responsibilities at work?
I started working at HELB as a third-year student. After graduation, I worked as an examiner, then as a documentation writer, and for the last 10 years, I’ve managed projects. As PMO manager, I’ve been directly and indirectly responsible for the positive implementation of all projects in the last 5 years.
What challenges do you face at work?
The classic answer in recent years has been: “Not enough people”. The reasons for this are varied and more or less well-known. I wish the young engineers would give the seemingly outdated and unattractive energetics a chance and see that there are attractive areas here, from wind farms and solar power plants to high voltage and industry.
What skills and knowledge do you use in your job? Which of these did you learn during your studies and which independently of your studies or afterward?
Considering that managing projects in the contractor company is primarily an organisational and logistical task, I rarely use theoretical and specific knowledge that I acquired sometime during my studies and then mostly forgot.
What’s important for me personally and what I got at FER are: work habits, a sense of responsibility, and a problem-solving mindset.
What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned in your career?
A person must always work, do his best and not be lazy or idle, no matter what work he does.
Have you ever worked in the field and if so, how did you cope with this component of your job?
Yes, that was almost 10 years ago. I did the workshop preparation, electrical diagram, and 3D visualisation for the container system of the electric crane. After that, I was in Iraqi Kurdistan for a few months, where my job was the technical inspection of current and voltage transformers in several 132 kV substations in the Erbil district. Otherwise, I wasn’t in the field for any significant length of time, apart from a few days in Croatia, which doesn’t count as fieldwork. Now I’m mostly at headquarters, except when I travel for coordination meetings.
How does it feel to have a career in a company for years, to advance and grow?
It’s good, it’s not always a linear growth or one that always meets expectations, but that’s how it must be. After 15 years I’m still in the same company, I’m working, there’s progress and a lot can and will happen. Life is long.
I believe you’ve worked on some projects from their beginning to their end. Are you particularly happy when you see that the project you worked on has been successfully launched?
Yes, these are big infrastructure projects that take a year or more to complete. On such projects you can really learn a lot, meet new people and deepen existing acquaintances. One of my favourite projects was the Korlat wind farm, where we were responsible for the electrical installation work at the substation and the internal cable network.