Meet Natalie, Project Manager
Full Name: Natalie Ortega
Title: Senior Project Manager, Vituity
Natalie is a Mexican-American first generation college graduate from San Francisco State University. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and Management and now is a Sr. Project Manager at Vituity. She started working at Vituity when she was 20 years old as a data entry clerk and she has had the amazing opportunity to grow with the organization in her career.
In your own words, describe your career.
Project Management is a complex, but a very rewarding career, and to me that is the beauty of it. Project Management is so versatile, especially in the ever-evolving Health Care Industry. There are many challenges that I am faced with every day that test my ability to quickly adapt and be able to respond strategically and effectively. I love what I do because it constantly pushes me to be and do better, while constantly learning, adapting, and growing.
What influenced you to pursue a career in project management?
During my first experience and exposure to Project Management I had the unique privilege of being able to contribute to the creation of a PMO (Project Management Office). Creating and implementing processes that worked for the organization was so enjoyable for me. It allowed me to be creative while giving me the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Project Management, understand what a PMO does, and how beneficial it is for an organization to have project management standardization. This experience and opportunity influenced me to pursue a career in Project Management.
What do you love most about your job? What are its biggest challenges?
One of my favorite things about my job is that I am always learning. Every project that I manage is a learning experience that allows me to grow in my career. One of the biggest challenges about my job is being able to manage multiple projects at once. This definitely requires me to be very strategic and practice my time-management skills wisely. Although it is a good challenge that constantly keeps me on my toes, depending on the size and priorities of those projects, it can be quite tiresome and could allow for more risks to effectively project manage.
How did you gain entry into the industry? What was your big break?
One of my first jobs at Vituity was as an Administrative Assistant within a program called ASAP (Administrative Support Assistance Program). The program was created to provide administrative support to other departments in the organization when needed. I would work in so many different areas of the organization on small operational projects, which provided me with so much exposure and was the perfect opportunity for someone like me who was still in college at the time trying to figure out a career path. At the time, Vituity did not have a department that managed the portfolio of the org and there was a growing need. One person was then tasked by leadership to build the foundation of a PMO for the organization and because they were a one-person team, they requested ASAP support. I was then assigned to be a project coordinator on an enterprise-wide project while assisting with building the PMO. From then on, I grew with the PMO at Vituity and found my passion for Project Management.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?
Creativity is my passion. I love being able to create something that was once just an idea. I am always taking on new DIY challenges, look for opportunities to event plan, or building interior décor designs. My go to hobby is hand-knitting.
Do you have any words of advice? Anything you would have wanted to know before starting your career journey.
As a college student, you are always asked by others “what are you going to do when you graduate” and 99% of the time you have no idea and that’s totally OK. Don’t feel pressured to know right away nor pick a career that you know so little about or have no experience in yet. I started working at Vituity part-time during college as a data entry clerk and receptionist. It wasn’t a job that aligned with my major, but it was an opportunity that I am forever grateful for because it opened so many other doors for me and allowed me to develop skills and discover my career. The best advice I can give is to be open minded and take advantage of all opportunities that come your way because you never know where it can take you!