10 candid career questions with PPP professionals – Ariana Progri

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Editor's Note: 
Welcome to the “10 Candid Career Questions” series, introducing you to the PPP professionals who do the deals, analyze the data, and strategize on the next big thing. Each of them followed a different path into PPP practice, and this series offers an inside look at their backgrounds, motivations, and choices. Each blogger receives the same 15 questions and answers 10 or more that tell their PPP career story candidly and without jargon. We believe you’ll be as surprised and inspired as we were.  


1.    What was your first job? 
My first job was the best place to start my career: as an Investment Officer, at Foreign Direct Investment Agency in Albania, I was in a position to deal with both big-picture and project-specific aspects of the investment decision process, something that provided a wealth of knowledge and experience on how the public and private sectors work.      

2.     What was your best job? 
One of the best and most exciting jobs I’ve had was at the Albanian Economic Development Agency. As one of the three directors of the agency, I had full responsibility for managing the most creative part of the business in a very challenging environment.

3.     What do your family members think you do all day at work? 
My family members think I spend all day at work in front of a computer.

4.     What do you really do all day at work? 
I feel like I really spend most of the day at work in front of a computer, drafting and editing internal documents and discussing internal processes. Once a year, however, we have our regional strategic meetings, where one would hope to talk about business and strategy, but (no!) we go and talk some more about IFC internal processes and how to improve them.

5.     What do you wish you did all day at work? 
I wish I spent all day at work discussing and devising creative solutions and products for our clients.

6.     If some days at the office you feel like Sisyphus, and other days you feel like Midas, what character from literature or history do you identify with the rest of the time? 
Some days at the office I feel like Sisyphus, occasionally I feel like Midas, but most of the time I feel like Alcyone, trying to keep those storms from brewing.       

7.     What is your go-to industry website? 
My go-to industry website is Infra PPP – plenty of articles about PPP projects around the world and a good database of projects, investors and consultants.

8.     What is the most rewarding thing you’ve experienced in the course of PPP practice? 
The most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced in the course of PPP practice is when a government accepts our recommendations , even though the plan of action proposed may delay achieving their immediate political goals (it really has happened!).

9. In what areas do you refuse to compromise professionally? 
I’ve learned never to compromise professionally on fairness and transparency.

10. In what ways do you think the PPP area will look different in 10 years? 
I think the PPP area I work in will look different in 10 years because, as governments and the private sector become increasingly aware that PPPs are not mere contracts but long-term partnerships, they will join forces to enhance dialogue and foster collaborative approaches to overcome barriers and identify innovative solutions for the design and implementation of PPPs. 

Read previous posts of “10 Candid Career Questions”.
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