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 as a human rights inspector in penitentiaries in Brazil. As one might guess, it was not an easy job!
2. What was/is your best job?
My best job was as a research assistant, during my master’s degree. I realized then how much knowledge would play a central part in my career.
3. What does your family think you do all day at work?
My family members think I spend all day at work playing Angry Birds.
4. What do you really do all day at work?
I really spend all day at work trying to create smart solutions to align incentives of organizations with misaligned visions. This is probably not as hard as Angry Birds.
5. What do you wish you did all day at work?
I wish I had more time to learn and gather knowledge.
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 Hermes, translating ideas and concepts between the public and the private sectors.
7. What is your go-to industry website?
My go-to industry website for Brazilian content is www.pppbrasil.org. For an international perspective, I rely on the PPI database: http://ppi.worldbank.org/
8. What did you learn from the book that made the biggest impact on you professionally?
The book that has made the biggest impact on me professionally taught me that it is possible to create convergence of apparently divergent interests. The secret is to force the sight of the stakeholders to their long term objectives. Even parallel lines converge, if you look far enough!
9. What shocks you about your own career advice to young professionals?
When I give advice to young professionals, I’m shocked to hear myself say that people shouldn’t always read and follow instruction manuals. There is room for plain instinct.
10. What do you refuse to compromise on professionally?
I’ve learned never to compromise professionally on laziness. People need to try hard, as hard as they can, whatever they decide to do!
11. In what ways do you think the PPPs will look different in 10 years?
I think the PPP area I work in will look different in 10 years because mistakes will be less and less tolerable. PPPs will not be able to fail so frequently, so the identification of the drivers of success in projects will be more valuable than ever.
Read previous posts of “10 Candid Career Questions”.
Read posts by Marcos at the PPP blog.
To contribute your PPP career story, email [email protected].