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AJ Kokate

Emerging Leaders 4-6
EL - AJ Kokate

 

Name:   AJ Kokate

Title:    Project Manager

Organization:    Charter Communications

Sector:   IT Project Management, Telecommunications

 

1)     How did you get started in project management?

I have always been associated with having leadership skills. Even amongst friends and other groups, I am always put into the leadership role for my confidence and ability to work with most people. As a 24 year old, I had to work my way up into a management position and was fortunate enough to have an amazing manager at Charter who took a chance on me. From having little management experience in IT (I come from a Healthcare background), I am now in a position where I was fortunate enough to receive a nomination as an emerging leader. Hopefully that means I am doing well.

 

2)      What is your favorite project that you worked on or would like to work on?

To me, an amazing project is not the work I am doing but who I am doing it with. The TechMobile Team at Charter is full of people who are very kind, respectful, and willing to help. They have helped me feel like I am part of them and with the communication we have, I know I am making some long term friends. Nothing is better in a project than feeling like a team. It makes even the most annoying of tasks enjoyable because I can always go to one of them for help.

 

3)      What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Definitely the helpfulness of leadership. My manager and other people in upper management were willing to work with me and help me improve within IT and become the best version of myself. I know I have asked several bad questions but they have worked with me and it is helping me become a better PM. I still do not speak in the most technical of terms that most PMs in IT do, but I have constantly been told I am doing a great job by VPs and other leaders in the company. It is always rewarding when getting recognition for the work I am doing. I like to think the research and hard work I put in is paying off.

 

4)      Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 3-5 years?

In the next 3-5 years, I see myself as a mentor. I would like to be a Manager with several project managers working for me. This way, I can help build the future leaders of tomorrow. I would love to stay at Charter and hopefully I am. Time will tell.

 

5)    Who is a leader that you admire and why?

It may be a weird example, but Elon Musk. I have always been one for imagination. I think creativity and imagination are necessary to improve the community around us. The fact that he thinks of revolutionary things, whether its cars or spaceships or tunnels, and makes them happen even after all the failures and money losses, is amazing to me. He may not be doing it in the best way or in the most economically sound way, but his creativity is definitely getting minds thinking in the correct direction. .

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