Simona Stanynaite

My career started during University years when, due to parent’s financial struggles, I had to juggle full time studies and work on a 32h/week minimum work contract.

Due to my persistence, resilience and time management, I’ve successfully graduated with a 2:1 BA degree in Politics with International Relations. Even when working during university years, I have always sought and have been awarded leadership positions – be it performing the role of a front of house leader on duty at Pret A Manger or training to become a manager at busiest Caffe Nero in the area.

After working briefly in the localisation industry, I have applied to and been successful in joining extremely competitive TfL’s Project Management graduate scheme. Whilst on the programme, I have worked on diverse portfolio of projects including the £1bn Silvertown Tunnel, Central Line Improvements Programme (CLIP), property management and retail projects. Leading teams as a young female graduate has been challenging due to preconceptions that exist around younger people but my drive and persistence proved to be working and brought the results despite my non-technical background. I have been recognized as an Emerging Leader within the company and rolled off to a Project Manager role.

After rolling-off, I have been leading a portfolio of retail construction projects across in London zones 1-2. The projects aim to identify and create new commercial space within underground stations in order to increase non-fare revenue for the company. Managing retail construction projects in an operational railway environment safely and without disruption to the customers is a challenging, however, extremely rewarding work as it helps improve customer experience within stations and allow TfL to be a self-sufficient organisation.

During my career, I have quickly realized that for TfL to be successful and self-sufficient, it is not enough to deliver projects successfully myself. It is crucial to enable my colleagues to be able to do the same by changing the way we work. For this reason, I have volunteered in multiple departmental initiatives and projects to improve the way projects are managed within my Renewals & Enhancements (R&E) directorate whilst still managing retail projects. I have become a leader for R&E 2020 ‘Scope’ workstream where I worked on improving the way we scope our projects as well as has been selected to lead on ‘Optimum Delivery Model’ project aimed at identifying evidence based delivery model(s) best suited for the construction projects R&E delivers.

Being extremely passionate about improving the way we work, I have recently been selected to set up and run a new portfolio of change projects as ‘R&E 2021’ full time alongside Senior Project Manager. This includes working with Heads of Delivery in identifying the issues present in the directorate that need addressing, designing improvement actions and implementing them.

I believe that there is still much to improve in the way construction projects are delivered within R&E, TFL and the industry as a whole. I feel excited about the prospects of leading this much-needed change.