Inside EUMETSAT: meet Jyoti and Carmelo
Inside EUMETSAT interviews Jyoti Dagar and Carmelo Aveni Cirino
Inside EUMETSAT returns this week with another very special interview featuring two more of our outstanding EUMETSAT colleagues: Jyoti Dagar and Carmelo Aveni Cirino! Jyoti started at EUMETSAT in 2020, while Carmelo joined the team in September of 2018.
14 July 2021
14 July 2021
Inside EUMETSAT is a series of articles for the EUMETSAT Science Blog that will be published over the next weeks and months. Each week, we’ll introduce you to two valued members of our team: one newcomer, joined in the past year, and one senior staff member who has spent years at the organisation.
In a time that’s far from ordinary, we hope to use this opportunity to introduce our readers to some of the diverse and friendly faces they might encounter in the course of a normal day at EUMETSAT. It’s our goal to appreciate and celebrate all the different and talented people who work here. We hope these articles will help you discover—or rediscover—EUMETSAT.
Meet Jyoti and Carmelo!
What is your current role at EUMETSAT? What are your current duties?
Carmelo Aveni Cirino: I am the Head of the Quality Management Unit (QM). In this role, I am responsible for ensuring that our EUMETSAT Management System (EMS, i.e. our framework of policies, processes, and working practices) is kept in line with business needs and upcoming challenges, and for supporting the Management Board in defining, implementing, maintaining, and improving the EMS.
A very important part of my job is to provide the Director-General and the Management Board with an independent assessment of compliance, effectiveness, and efficiency of EMS processes in addition to an evaluation of tools and methods used for risk management. This is done both through internal quality audits as well as through external audits carried out by ISO certification bodies, with which I stay in close contact. I really enjoy the fact that through my duties and tasks I can support the organisation with the relevant proposals for its continuous improvement.
Jyoti Dagar: I am a Project Controller in the Project Planning and Control Competence Area (PPC CA) in the Process Assurance and Management Support (PRS) division. I support project control services for the Technical and Scientific Support (TSS) and Operations (OPS) departments, focusing on budget preparation, cost and budget control, human resources and financial planning and reporting.
What has been your biggest challenge during COVID and lockdown? Do you feel supported by EUMETSAT?
CAC: One of the biggest challenges for us in QM and for the entire organisation, during COVID-19, was achieving a successful ISO 9001 recertification for EUMETSAT, performed by the BSI (British Standards Institute). All the relevant activities were carried out remotely – such as the pre-assessment carried out by the BSI external auditors - or through hybrid meetings – like the preparation for the audit in all divisions and the certification audit. Considering that BSI's external auditors were evaluating EUMETSAT's processes for the first time, it was significantly more challenging than usual.
Thankfully, EUMETSAT has supported and keeps supporting all of us appropriately in such a difficult situation, by taking carefully into account the needs of the employees since the very beginning of the pandemic.
JD: COVID-19 and lockdown have been strenuous and demanding for everyone to various degrees. For me, the situation has been challenging because remote work was new to us as an organisation, and lots of changes were made to incorporate it in a very short span of time. Technical teams did a fantastic job setting up home offices, though tools such as Zoom and Webex took some time getting used to. I had just started taking new responsibilities as a project controller when the COVID-19 restrictions set in, getting and providing virtual training because face-to-face interactions were not allowed. It was hard to keep a proper work-life balance especially with kids at home demanding constant attention. Sometimes it is difficult to “unplug” when working from home. My team was a big support and we worked as one unit understanding each other’s personal and professional requirements. Management provided regular updates and revised some policies to keep employees updated as the COVID-19 situation evolved.
Where do you usually work from? How do you interact with your colleagues?
CAC: Currently, I am often working from home; with video calls and remote meetings being at the forefront of all my interactions with EUMETSAT colleagues. I try to spend at least one day per week on site, and I hope to be able to spend more days in the office in the near future: working at EUMETSAT’s headquarters makes my work more efficient.
JD: The new normal for me is to work from home. Usually, we chat over Skype and lately, I have increasingly started to use Zoom for virtual face-to-face interactions. Apart from that, our team also has regular virtual informal get-togethers.
What has your experience of EUMETSAT been during normal, non-pandemic times? Why do you like working here?
CAC: I very much enjoy working for such a complex and modern organisation, for two main reasons. First, for the high level of competence of all staff and consultants: I find adequate competence to be the foundation of an effective quality management system. Second, I am extremely proud of EUMETSAT's support to the improvement of the global climate, thanks to its products and services. It is our contribution to a better future for our children.
What has been your experience of EUMETSAT been like so far?
JD: Before joining as a staff in March 2020, I worked at EUMETSAT as a consultant. EUMETSAT has a great multicultural environment. I enjoy working with people here which I think is very important. I believe strongly in working with synergy within and outside my team towards a common goal of service delivery to evolving user requirements. There has been a very healthy collaborative culture in this regard. I miss the ability to turn to a desk-mate for a question or to approach a manager for some help/guidance. Certainly, there are plenty of productivity tools that support team collaboration, but sometimes a quick catch-up chat to make sure everyone is on the same page is much easier.
How did your recruitment take place?
JD: My Interview took place via WebEx in March 2020 during the lockdown. It was a new experience for me using video conferencing for a job interview. Apart from sitting face to face across the table as in a formal interview setting, I did not feel odd about it. I was more relaxed and the only concerns I had during that time were related to my internet connection and any domestic distractions.
What book are you currently reading?
CAC: “The Black Echo”, a novel by Michael Connelly.
JD: “Many Lives, Many Masters”, by Dr. Brian Weiss.
Which weather phenomenon represents you best?
CAC: A wind blowing from the south and inflating the sails of sailing boats.
If expense were not a concern, what would you like to do in the next 5 years?
CAC: I would like to do something to help in guaranteeing a high level of education to all young people who want it and don’t have access to it, with particular attention to girls and young women in developing countries.
JD: I would like to take a trip to outer space.
According to you, what is the most exciting science/technology innovation in the last century?
CAC: The development of information technology.
JD: I am thankful and happy for the progress in medical knowledge and treatments. Thanks to those, scientists can understand diseases and produce vaccinations within a year to fight pandemics such as COVID-19, effectively saving lives. Humanity has come a long way to the current genomics revolution, but that would not have been possible without some breakthroughs that happened in the last century, such as the discovery of penicillin and the poliomyelitis vaccination that have potentially saved millions of lives.