To be a good manager today means perfecting a thoughtful balance between organization, execution and supervision. But to be an exceptional manager means honing in on communication skills, too, something Sheena Basu takes pride in making a key priority.
As a Senior Product Manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Sheena’s days are spent “communicating schedules, confirming scopes of work and managing expectations.” She sees her working style as proof that conversations are central to projects being run both efficiently and effectively.
As a mom to two girls under the age of four, she finds the greatest impact in getting to help other families through her work. “Being part of an organization that goes out of its way to make sure people and their families are okay is what makes it truly meaningful.”
She recently shared with Fairygodboss the career move she’s most proud of, her favorite aspect of working at MSK and her No. 1 piece of advice for job seekers.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
I’ve been a Senior Project Manager at MSK for just over a year and was a Project Manager before this promotion.
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
First, I check emails, and before I leave, I walk to visit my project sites.
What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of your job?
The most interesting and unique aspect of my job is that I’m usually the only woman on projects or in meetings about construction at the hospital.
What’s something you’re especially good at while at work?
Communicating! In my field, you have to be a great communicator. You are constantly sharing schedules, confirming scopes of work and managing multiple expectations.
What about outside of work?
Definitely being a mom to my young daughters, Priya and Devi!
What are you trying to improve on?
I’m am trying to find more time in the day to workout.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
Working in healthcare after getting my Masters in Construction Administration.
What do you love most about your job or your company?
MSK truly believes in patient care and experience. Being part of an organization that goes out of its way to make sure people and their families are put first is very rewarding.
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
I’m currently watching Lucifer on Netflix, reading Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress and always — always — listening to Beyoncé!
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Apply, and go for it! I recently read that many women are not working in some industries or jobs simply because they have not applied. You are worthy… DO IT!
Who is/was the most influential person in your life and why?
My mother. She stayed at home while my dad worked. She managed to spoil four kids, love us endlessly and teach us the value of life. I am forever grateful.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
“Play the game.”
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
The best quality of my best boss and mentor was (and still is) her genuine interest in my personal and professional growth and development. Her investment in me pushes me forward and drive my success in everything I do.
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