Full interview: Corina Neagu, mentor in SIM’s community

Mentoring, People Strategy, Organizational Performance, Talent Management, Adoption, Change Management Execution.

Corina Neagu is one of those people with whom you want to be around her from the first interactions and collaborate with her for a long time. From the beginning of the She is MOM project, we knew that we need professionals and dedicated people, like her, in our team.

💃 Who is Corina Neagu, and what does she do?

Corina Neagu is a man. For better or worse, I am extremely ambitious, determined, brave (I have often said that I curl my unconsciousness, that I throw myself headlong and risk a lot), curious, always focused, but also extremely serious and worker. Everything I have managed so far has a lot of work behind it. For six years, I have had my own company, Dare - Development Advice & Resources (www.dare.com.ro), where I deal with design and organizational development projects, consulting in Human Resources, career counseling, evaluation centers, educational projects.

Since 2015 I deliver training programs in HR, Management & Leadership in Asia (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, Dubai), and also since 2015, I am a professor at Business Academy. I'm a Magic Home volunteer and recently a Geeks for Democracy. I am a mentor in the HR community. For Professional Women’s Network, I am the producer of two shows for Piatamuncii.info (Casual HR and the Learning Pill). I write for various publications and am a Senior Contributor for Undelucram.ro.

I am the mother of two absolutely wonderful girls, who motivate me and give me the energy I always need so much. And in 2020, I followed my second passion, cooking, and I signed up for certification as a pastry chef/confectioner. I opened my second business, Sweets & Spices, I intend to open a grocery store in the future, and I started to create personalized packages with traditional holiday products.

💃 When did you realize what you want to do?

As a child, I knew that I would be a good profiler, being passionate about Forensics, which helped me a lot in everything related to interaction with people and obviously in HR. When I was little, my favorite books were the police ones, and I am a fan of Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Rodica Ojog Brașoveanu, police movies, and series. Also, my first interaction with volunteering, at the age of 16, developed my communication skills and put me in front of many challenges to which I coped with them successfully.

Following the Faculty of Law, I validated my core value, integrity, and the fact that I prefer to be a fair man and not necessarily popular. Many people have contributed to who I am today, the first being my parents, and I don't know if I will ever be able to thank them all enough. Like many others, I started from below and learned what work and meritocracy mean as a child. I have a deep respect for those who succeed independently and who never forget where they came from. Going back to your question and looking back, I think I'm still discovering things about myself and things I can do. I have always been open to the new and creating and living beautiful experiences, and I sincerely believe that I cannot do a few things because I have always succeeded when I have something in mind. So I think I'm collecting defining moments, not just one. That is why I really want to have the patience, strength, and ambition to discover as much as I can in this life. My mission is to help others (discover) themselves because it is a wonderful journey, which brings only satisfaction on all sides. But my biggest passion remains HR, and as a hobby creating gastronomic experiences.

💃 How did the arrival of your children impact you professionally?

My girls are my greatest achievement, and their birth is a miracle and a blessing. I went to work until the last month of pregnancy. I did not have any medical problems. I returned quickly after I gave birth, having already for 15 years with us a nanny who helped us and still helps us extraordinarily a lot and a very good, warm woman who loves girls enormously and is part of the family. The fact that I did not stay at home on parental leave did not prevent me for a second to be their mother, to be close to them, to get involved in their upbringing and education. Now I am very proud of them for being independent. They have a powerful personality, know what they want, do very well on their own, and we have an open, trusting, and friendly relationship. And because you asked me about the impact, we are clearly talking about a major positive impact.

💃 What does the balance between personal and professional life mean to you?

To like what you do, do what you like, and have support and understanding from the family. It makes me extremely relaxed in terms of my work because I know that my family understands my passions and the meaning of my work as I understand them, and I am always by their side. Obviously, there are tense moments, but we can get over it much easier if we understand why behind it.

💃 What does it mean for you to be a mentor?

It is an honor, first of all, because I have been chosen so many times to be a mentor, a great responsibility, but also a validation of my work for so many years that I manage to pass on in this form as well. Being a mentor comes with a great dose of altruism, dedication, involvement, empathy, and obvious interest for the one you mentor and who relies on you in this relationship. One of the great responsibilities is not to disappoint. If you know you can't dedicate yourself, you better refuse this opportunity, so I think it's fair to both you and the mentee.

💃 If you were to leave readers with a message, what would it be?

My message is simple: you can do more than you think you can, step outside the comfort zone and discover your potential because beautiful things happen outside the comfort zone! You will be amazed at how much you can do when you trust yourself, who you are, and your goals. And if you fail on your own, call for help. There will always be someone close to reaching out to you when you need it!