Women in Exchange Technology: Rodica Popa, Chief Operating Officer of Team and Certificates Trade Division at OPCOM
Rodica Popa is the Chief Operating Officer of the Team and Certificates Trade Division at OPCOM, the Romanian Electricity and Gas Market Operator and Exchange. Since 2001, Rodica has been developing numerous projects for OPCOM, especially for the implementation of transactions and electricity. We had the chance to sit down with Rodica and learn about her role at OPCOM and why she chose a career in exchange technology.
On Choosing Technology as her Career Path
After graduating from the Polytechnic University in Bucharest, one of Rodica’s first assignments was for the Romanian Foreign Trade Bank. Rodica was responsible for risk management, respectively risk assessment of the operations between different banks. From this perspective, she had the opportunity to be part of the internal development of banking risk management integrated system, making this her first contact with the technology industry.
“Technology entered into my career landscape as the most proper tool for turning technical dreams into a reality,” said Rodica when asked why she chose a career in technology. “A more flexible market tool or risk management tool, a more dynamic interface, new functionalities for keeping the market informed, more reporting functionalities, trading closer to the real time as much as possible, are all just short sentences that make technology a reality--a transparent, reliable, and professional reality.”
On Being a Woman in Technology
Throughout her career, Rodica has faced many challenges that she has had to overcome. “Project deadlines, approval from authorities and regulations, new markets, these were the main challenges,” said Rodica when asked to describe a few of the challenges she has faced throughout her career. Rodica continued to explain how she overcame these challenges, “through the involved teams’ efforts and the support received from the leading executives,” emphasizing the significance of teamwork when trying to solve complicated problems. “It’s important to learn to work as a team , having the availability to share, cooperate, and debate in the most constructive and friendly way as much as possible.”
When asked what encourages her as a woman in exchange technology, Rodica said, “Professional, self-denying, progress oriented, and harder working ladies, inspire me, within OPCOM and within the teams from other companies and authorities. I love reading about ladies who have written their own success stories about the exchange technology industry from all across the world. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to some of them during conferences, where very knowledgeable ladies were teaching about new, different technologies. They all have impacted and continue to impact my career. “
On Her Advice for Young Professionals
“Learn all the time, accept new challenges, and try to find the way to turn any challenge into an opportunity,” said Rodica when asked what advice she would give to young professionals who want to work in the technology industry. “Enjoy the experiences happening around you. Even if someone has the opposite point of views, analyze and consider them in depth in order to a form a strong, substantiated, and educated opinion.”
Being a process, “learning” (to be read “building of a career”) is involving also focus on goals. It is important to not forget that there are details that can be hidden by issues not so related with our goals at a first glance, so focusing should not mean focal view only but rather a complex focal and peripheral way of thinking.
Rodica resides in Bucharest with her husband and their two sons. She enjoys baking and cooking and spending time with her family and friends.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.