International Project Manager

International Project Manager

The position of project manager offers a motivating cross-functional situation in the company. The coordination of the different actors and partners, the definition of objectives and means, the implementation and follow-up of the strategy are all challenges to be taken up. When this role takes on an international dimension, new elements are added to each of these dimensions. Let's take a closer look at the job of International Project Manager. 

Job and mission of the international Project Manager

The fields of intervention of the Project Manger are as extensive as the fields in which he is brought to work. The projects he is in charge of correspond to his fields of expertise and interests, because this function is present in all types of companies and sectors. The Project Manager is called upon to define, implement and manage a project with the aim of obtaining an optimal result in accordance with the business requirements formulated and validated by or for the client. These requirements concern the various facets and transverse criteria of the project : quality, performance, cost, deadline, security, etc.

  • Ensure the functional content of the project 
  • Lead the project 
  • Deploying the project and implementing support actions 
  • Guarantee the best quality, cost and deadline adequacy 
  • Manage resources and service providers

The conduct and management of international projects also imposes numerous challenges, which can, if the Project Manager works on them, turn into real opportunities: 

  • The problems linked to interculturality which can occur in various points of the project: way of working, of communicating, of negotiating, etc.
  • The need to take into account the different time frames: both from a work rhythm point of view and also and especially in relation to the possible time differences between the different partners. 
  • The use of a common language and the possible adaptations to be put in place when it favors communication and the well-being of all partners.

Qualities and skills of the International Project Manager

In addition to the knowledge and skills inherent to project management and the field of application of his mission, the project manager who works on an international scale must have a perfect command of English and possibly another language depending on the different partners involved.

He/she is capable of bridging the gap between distant corporate and/or work cultures by building on certain commonalities and federating each stakeholder around the project. He or she acts as a conductor, able to compose a balanced melody, with a place for every player.

His listening skills, his ability to think of solutions, and his agility to connect different elements and innovate often make all the difference. He is able to maintain the motivation and involvement of each collaborator or partner by creating a proximity via the various modes of communication that best correspond to his mission and the personality of his interlocutors, while working most of the time at a distance.

Education and degree to become an International Project Manager

International Project Manager positions require a Bachelor's degree. Masters courses leading to international project management are available in Business Schools, as well as in Universities. They obviously include a period abroad.

Masters of Science such as the MSc project management or international project management allow students who have graduated in a particular field to acquire expertise in project management.

These Masters are accessible to different types of students: 

  • Graduates in Modern Languages with a major in business life
  • Graduates in management, business project, or any other discipline related to business management
  • Graduates of engineering schools
  • Graduates in cultural projects
  • Graduates of international universities or higher education institutions that award ECTS credits.

Salary and career opportunities in international project management

Salaries for International Project Managers in french companies start at €40k per year and reach €65k per year after several years of experience. These salary ranges depend of course on the type of project and company involved. 

The Project Manager can evolve towards many areas and functions in the company : he/she can take on more and more responsibilities by becoming a Program Manager, a Customer Base Manager, an Operations Manager but also a Consultant.