“There is big support from the whole team and I can feel they trust in me, in my decisions and in my advice. They are a great help and without them, it would not be impossible to reach our targets” ~ Adria Mallada.
I‘ve been given the task to interview one of my own bosses. This may sound like a daunting task to most, but Adria is an easy-going and friendly guy, so fortunately this feels more like friends catching up over a quick coffee. He comes from Barcelona, Spain and he’s the type of person that you’ll immediately spot in a room – he’s outgoing and connects with people easily. He specialises in Sports Science, which allows him to become a P.E teacher or a sports scientist. Yet, he has chosen a different path on becoming a project manager.
Of course, I had to ask him what his favourite sport is, and without hesitation he said basketball. There’s no surprise there, as Adria has always been linked to this sport from all points of view: firstly as a player, then as a referee and now working behind the scenes at the LBA head office. For him, basketball is a dynamic sport that reaches all levels and ages, and most importantly it is a team sport, as the strong bonds of respect, teamwork, and friendship between the team players are very strong. During his teenage years, he very much enjoyed playing basketball but later on, a professional referee recommended him to become a referee as he saw the “potential in him” and since then, he has been more involved in the sport. At first, it was a hobby for him but later on, it became more of a job status and a responsibility. To this day he’s still refereeing, and that has allowed him to see basketball from another perspective and in a more panoramic view. As he describes, “it makes you realise more on the little details that are happening around, not only in the court but also, it became beneficial in my working life”.
His inspiration for wanting to work in a management role within the sports sector was during his university years. Whilst studying, he was intrigued by the operational sides of the sports industry, particularly in business and sports management. Adria explains, “when I had the opportunity to choose my path within my Sports Science degree, I chose to study management, once I understood and experienced the function of management, I knew it was ideal for me.”
Adria describes his job as a role that allows him to touch on a breadth of areas within the LBA and manages multiple projects, where no one day is the same. Adria revels in the challenge, and finds that it plays to his strengths, since he’s adaptable, enjoys learning new things, and staying well connected with the whole team. He states “there is big support from the whole team and I can feel they trust in me, in my decisions and in my advice. They are a great help and without them, it would be impossible to reach our targets”. He mentions that his greatest satisfaction at the LBA is knowing that the whole team is committed and trust in him – and that feeling is certainly mutual.
Adria’s experience here at the LBA’s head office has been very rewarding and as the Project Manager of LBA, it’s given him the opportunity to show his personality and how he deals with the projects. But of course, like any other profession, it has its own challenges. Taking on the Project Manager role is a particularly demanding one, with managing multiple tasks at once and many short-notices demands. It can be frustrating at times – for example, if an official is needed at the last minute, Adria says “it always puts me in a complicated situation as you have to put aside the current work that you were doing, and then, to only focus on the issue. We always want to try to help as much as possible, so we find ourselves in situations in which we have to solve it in a very short period of time.” It’s crucial for him to manage not only his short-term and long-term objectives, but also to keep the wider basketball community and their needs in mind as a charity.
It can be frustrating at times, since you can feel you’re being pulled in multiple directions at once, and you need to learn to prioritise and delegate where necessary. Adria says “There are always unforeseen events, it is something that eventually will happen to all of us… I always try to see it in a positive way and most importantly I learn from my mistakes.” His positive attitude and determination are characteristics that are beneficial to his role and are characteristics that we value as an organisation.
There is no doubt, that Adria feels he has made the right decision to apply for the Project Management role at the LBA. What he finds the biggest challenge is also the source of his biggest satisfaction, as he finds a sense of achievement through reaching the daily goals. Not only that, he feels having this experience at a company like the LBA makes it that much more valuable. In his opinion, he feels the LBA is a company that is fully committed to the young people of London, not only through making basketball available to them, but also through giving them work opportunities to give them the confidence and experience to kick-start the career. This gives Adria the opportunity to work with like-minded people, and when I asked him about his feeling on the LBA’s philosophy of working as a team, he adds, “for me, the most satisfying part is being involved in a good team and LBA certainly guarantees that feeling.”
Written by Veronica Lopez.