Spotlight on you!

Niki Panteli

When did you graduate from EUC / CC?
I graduated in the Summer of 1990 with a BBA, Bachelors in Business Administration, from the then known as Cyprus College.

Would you share with us a highlight of your university experience? Is there something that you will always remember?
The whole experience at Cyprus College was a highlight for me. Studying at Cyprus College was so different to being a student at high school. Above all, there was the opportunity to meet people from different countries which I found enlightening and an eye-opener. This first exposure has enabled me to develop an appreciation for different cultural backgrounds and to value people for who they are, regardless of their religion, skin colour and ethnicity.

How did your career progress and what position do you hold now?
After graduating from Cyprus College, I went to the UK to pursue a one-year Postgraduate studies in Management at Warwick Business School. My initial plan at that time was to return to Cyprus and develop a career in management consultancy. However, during that year I realized that I had a particular interest in doing research. I therefore applied to do a Doctorate at Warwick Business School that enabled me to study the relationship between Information Technology and Organisations.
Following my doctoral studies, I worked at the University of Glasgow as a researcher and thereafter at Aberdeen University as a lecturer. I worked in Cyprus for a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Cyprus. Between 2001 and 2015 I was at the University of Bath, initially as a lecturer, then a Senior Lecturer and then a Reader in Information Systems. In September 2015 I joined Royal Holloway University of London as a Professor of Digital Business at the School of Management.
As a research active academic, I have continued to do research in the field of Information Technology and Organisations with a focus on digital business transformation. Digital technologies constantly raise new research questions about the way we communicate, interact, innovate and organize our work and organisations. I find this field fascinating and I have developed expertise and scholarship in virtual teams and virtual collaborations.

What would your peers and friends say your strengths and weaknesses are?
I hope that they say that I always endeavor to see the positive of every situation even in the most difficult and embarrassing situations. As a weakness, they will probably say that I have a tendency to overinterpret events.

Tell me about a person or an event that has markedly changed you.
My son has certainly changed me in many ways. He made me reconsider my priorities, and to enjoy the simple things in life such as going down the slide and running around the park. Also, the experience of being with my dad during the last few days of his life pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and to make major decisions which have had a positive impact on my career and my identity in general.

Have you ever tried something and failed, but were glad you did it?
I like trying new things mainly sports related though I am not a sports person nor will ever be. I also tried several types of dance over the years and though I never progressed beyond the beginners’ level (apart from salsa!), I met many interesting people along the way, had lots of fun and made several new friends. I do not consider any of these things and many more that I tried as failures. Failure is subjective. It is often used with a negative connotation but it can have a very positive impact on our attitude to life especially if we see the opportunity (and there are always opportunities) to learn something from it.

What advice do you have for young graduates?
I will advise young graduates and graduates of any age in fact, to never stop learning, exploring and being creative. A university degree is just the beginning of many more developmental opportunities both professionally and personally.

Would you like to share any thoughts with fellow alumni?
I would say the following: Cherish the alumni community that the university has developed and use this for growing your social capital, one of the most important forms of capital that we possess as human beings.

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