Meet The Interchangers: Sandra Pittaro
As Interchange’s Program Management powerhouse, Sandra is the omniscient figure, who keeps a watchful eye over all of our projects.
With her PRINCE 2 qualification in hand, she ensures that everything keeps moving along according to plan – nothing can slip past her all-seeing eye.
Sandra brings a strong sense of accountability to all that she does. If you need something done, rest assured, it will be done, to the highest quality and at the speed of light.
For anyone who’s ever met her, you would know that you will most definitely hear Sandra before you will see her. Her beaming smile and wicked sense of humour keep the team entertained, no matter what the circumstances are.
We were lucky enough to steal a moment of Sandra’s time to discuss her favourite family traditions, how she arrived at Interchange and what she is most passionate about.
What is your background/past working experience?
I started in the finance industry, working for a small brokerage company. This role was particularly integral to my professional growth as I was kind of a Jill of all trades while I was there. I then worked in the publishing and media industry for a couple of years, but was always drawn to the people side of things. So, for the last 14 years, I’ve been working in the consulting sector and haven’t looked back since.
What lead you to work at Interchange?
As they say, it’s all about who you know! I first came across Interchange when a friend recommended that I apply for a 9-month project role with the company that her sister had recently founded.
The company and the work they were doing sounded super interesting and right up my alley, so I expressed my interest in the role.
9 months has now turned into almost 6 years and boy, has it been a fun journey so far. The incredible people that I get to work with and the broad, creative projects that I get to work on are certainly what is keeping me here for the foreseeable future.
What are you working on right now?
Amongst managing a few key projects, I recently became a Prince 2 Practitioner, so I’m currently working on refining and building our project management processes.
Sandra with her PRINCE 2 qualification.
What does the flexible work environment mean to you?
Being one of the only team members based in Sydney, working flexibly has always been a massive drawcard for me. I feel empowered to manage my own work around the things that are most important in my life.
It also allows me to be present and support my family without the pressure of a long commute – which Sydney-siders know all about!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I’m a very social being, so my favourite thing is catching up with friends and family at new restaurants and bars (pre-COVID times) and having a laugh… Always lots of laughing. It energises my soul!
I’m also a big fan of going to the cinema and watching all kinds of films, whether it be romcoms, action or even foreign films, I like them all.
What are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about Health. I’m a certified Health & Life Coach and there is nothing more rewarding than being able to help someone through a challenging part of their life, or shifting their habits so that they can start living in a better space.
What is your favourite family tradition?
Being of Italian background, everything centres around food! One of my favourite traditions is making the tomato sauce (Salsa) around Christmas time.
It’s a big production of cutting and boiling tomatoes and then bottling up a whole years’ supply of the most amazing pasta sauce! My job is to put the basil in the bottles and keep the production line moving.
When the sauce has all been made, my final job is to clean everyone’s jewellery with the tomato acid and an old toothbrush. They come out brand spanking new!
When people come to you for help, what do they normally want help with?
I find that most people come to me when they need a sounding board or when they want stuff done.
I’m super organised and am known to be a ‘doer’. I think my logical approach helps people get back on track. Most times people want me to hold them accountable for the things that they need to do or at times, offer a different perspective on things.
What are some events/people in your life that have helped shape who you are?
When I was 11, I was in an accident with fire which resulted in burns to about 30% of my body.
I was young, but it absolutely shaped who I am today. It has taught me to be resilient and not sweat the small stuff in life. It was a very painful experience, but one that I’m forever grateful for.
Where did you grow up and what is special about it?
I grew up in the inner west of Sydney, in a small pocket called Russell Lea.
It was the kind of place you could ride your bike around the streets, play soccer and cricket in the cul-de-sac’s – and as long as you were home when the street lights came on…everything was sweet.
As an adult, I certainly appreciate how lucky I was to have grown up in such a beautiful area. I feel particularly grateful for the spectacular sunsets that I get to see on a daily basis, down by the local bay.