NAME: Margarita Karagiorgou
BACKGROUND: Secondary School
ACTION/SECTOR: Sciences, Health, Research and Technology, Third Sector
POSITION: President of Executive Board
ORGANIZATION: ΕΕΑΣΚΠ (HATMS)
My Background and Career
I have studied nursing, business administration and information technology. I have worked as a nurse and administrative assistant at Agios Andreas State General Hospital, Patras, Greece. That gave me the chance to come into contact with patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. Offering love and solidarity with my fellow people along with experience in patient care and office organisation and secretarial administration have all contributed to the success of my work as President of the Society of the Hellenic Association for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (HATMS) in West Greece. The fact that my health was threatened when I was affected by multiple sclerosis in 1995 offered me the opportunity to get involved with the Society of HATMS in 1999, help the other members-fellow patients and support the Society in the development of its activities. The Society was founded in 1992. I have been on the board of directors since 1999. The board of directors consists of five regular and five assistant members. The Society has about 250 members.
I always had my family’s full support, understanding and help. My studies in nursing and secretarial administration field and experience in patient care helped me significantly. I lead my life by the motto ‘I offer, therefore I am’. I am optimistic and fair, with good organisational skills and a love for people.
Problems: High transport costs to and from the grounds where the Society’s activities and events take place. Little or no time left to spend with my family; as a result, my husband and mother often take on my share of family commitments too.
Lack of time to fulfill other social responsibilities and pursue personal interests
Among my competences, I am able to learn and put into practice new information in my work. I easily adapt myself to changes. I know and I use the required techniques to do a good job. I am a good communicator. I listen and I pay attention to one’s problems. I like partnership building. In case of arguments I’m looking for peace. I like to negotiate and that everybody end up with satisfaction. I coordinate and motivate the staff. I like to work as a team I schedule activities and organize myself easily. I solve problems and I find solutions. I like to have objectives and to reach my goals. I am able to use one’s experience and advice.
Among my qualities I’m ambitious, active, progressive, talkative, critical, cooperative, persistent, optimistic, innovative, trusting, practical, flexible, confident, open-minded, fast, creative, impatient, far-sighted and democratic.
Hints & Tips
My lucky phrase is “Put aside pitfalls and smile!”
My inspiration: Other voluntary organizations providing services for persons with chronic diseases (cancer, mental disorders, blindness, anemia, paraplegia, physical disability, diabetes), for children with autism and people with special needs in general served as an example.
My advice to other women: Love what you do and let it bring out the best in you! Be optimistic and have faith in your ability to achieve your targets! Be courageous and daring! Overcome obstacles with a ready smile!
There is development taking place today, and furthermore it is sufficiently supported by the state all over Europe and worldwide. Many training and professional specialisation schemes have had a positive effect on entrepreneurship in general and young adults and women’s entrepreneurial skills in particular.
A successful entrepreneur should have a good knowledge of the chosen field as well as the skills and capabilities required in the modern professional environment. Persistence in meeting one’s targets, strength of character and high moral standards are deciding factors.
Funding through programmes should be available and continuous staff training in novel ideas is necessary if a company’s targets are to be reached.
In addition, the quality of the services provided needs to improve, disregarding any difficulties faced with boldness and ambition.