Raluca Han has been part of the AscentCore story from the very beginning and she is a foundational piece of our company. During her professional journey, Raluca nurtured her organizational skills with a passion for empowering teams and helping people grow and develop.
We sat down with her to learn more about the path that led her to AscentCore and the ins and outs of her role as head of business operations.
What path led you to where you are today?
My journey started over 11 years ago, collaborating with the same partners that are leading AscentCore today. When I first started out, I was a little shy but I was determined to succeed in the business operations field. This had always been a field that I found interesting and I knew I wanted to pursue it as my career. Ultimately, I owe my accomplishments and successes to a mix of luck, long hours, and a lot of passion.
What exactly does an operations director do?
The short answer is we wear a lot of different hats. Operations usually involves all activities related to finance, human resources, recruiting and administrative functions. In my role, I think of it as taking care of the day-to-day business of the organization as if it was my own. This approach has helped me a lot with decision making, solving challenges, and finding answers to difficult questions.
Part of my job is also to support various departments and guide them toward efficiency. Our objective is to create the highest level possible of efficiency and transparency within the organization.
What qualities make for a good director of business operations?
In my experience, the person in this role has to have a strong foundation of trust – both trust in themselves and in their team. Strong communications and relational skills are also critical to ensure that all support departments are working well together. And lastly, commitment, accountability, and a results-driven approach will go far in this role.
Working with so many different people across the organization, how do you build long-term rapport?
Everything starts with trust. If you can build that foundation, you’ll have an important key to success in this role. Personally, I’m a reliable person and I also trust the people I work with. I’m confident that business relationships built on trust will last the longest and be the most productive.
What is your take on processes and procedures? Do they actually help or do they cause bottlenecks?
I’ve always disliked bureaucracy, but I do like processes and procedures when they can actually solve a problem, optimize our workload, or simplify our work.
We have a great culture at AscentCore and we have a strong leadership team that I’m very proud of, which helps me implement the best solutions in terms of processes. I like seeing people care about the business and getting involved to gain great results.
What are some helpful insights for someone looking to pursue a career in business operations management?
This role gives you the opportunity to understand how to run a business, keep every stakeholder satisfied, and follow objectives. In five minutes you can play multiple roles and you have to be at your best.
Employee engagement and performance development are very important as well. I like being there for the employees, to be their trusted partner. They are our ambassadors when they leave the office – whether that’s virtually or in-person.
Client satisfaction is another priority, and I’m often offering my support to ensure we’re making our clients happy.
What do you do when you’re not at the office?
I like spending my free time with family and I enjoy travelling, playing sports, reading, and listening to music and podcasts. During the pandemic, I rediscovered painting, which is a hobby I had in childhood. I’ve been painting custom t-shirts which gives me a great balance with my professional life.