We are Symphony: A conversation with Mahshid Mansourian

Valeria Levantino
Communications Manager
Rakuten Symphony
June 7, 2023
minute read

From Iran to Japan to Germany: Mahshid Mansourian, Program Manager at Rakuten Symphony Deutschland, shares her incredible tale of passion and perseverance on the global telecom stage.

Mahshid sightseeing at Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto
Mahshid visiting Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto.

Can you share a bit about your journey to Rakuten Symphony?

Telecom has been my life’s greatest passion. I obtained a degree in Information and Communication Technology from a leading university in Iran. After graduating, I joined Huawei's new grad program. It was an incredible opportunity full of young and motivated people but as a woman in a male-dominated industry and society, I faced some challenges. Despite this, I was determined not to give up. I knew I had something to give to the world of telecom. I just needed the right platform and environment to share it.

When the political situation in Iran made it difficult to find new opportunities, I took a leap of faith and accepted an offer from Nokia to work on an exciting project in Japan. That's where I first discovered Rakuten Symphony. And let me tell you, I was hooked from the start! Their technology and mission to modernize the industry to make connectivity accessible for everyone, no matter where they are? I was ready to jump right in!

I joined Rakuten Symphony in December 2020 and was blown away by the talent and passion of my colleagues. I was quickly given the responsibility of working on a massive project to build Europe’s very first fully virtualized network and when the project officially moved to Germany, I was trusted to be a part of it there too. It wasn't easy - we faced some tough challenges at the start. But we pulled together and we’re going from strength to strength now. We’re proving that Rakuten Symphony truly is a force to be reckoned with.

What does a day in the life of Mahshid look like?

I'm now part of the Portfolio & Project Management team at Rakuten Symphony Deutschland, where I work as a Program Manager for our Cloud business unit. Our team consists of 19 rockstars, and we act as a bridge between our client and our Cloud colleagues in India, Singapore and Japan, all to make sure our current releases meet everyone's needs and requirements.

My day-to-day is essentially about making sure projects run like clockwork. In addition to coordinating with our teammates in India, it involves collaborating with upper management and translating their vision into smaller, more actionable elements so that individual project managers and tech teams can then go off and create the amazing results we need. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy keeping things organized and the momentum going for our clients.

Speaking of clients, 1&1 is a major player for us, and I'm the lucky one who gets to report all the exciting progress we're making. It's a big responsibility, but I thrive on challenges. Every release takes a lot of effort - building, testing and iterating both in Bangalore and Germany, and finally going into production. All in all, it's a challenging but incredibly exciting job, and I'm proud to be part of Rakuten Symphony - we're totally committed to making this one-of-a-kind project a huge success!

What do you like to do in your free time to unwind and take a break from work?

I've started learning German, which has been a fun challenge for me. It's been fascinating to learn a new language and immerse myself in a new culture. In addition to that, I've also started attending yoga classes twice a week. It's been a fantastic way to de-stress and stay active. I've noticed an improvement in my flexibility and overall wellbeing.

But that's not all! I've also decided to challenge myself by trying out bouldering. It's a new experience for me, and I'm afraid of heights, but I'm excited to see how I can face my own fear. I believe it's essential to step out of your comfort zone from time to time and try new things.

Finally, I absolutely love traveling around Europe from my base in Germany. I've been fortunate enough to visit some fantastic countries like the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Poland. It's been an incredible experience to explore different cultures, try new foods and meet new people!

Mahshid at Heidelberg, Germany
Mahshid in Heidelberg, Germany.

Where do you draw your motivation and inspiration from?

As an Iranian woman, I find endless inspiration from the strong and resilient women in my country. Despite facing countless challenges and obstacles, Iranian women continue to fight for their rights and freedoms every single day. Their courage and bravery in speaking out against injustice is a constant reminder to me that if we want to achieve something in life, we have to be willing to fight for it. It's important to remember that growth and progress often come from confidence and discomfort. So, if you're feeling stuck or unsure of what to do next, remember to do what might feel most uncomfortable. You have the power in yourself to achieve anything you set your mind to.

If you could give one piece of advice to women who are interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry, what would it be?

It's no secret that the tech industry has historically been male-dominated. In recent years, we've seen more and more women entering the field, which is fantastic! But we still have a long way to go in terms of creating a supportive, inclusive and equitable community. My advice: never stop learning and don’t be afraid to seek advice from a mentor or a fellow woman on your team. When we teach one another how to be resilient and not be silenced, we can create a stronger and more vibrant community for all women in tech.

What are your personal future goals here at Rakuten Symphony and beyond?

Personally, I'm really interested in deepening my expertise in Open RAN and cloud-native technologies. These are the future and I believe that staying on top of the latest trends and innovations is the key to a successful long-term career.

But it's not just about my own success - I also want to be a role model for other women and show that anything is possible with hard work, dedication and the right people around you. In Rakuten Symphony, we’re not only rewriting the rules of the telecom world, but also shaping a future of empowerment that keeps lifting women higher up.

And speaking of growth, we're always on the lookout for talented and motivated individuals to join our team and grow with us. If you're interested in being a part of a dynamic and forward-thinking company, then Rakuten Symphony might be the perfect fit for you! We're not looking for someone who just wants a regular job - we want people who are eager to learn and passionate about new technologies. And with a global team that spans across multiple countries and cultures, you'll have the opportunity to connect with amazing people from all around the world.

So what are you waiting for? If you're ready to take on new challenges and be a part of something bigger, then come join us at Rakuten Symphony! We can't wait to meet you. And feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn – I’d love to connect!

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