Archive for February, 2011
I remember when I first graduated college, I thought I could get any job I wanted. So when I graduated instead of getting a job right away I decided to travel. I visited over 7 countries in the span of 2 years, everything was great.
Then I had a reality check. I felt like I had spent 5 years of my life trying to get my bachelors and here I was stuck at a low paying job as a cake decorator. How could this be happening to me all I needed to be successful in life was a good college education. I quickly learned that it takes more than a degree to get your dream job. Many employers hire according to work experience.
All through college I had been so busy taking a full load of classes and working to pay the bills that I never took the time apply for internships or volunteer opportunities that could add value to my degree.
At first I took an entry level position with a large corporation in hopes of moving up fast. Then the economy tanked and everyone around me was getting laid off. I was to the point to where I was just glad I had a job. At first I didn’t really care about the quality of my work. This was just a job to get me by.
A year passed by and nothing. Every time I had an interview to move up within the company I made it to the final 3 choices but someone else always had more experience than me. I evaluated my situation and realized how can someone else want to hire me when my current quality of work is not what it can be. I wasn’t proving to anyone that I could do this simply entry level position why should I be promoted.
I learned form some of great coworkers to always give 100% at any job you do because past experiences will stay with you. When future employers ask for references. I reevaluated my current position and realized what I did and didn’t like about the job. The job was monotonous and some of the people around me had negative attitudes that I had begun to pick up. To fix this situation I decided to sit away from negative coworkers and volunteer for committees offered within the department.
At first it was hard here I was doing all this extra work and it felt like I was getting nothing for it. I had been in this position for 2 years with out a raise do to the economy. This year we got lucky and I was so excited I was getting a raise but when I found out how much my raise was I felt like I had been slapped in the face. I was upset for the rest of the day. The next day I new that the only way to move up and get where I wanted to be in my career was to continue to work hard. Eventually my hard work paid off and I did receive a promotion within the department.
Remember even though your current job isn’t giving you the experience you need talk to your boss and see if there’s anything you can do help that may look good on your resume in the future. Taking up committees working in groups and growing projects has helped me gain some valuable tips for my career aspirations in project management.
What would you do if your manager told you to handle a million dollar project?
The most money I’ve ever handled for a project is $25 dollars a month. Taking care of a million dollar project could be overwhelming in this situation but for me its a challenge, a thrill. I like to learn by getting my hands dirty and learning from my mistakes. With a Million $$$ project there is no room for failure either the projects a success or your out. There’s also no time for mistakes. Large projects come with lots of responsibility.
In a situation like this I would use all the resources around me to assure the success of the project. Perhaps the most important skill to manage a Million $$$ project would be great communication. Luckily some of the pressure would be lifted off me by my team members. I would tern to them for support and direction. Great communication is key among team members to assure the success of any project.
Next I would make sure that everything was under control. Timeliness were on track and scope was being met. Organization and tracking is key to the success of large projects. Never ever weight for the last minute to complete a task . Also make sure you prioritize task according importance and due date. A good way to keep track of a projects progress is by building a ghant chart to outline the different tasks and due dates.
Finlay any project with great leadership and collaboration will definitely be a success.
Project Management Institute (PMI) offers varies certification programs for aspiring project managers of all skill levels. The program currently has five certifications that are designed to demonstrates both your commitment to the profession and your expertise through education, and experience. These programs have been developed by project managers to ensure the projects you handle are a success.
There is a great demand for knowledgeable project managers. Each year various industry’s spend trillions of dollar on projects. Following are some of the certifications offered to prepare you for these opportunities:
1. PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) – demonstrates competence in assessing project risks, mitigating threats and capitalizing on opportunities.
2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) – entry-level certification if you’re new to project management, or still figuring out your career path.
3. Program Management Professional (PgMP) – designed for those who manage multiple, complex projects to achieve strategic and organizational results.
4. PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) – specialty credential for practitioners who want to focus on developing and maintaining project schedules.
5. Project Management Professional (PMP)- perfect if you have demonstrated experience and competence in leading project teams.
PMI certification is not a bad idea when trying to get a start in the world of Project Management. Project Management is a growing field and the demand for experienced project managers is growing with it as well. However I recommend researching company’s that hire Project Management to see if PMI certification is required. Many company’s may have their own training opportunities. Following are some of the companies that hire Project Managers:
- Microsoft Corporation
- Sun Microsystem
- Cisco Systems
- Apple Computers
- Oracle Corporations
A Project Manager is responsible for managing the resources of large projects ranging from:
1. Managing large Software Development projects
2. Networking projects
3. IT installations or conversions,
4. Any other function in business and technology that require coordination
The Project Manager is responsible for making sure a project is completed upon the decided due date while managing restraints such as time, money, people and materials. The project must then be completed to meet desired expectations.
Project Managers usually use Project Management Software to help keep track of resources and outputs. The software helps document the project objectives, status, time lines and expected outcomes. Software includes:
1. Microsoft Project
2. 24Seven Office
To start understanding project management you first have to lay the foundation. Project management basic principals can be applied to large variety of projects. ‘To begin the team must have good communication in order to meet objectives. Things to take into account when working on a project are the team, activities, resources, financials and the use of project management tools. Inform anyone that may have interest in the project. Encourage and enable the project team while making minor adjusts of project plans, as needed so the scope is not lost. At the end of the project review and report the project performance. Monitor the project once its complete to make sure the full benefits are felt by those it may have affected.
Basic guideline to follow
1. Agree on specifications of the project, scope
2. Plan the project
3. Communicate with team
4. Assign designated tasks to each member
5. Manage and motivate
6. Review project progress
7. Complete project
8. Follow up
What do I mean when I say don’t cut yourself short in the world of Project Management?
When I first noticed my interest in Project Management I had no idea how I would get into the field because I felt like I had no work experience in that area. I had an interview for a product specialist position and to my great surprise when the interviewer got to the question about my experience in project management the interviewer basically skipped it. She simply state you attended the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) and received a degree in business. I simply answered “Yes” and my requirement for project management was fulfilled. I quickly realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t have any experience in project management but that I just hadn’t worn the title. I guess the company I was interviewing for had other UNR students working for them with great project management skills. My association with the University had paid off.
When I got home I started thinking of all the projects I had completed during my time at the University and in my current work position. To graduate with my degree I needed 126 credits and as far back as I can remember pretty much every class required and individual project or a group project. All this time I had been working on a skill and I took it for granted because I was naturally good at it.
Project Management is a very vague term so its very important to do your research before you go in for an interview. I’ve noticed that some project management positions are very technical like something an engineer might take on but there’s also lots of business skills that are required.
Simply remember don’t cut yourself shot. If anyone else has any ideas or would like to share how they gained experience in the field of project management please comment on my blog.
Hello, my name is Marisela Fernandez, I grew up in the small town were there is little to do and lots to explore. Growing up in such a small town made me develop a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures. Since I graduated college I have traveled to over 6 countries. My favorite country is Argentina. I love the outgoing Argentinian culture. I think I developed my love for travel and culture further during my undergrad studies of International Business. When I graduated with my undergrad degree all I wanted to do was travel. After juggling work and school for over 5 years I needed a break. I figured I had the rest of my life to work.
Well here I am 4 years later and I am ready to start doing the research and open opportunities in the field that interest me, Project Management. The economic downturn has hindered my ability to find the job I want. Every time I apply for a job there is always someone who has more experience or connections than me.
My advice to others who might be struggling like me, to get into the field of project management is don’t cut yourself short keep looking and trying. To better my chances of finding the career path I seek I have returned to college and I am working on my Masters of Business Administration (MBA).
I am tired of waiting so today I am starting my blog to write about my personal experience in Project Management as well as to research and learn from others in the field. I hope to build relationships that will lead me in the right direction for my career goals. I have a current job in which I work very hard and have gained many leadership and team building skills that will help me in the future. I look forward to hearing from others that have been in my shoes. I would like to know what you did to get where you are today.