Name: Najma Small
Project Management Credential: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
1st PM Position: Assistant Project Manager, Quality Plus Contracting Company Limited – engineering, construction, and design company, located in Kingston, Jamaica.
Faith Step: In 2013, after attaining my Certified Associate in Project Management® certification, my main focus was to get a job in that field so that I could jump right into that career. My then place of work had no official projects working on, separate and apart from small staff and sale events, which of course I played a part in the planning of a few. Then in 2015, I decided that I would be willing to shadow a professional in the field on a part-time basis, voluntarily. I sent in my proposal to various places but something better came up for one. An opportunity came whereby they needed another resource to help manage a project they took on and so I was considered. The rest they say is history, or in my case, is still being unfolded.
The challenge I faced and where faith came in, was that I had to choose between my then stable, secure and familiar job and an unfamiliar job which possibly would only have the same duration as the project. It took much prayer, pro and con analysis, and talks with mentors (those in the field and otherwise) for me to take the leap. The things that stood out for me was thinking how rewarding the project management profession is and can be for me. I also understood that it is not only employed in one company, industry or country but is used everywhere throughout the world. Those things gave me the confidence and push I needed in making my decision. It is and continues to be an unregrettable experience.
Getting Qualified: After realizing that Project Management is a growing, demanding and very rewarding field, I began searching for an institution that could effectively and efficiently train me for this new skill. I came across Project Management Global Institute – PMGI – a globally approved institution by PMI®, USA. Their package and profile gave no room for doubt in my mind to proceed with this institute. Classes were eye-opening. The facilitators were excellent and experts in the field. Assignments were time-consuming, but of course, this was only just a reflection of how it is in the real world of project management. It was then I understood that this was their strategy – real life learning tools and projects with real life deliverables.
Approaching the end of my studies, I realized that I had made the best decision in choosing PMGI. After such hard work and commitment in doing the course, a ceremony is held and they recognize you for this. I’ve walked away feeling confident to take on any project and this is coming from someone who was a complete virgin to project management. Also, the facilitators will still make themselves available to help however they can on this career development. PMGI’s teaching strategy had given me the boost and confidence to take the CAPM® exam, which I passed, of course. My resume as never looked better. Thanks to PMGI for helping me acquire this skill.
Research: I consider it very important to gain knowledge about any new industry you are in. Although the principles and concepts of project management apply to any industry, it is beneficial to have the basic knowledge of the field you are working in. One of the projects I worked on has a lot to do with underwater piping installations for oils and petroleum. YouTube videos became one of my great teachers along with texts and literature on construction project management. For one, these resources helped me to identify the various factors that can cause project delays specific to construction, whether claimable or not. Frequent visits to the PMI® website had provided me with useful information and also communication with seasoned professionals.
Advancement: Certainly, having a CAPM® certification is not the end for me. Attaining the PMP® is within my view and will be realized within the year. I have also benefited from the sharing of information and experiences of other persons in the profession.
Advice: For those considering entering the field, or those who are young in it, complete a project management course and get the certification. Jump at any chance to work on a project so as to get the experience. You will be rewarded and will be so much appreciated when leading a project, especially when other team members do not have that valuable skill and knowledge that you have.