December 2017, I have achieved a goal: I have completed the Certificate Program in Project Management at University of California Berkeley Extension. and I have been awarded with distinction.

Beggining of 2014 I decided to enroll to this online program which consists on completing a total of 14 semester units. In my case, I completed 7 courses: three required courses (Project Management, Project Leadership and Building High-Performing Teams, Project Execution and Control), three primary elective courses (Project Scope and Quality Management, Project Schedule and Risk Management, Project Cost and Procurement Management) and one additional elective course (Essentials of Business).

 

Completing the certificate has required me to invest my free time during weekends, bank holidays, etc. and it has even coincide with my moving from Spain to UK and back to Spain. But, does it not taste better when you invest more effort to achieve your goal? During this period I have also been lucky to combine this four years of study with profesional experiences that have helped me to consolidate concepts and motivate myself to keep on.

 

But…why did I choose studying Project Management?

By the end of 2013, when I decided to enroll to the Certificate, I had been working more that eight years and a half as Quality Engineer. By that time, I did not really have experience leading and working for projects/programs as I had worked in functional organisations mainly focused on operations/production. As I had the intention of keeping on my career in a multinational company, I wondered how I could complete my skillset doing something that could add value to my profesional profile but also that resulted interesting for me.

 

After considering different options, I concluded:

  • Project Managers are always in demand, whatever the industry, so it could open the range of profesional options.
  •  I personally enjoy planning and provisioning the work.
  • Having knowledge of Project Management could be useful whatever the area I worked for, position or project size as in any case I could manage teams, deal with stakeholders, or require to manage time, cost and requirements (scope).
  • Working by projects can help me to keep me in a learning courve and develop new skills.

 

And…has it fulfilled expectations?

Just after enrolling to the Certificate, I joined Boeing Defence UK. We worked by programs and I was assigned as Quality Assurance Engineer lead to a program for first time. I was part of a big Project team which met weekly and it helped me to understand the dynamic and how are big projects managed. Moreover, as QA Engineer I lead Projects using the tools I learned at the same time. Then, I realised how these tools and skills could add value to my job and make the difference.

 

Now, having finished the certificate, I have already been working as Quality Director for two years in Habock Service & Support. More than never, I use the tools and knowledge I have acquired and I really defend the need of directors and managers of having at least notions in Project Management as it will reduce chance of improvisations, taking more control of time and budgets but also controlling risks and learning from the organisation experience.

 

For these reasons, I encourage you completing studies about Program Management. In particular, the online Certificate Program at UC Berkeley because of its flexibility, format and mainly the quality of the instructors.

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