Interview with Caroline Mills
Caroline Completed 7 Courses and Earned a Master's Certificate in Project Management
Position: Project Manager
Company: Wolters Kluwer (UK) Ltd
Team: Variety of internal Projects, with varying numbers of internal staff on each project.
Types of projects managed: Various internal IT projects from complex implementations to operations projects focussed on Customer Service Excellence and product upgrade/enhancement projects.
Courses that Caroline completed to earn her Master's Certificate
- Managing Projects
- Scheduling and Cost Control
- Risk Management
- Contract Management Principles & Practices
- Negotiation Skills for Project Managers
- Business Process Analysis, Innovation & Redesign
- Financial Management for Project & Contract Managers
See all certifications offered by ESI in collaboration with George Washington University.
Why did you decide to pursue the Master's Certificate in project management?
The primary reason I chose to pursue the Master’s Certificate was to provide me with the training I needed to complete in order to apply to take the PMP® exam and I viewed this as a focussed way to do this. The other reason was being very early in my career as a Project Manager I wanted to ensure I had a full understanding and knowledge of the key tools and techniques I would need to be effective in my career.
What part of the ESI classroom experience did you like best?
I found discussions I had with other delegates on the courses fascinating. It was great to be able to share experiences with others from other industries working on all kinds of projects and I was able to learn from them. Not only that but I found all the course material well structured and it has proved hugely useful for reference in my day to day job.
How have you applied what you’ve learned at ESI to your day-to-day job?
Since completing the courses I have used almost all of the tools and techniques I learned during the courses. One of the key things I have found useful is my ability to effectively identify and manage project risks as well as seizing opportunities as they arise. I’ve also found earned value a highly valuable tool, particularly in terms of my project Status Reporting.
What are the benefits of having a Master's Certificate in Project Management?
The key benefits I have found are that it’s provided me with invaluable tools and techniques I need to be able to work effectively as a project manager. Not only that but having completed so many courses with a widely recognised firm has allowed me fast track my career in Project Management and demonstrates not only that I am committed to my own professional development but also have knowledge of the latest practices.
What are some of the lessons that you have learnt while working on projects?
One of the key things I have learnt is the importance of effectively managing stakeholders. It’s mostly about communication and ensuring an effective communications plan is implemented and a thorough stakeholder analysis completed. I have also found that Project Management is also primarily about managing risks, I’ve learned to view risks as positive and negative types of risk and that has allowed me to optimise opportunities that have arisen during the project lifecycle.
Would you recommend ESI’s project management programme to others? And why?
I would definitely recommend the Master’s Certificate to others. All the trainers were helpful and explained concepts clearly and in a structured format. The training materials have proved invaluable to me. It’s great that there are a variety of courses to choose from covering the various aspects of Project Management, the Master’s programme is great whether you are maintaining your PDUs for your Professional accreditation, completing the training required to take the PMP® exam or merely wishing to brush up on your skills and learn some useful tools and techniques.
Why did you decide to become PMP® certified?
I wanted to gain a globally recognised credential that would demonstrate that I am aware of the latest practices in Project Management and assure potential future employers of the quality of my competence and capability as a professional Project Manager.
Do you have any further comments you would like to add?
Being very early in my career I was slightly concerned that I may feel ‘out of my depth’ on some of the courses I took. However, this was not the case at all, I learnt so much not only from my peers on the courses but importantly from the course content and the helpful and very approachable trainers. I found that I could also offer valuable input to the course. I found that my ‘account manager’ was very supportive and helpful and importantly stayed in touch with me to discuss my options, particularly as I was considering taking my PMP® exam.
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