Teaching Project Management: How I Got Started

PMI Northeast Indiana Chapter

I’m sure I didn’t begin teaching project management at the university level in a traditional fashion, or perhaps even in a recommended fashion. But, it worked for me.

The Backstory
We had invited the chancellor of Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne to be a speaker at our local chapter meeting (PMI-NEIC), and he agreed. At that time, IPFW was undergoing a large expansion. He was a very dynamic speaker and kept everyone engaged.

At the end of the meeting, I wandered up to him and said: “We are essentially in the education business ourselves. We want to educate people in our area about the science and art of project management so they can be better employed. Can I stop by your office and talk to you about it?” His reply: “Sure!”

I showed up at his office a few days later and described what Purdue and our chapter could do together—as a joint effort. I also had my resume with me. It was a three-way sale: I was selling the university on the PMI chapter and the university on me. He said, “Let me set up a few meetings for you.”

I now know that when you arrive at a meeting with a department chair with an invitation from the chancellor, people listen to you. This isn’t to say it wasn’t a good idea, and it’s also not to say I wouldn’t start at the top and work down again; but I might be a tad more…

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"All generalizations are dangerous, even this one."

- Alexandre Dumas

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