Project Management

Building the Practitioner Pipeline: Using Your PM Skills to Mentor Teachers

Keith is an IT project manager in Santa Clarita, California.

In 2015, PMI contacted its Los Angeles Chapter about a local school that was interested in teaching project management. The school just happened to be in my school district—and a few miles from my house in Santa Clarita Valley.

I contacted teacher Summer O’Brien, who was enthusiastic—but also nervous as she had never taught project management and had not worked as a project manager. I assured her that I would support her, and that the whole Chapter was behind her. Summer was driven—even though she was not the subject matter expert, she had all the traits for success.

After she completed her training, she started her first class. She and I used to speak once a month, and after a few months I visited her class. Summer’s class was a mixture of high school seniors and adults who were in job transition. The mix was very dynamic; I could see there was a great opportunity for different groups to learn from each other.

I engaged the audience to share their thoughts, questions or concerns on what they had learnt so far about project management. This forum allowed the group to start asking about the role and responsibility of project managers in real life; they asked many questions on how to break into the industry if they were transitioning or leaving high school.

Our chapter has a community dinner meeting in Santa Clarita Valley every other …

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