Categories: career development
Drawn to project management because of his love of learning, Stephen Robin is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Project Management in Trinidad and Tobago. Here, he shares his thoughts on building a career in the profession.
Why have you decided to study project management? In 2018, after completing my A-levels, I chose Cipriani College for tertiary education after a rigorous process where I gathered information on every higher institute in the country. I was originally pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health and Safety. What caused me to change career paths and pursue a Bachelor of Science in Project Management was an excellent mathematics tutor who was also an electrical engineer with project management experience. He presented a solid case to pursue the project management degree. I decided to enroll full-time in the four-year degree program. The high caliber of lecturers by the project management faculty ignited a fire in me, and I developed a passion for the field.
What do you love most about project management? The learning aspect. Project management is a good fit for a lifelong learner like me because every project is unique, and the field is continuously evolving and changing.
What do you find most challenging about starting your career? Currently, my biggest challenge is gaining work experience locally as the offering of project internships and project apprenticeships are severely lacking in comparison to other fields. This can also be attributed to the fact that the project management maturity model is low in both the private and public sectors.
Project management in my country is not as developed as the United States and Canada. I am too impatient to wait until the country catches up in sense. I am putting greater efforts to go above and beyond career-wise and be ahead of the curve. There is still so much to learn, experience to gain, and people to network with.
What's your proudest achievement in the world of project management so far? I was a key member of the first volunteer project undertaken by my local PMI chapter, which involved meeting with local secondary school students and introducing them to project management fundamentals and to the idea of project management as a career path. It was noted by the vice president of volunteerism and members of the project team — all mature project professionals — that my ideas and efforts were instrumental to the success of the project. I was extremely elated.
What's the best piece of advice you've received or can share? There are many, but a simple tidbit I received, “Just keep on evolving, keep on growing, keep on chipping away, and take life by the horns.”
How has PM.com helped you in your career development? Too many ways to count, but the core areas in networking with like-minded people, the community aspect that fosters growth and development, building knowledge in the professional domain, and most importantly, aided in the development of my career goals.
What hobbies do you have outside work? Calisthenics, Pilates, gardening, reading and volunteering.
Thank you, Stephen, for sharing your journey. And good luck!
To connect with Stephen Robin, visit his ProjectManagement.com profile.
This interview was conducted by Kelley Hunsberger.