Project Management

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Topics: Information Technology, Legal Project Management, Organizational Project Management
Newbie needing advice where to start
I'm a pure newbie to the PM field. During my major in Information Systems, I took 3 PM classes and fell in love with PM. I have only worked as a pizza delivery driver. I have no certs, yet. Where do I start my PM career, Administrative Assistant?
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There are lots of options, some more useful or available than others, depending upon your situation.

Admin Assistant is certainly one such option. PM Assistant, Junior PM, PM at a startup are possibilities too.

If you're working in any field at the moment, there might be opportunities to do some amount of project management, even small projects might be useful. Ideally you want projects that have something to manage beyond you and a few tasks. Multiple people, multiple tasks, dependencies, costs, time, etc. Managing within constraints can develop the PM muscle.

If such isn't available (or not of interest/value), then look for opportunities elsewhere, e.g. volunteer as a PM or PM-assistant, set up a home project (e.g. renovate your kitchen), look at job boards for PM roles that match your experience, check with the PM teachers at your university/college for work they can suggest.

If you're so inclined, work on the theoretical - take something you know something about (e.g. rewiring your house, building a rocket, or buying a house) and map it out in a plan/schedule, seek input, refine, repeat. You can always seek help on these forums.

Get training on common tools and processes - e.g. MS Office, MS Project, Trello, Jira, etc.

Look into certification.

Good luck.
Joshua -

I would add just a few, to the many good suggestions given by Robert.

Try to find some Project coordinator jobs for short / long-term.
Do some volunteering as PM assistant through local PMI chapters.
Get yourself trained in MS Project, Primavera tools - through self-study courses/videos online.
Many of us worked our way up to a PM role. Since you have an IT degree, you may have to take a role that gets you in the door and then offer to assist the PMs in addition to your duties.
I actually started out my PM career with no experience but also coming from a MIS degree. I actually took a PMP course my local Workforce office offered and I was hooked.
This is probably the most asked question I have received from mentees and I've never really managed to come up with a solid answer. Mostly because there are so many possibilities that all depend on your environment. I worked my way into the PM and BA professions from totally unrelated jobs i.e. not jobs that would find in the normal career path of either PM or BA. Feedback I've always received is that it is quite difficult getting an entry level job without any experience but I suppose it would be dependent on your situation. If your company has an establish career path for PM then it is easier for you to identify what you need to do to get onto thie path. Good luck.
I started my path in Business Analysis, a couple of years learning how to define a problem and then solving it, I also think today developing soft skills, human relationships is very important in the PM World. There are many free podcast through which you can find and learn from experienced people, follow those who have topics that interest you the most. In the end for a project manager learning many things is always a must. Currently, project management is very broad and everyone should have a bit of project management skills in any work they perform.
I began from retail and moved into IT as a developer while also doing some freelance work. I then moved into an analyst role and the rest is history.

You can look to get into IT with your degree. Though no practical experience yet, take advantage of your degree and show them the quality of the individual behind it; initiative, motivated, great communication, driven, intelligent, inquisitive, etc. They would like to hear of your aspirations to continue with your career, that you have goals and are not simply looking to 'get a job'. These are extremely important factors to a hiring manager.

Also, even look to your local PMI Chapter. Go to some gatherings. Network. Talk to others about your goals and aspirations. Ask questions. You never know, there are certainly opportunities to enter the field as a coordinator or Jr, as others mentioned.

Good luck!

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