Project Management Central

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Topics: Career Development
Recent MBA Graduate- Coming from a financial background having a hard time breaking into PM
Network:1

I worked as an implementation specialist for 7 years at a payroll company. Typically we worked with PM's and I became interested in the role. When I began graduate courses I decided to make project management my concentration. Now that I've graduated I am having the hardest time breaking into the field with just implementation experience and a masters with the PM concentration. Can anyone point me in the right direction of breaking in?
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Network:501



Rachele,

I would suggest attending your local chapter of PMI. This will put you direct contact with other PMs in your local community. Working within the group will help them learn from you and you from them. In addition, you will differentiate yourself as a person who is active in the community. They may have some open positions for you with their organizations or create one. Once they see your passion and your contribution to the community you will be on your way! It only takes one small step into helping your local chapter and then you'll be on your way. Also, you may consider contacting a recruiter that specializes in Project Management. I wish I knew somebody in Baltimore, but I don't sorry :)
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1 reply by John Farlik
Dec 06, 2018 12:54 PM
John Farlik
...
Great news!
Network:1

Thank you so much. I guess i had the right thought in mind, I joined the local chapter right before I sent this message.
Network:501



Dec 06, 2018 12:48 PM
Replying to John Farlik
...
Rachele,

I would suggest attending your local chapter of PMI. This will put you direct contact with other PMs in your local community. Working within the group will help them learn from you and you from them. In addition, you will differentiate yourself as a person who is active in the community. They may have some open positions for you with their organizations or create one. Once they see your passion and your contribution to the community you will be on your way! It only takes one small step into helping your local chapter and then you'll be on your way. Also, you may consider contacting a recruiter that specializes in Project Management. I wish I knew somebody in Baltimore, but I don't sorry :)
Great news!
Network:14727



Within the company you work for, and regardless of your job role, try and get involved in any project and in any capacity, that will be the most common way in. Also take a look at professional qualifications such as the CAPM or later on the PMP.
Network:58



I also have a strong financial background, and as a PM it has served me very well in project management. It's a skill set many PMs do not have, and one in which I think will be the future of Project Management.

Since your Master's degree concentration is project management, you already have a great foundation - refer to the PMBOK for more clarification (if necessary). PMP certification will help also.

Overall, having 7 years (financial) experience is really valuable. I would suggest aligning that experience into project management (phases or techniques).

For example (and my strategy as a former Financial Analyst):
(1) Asking question to understand the ask/business requirements = your "Business Case"
(2) Analyzing information/data = "Benefits Realization"
(3) Interpreting information = "Project Initiation"
(4) How your interpretation is translated into action(s) = "Defining Scope"
(5) Implementing (actions/recommendations/etc) = "Monitoring & Controlling"
(6) Completing the work = "Closing" out your project.

If you can do this and (work on) speak the same language as PMs, I don't see any additional steps being necessary with your strong implementation background.

You can do it & best of luck!
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1 reply by Rachele McPherson
Dec 10, 2018 1:43 PM
Rachele McPherson
...
Thank you so much. That is beyond helpful. Much appreciated
Network:1

Dec 10, 2018 1:39 PM
Replying to LaVaris Johnson
...
I also have a strong financial background, and as a PM it has served me very well in project management. It's a skill set many PMs do not have, and one in which I think will be the future of Project Management.

Since your Master's degree concentration is project management, you already have a great foundation - refer to the PMBOK for more clarification (if necessary). PMP certification will help also.

Overall, having 7 years (financial) experience is really valuable. I would suggest aligning that experience into project management (phases or techniques).

For example (and my strategy as a former Financial Analyst):
(1) Asking question to understand the ask/business requirements = your "Business Case"
(2) Analyzing information/data = "Benefits Realization"
(3) Interpreting information = "Project Initiation"
(4) How your interpretation is translated into action(s) = "Defining Scope"
(5) Implementing (actions/recommendations/etc) = "Monitoring & Controlling"
(6) Completing the work = "Closing" out your project.

If you can do this and (work on) speak the same language as PMs, I don't see any additional steps being necessary with your strong implementation background.

You can do it & best of luck!
Thank you so much. That is beyond helpful. Much appreciated

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