This is the fourth time I receive an invitation to go back to my university, University of West London, and provide a talk to the students of the MSc in Applied Project Management.
I graduated in 2019 after a 2 year part time course – classes every Saturday. Today, the university has stopped the weekend classes, and appears to have increased its international presence. Last week, I went to deliver a talk on Strategy Management and bring a real case scenario to the students. This will help them link theory with practice. There were around 70 students, mostly international, studding Masters in Applied Project Management. This has made me very happy, especially as I see my own university climb up in the rankings of universities in London and in the UK.
The students were very curious and eager to know how they can apply the theory to reality. The module they are studying is Project Strategy. So I joined them to provide some insights on how I work with companies to help them clearly map out and measure their strategies.
What was striking is their curiosity. They were eager to learn and see how they can put their knowledge to practice. Here are the top 5 questions they asked me.
Is it easy to get into your desired field after completing Project Management?
Absolutely YES! Project Management is a skill for life. Once you know the basics, you need experience to learn how best to apply different techniques. Do not be afraid to change sectors with a skillset like project management.
How can I start a career in project management without experience?
Many organisations higher fresh graduates for roles such as Project administrator, or an assistant, or a project specialist. Just keep your search open and accept the job you think will give you the joy to make a difference, and you can grow from there
How has your MSc advanced you in your industry?
Obtaining a Masters degree from a reputable university gives you the academic research behind the tools you used or will be using in your career. If you are studying after gaining some experience, it gives you that stamp of approval. If you are studying straight after your bachelors degree, it gives you the ability to work on case studies that you can relate to once you start your career
How many job rejections did you face?
Applying for jobs is not an easy task. If you are in the market for a job, don’t focus on the rejections. I would ask you, how much time did you spend looking for a job that YOU really want to do and completed your research on the job you wish to have, and catered your CV accordingly?
How different is the theory of Project Management from the practice?
Project Management theory gives you all the tools you need to apply to the project you are working on. You need to understand the context of your project to apply the tools correctly. The more experience you have, the more you will be able to add nuances to the tools the theory give you.
Would you like to hear stories from professionals from around the world? Check my podcast: Rashad in Conversation where I host people who have made a difference in their career and share their success stories and some confessions they share about missteps that happened along the way.
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