Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Second Individual Career Session

I have had my individual career session this afternoon. I handed him a copy of my career profile and individual development plan outlining my decision to take the two project management certification exams. The first one was the Certified Associate Program Manager (CAPM) was the lower-level one and I will take it in June. I decided to take it because at $225 it was $180 cheaper than the Project Management Professional at $405. I didn’t know the test’s format so taking the CAPM made more sense because once I knew what to expect, I’d register for the PMP. Moreover, during last week’s PMP exam prep course one of my classmates was audited while another was denied. Attaining CAPM certification eliminated either situation from happening to me because Project Management Institute cannot disqualify my application.

I told him about how receiving these licenses all but guaranteed a promotion at Census because last year when I interviewed for several positions, I would had received the job had I obtained either CAPM or PMP certification. In addition, obtaining a position qualified me for the Leaders Development Program. I informed the counselor that my mentor and other graduates received another promotion after completing this program. Ultimately, becoming a Senior Executive Series was my goal. It was interesting because when I told him about the three career paths that were my foci the counselor commented how could he help? That astounded me and I answered that I felt the need to bring something to the table. After all my career was my responsibility to navigate. I just needed some feasibility tests. The hardest thing for me was decided whether or not to use my third and final career session in August or immediately after Labor Day or wait until December.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Studying for my CAPM and PMP

With finals over with, I am reinvigorated and ready to study for my Certified of Associate Project Manager (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) exams this summer. I have enrolled in online classes since last April. Currently I am enrolled in USDA Graduate School's PMP exam prep evening course which has exposed me to a real certified instructor. I like the face-to-face interaction because if I am unsure I can receive immediate feedback. There are no discussion boards and waiting 24 hours for the instructor to post my answer. Furthermore, the USDA instructor is providing us with tips on creating an application that doesn't get audited. This is huge especially since I have never taken the PMP before, the exam will change on August 31st and I don't need an audit delaying my application. This will force me to take the new PMP exam which is something I truly don't want to do. Though there are only two more weeks remaining in my PMP exam prep, I will have both my Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and study guide books read. They will help me access when I will take the CAPM and PMP exams. I have decided to take the CAPM first since it is $180 cheaper and has the same format as the PMP. If I don't do well on the CAPM, PMI allows two more retakes with the re-examination fee. Moreover, I don't have the pay $405 to fail on the PMP. It is all about knowing the test format before entering the PMP exam. Hopefully, I can take the CAPM by mid-June and the PMP by mid-July.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation week and I would like to thank my econometrics professor and teacher’s assistant for accommodating my homework submissions and teaching me STATA. Though I am an economist and well-versed in SAS, learning another statistical software helps differentiate me from everyone else. This has taken time and effort and I grateful.