Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review 2014

This year has seen the greatest change since arriving in Washington, DC. I have transitioned from the public to private sector and am studying for my third project management certification. In addition, I have applied for more prestigious fellowships and positions testing me. Even through the adversity, I refuse to remain stagnant else I would die personally and professionally. Although the change has been great, I have matured emotionally to handle everything coming my way. In 2015, I see myself earning my PMI-PBA certification and most importantly, experiencing the biggest and brightest future ever!

Keeping At It Through and Through

I am thankful for enrolling in the Udemy Learn to Become a Professional Business Analyst course because it has explained all of the business concepts to me. This course perfectly follows the BABOK. Though I have read the BABOK by myself, this is the first time that everything has clicked for me.  I am 50% done and after completing the two lessons and two quizzes, I’ll be 75% done.  I make it a practice to watch the lesson video twice before taking the quiz to absorb everything that I have been learning. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Decision-making Time

I have returned to studying PMI-PBA by outlining the BA practice guide chapter 3. Immediately afterward, I retake the Izenbridge PMI-PBA practice exam scoring 16 out of 30, 1 point less than last month. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to stop reading the practice guide and restart reading BABOK chapter 9 (technique). I need to retain the business analysis words. Although PMI has created the PMI-PBA exam, the practice guide isn’t the basis for the test yet. It may be the right or wrong decision, but it is a decision.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Benefits of Having Like Minds

                 I am thankful for joining the PMI-PBA certification LinkedIn groups because I’ve received a wealth of resources and study tips. Today while reading a string, I’ve learned about the January 2014 PMI Pulse on Requirements Management. Requirements are huge for business analysis so reading this 20-page booklet would increase my chances of passing the PMI-PBA. Furthermore, on the same string a person who has sit for the exam opines that the business analysis practice guide will overtake the PMI reference list (I believe this too since it is a practice guide and authored by PMI.). What has astounded me is that it has only taken this commenter 2 days to read through the entire practice guide. May I should do the same dry run and just skim through it the first time to see how much I can comprehend. I have an extra week to work with so why not? At least I can say that I have gotten through it. Who knows? If I score over 75% on my second PMI-PBA online practice exam, I just might take the PMI-PBA next week instead of early January.

Back at Studying for My PMI-PBA

                Tuesday I learned that Prometric only scheduled PMI-PBA proctored test next week and the first week of the New Year but not the week of December 29th. That meant that I would have to delay my certification until January 2015. Normally I would be disappointed that I haven’t completed it this year but given all of the things delaying me for over one week I am happy to be given an extra week. This gives me the chance to outline the PMI’s business analysis practice guide for an additional week. It’s like I have gotten this time back. Also I have learned about the January 2014 PMI’S Pulse on Requirements Management booklet which I will read because requirements are fundamental towards business analysis. I am intent on using this weekend to restart my PMI-PBA studies because earning my certification is essential towards enhancing my competitive advantage. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

PMI-PBA: Upholding the Impeccability of My Word

After scoring only 55% November 18th, I promised myself that I would improve my performance by addressing my weaknesses and taking a full 200-problem practice exam by November 30, 2014 to decide if I am good enough to pass the PMI-PBA exam. This promise stems from reading the Four Agreements book. Ensuring the impeccability of your word is the book’s first agreement. Regardless of what is going on in my life, I will take the full practice exam by November 30th and see where I am at. I need a 61% to pass the PMI-PBA exam. My personal goal is to score above 75% before test date to give me sufficient wiggle room.

Well, I have scored 67% on my first PMI-PBA 200-problem practice test. This is a 12% improvement from the November 18th 55% 100-problem drill.  Outlining PMBOK chapter 5, 8 and BABOK chapter 9 have helped me immensely. I know that I am on the right track and will now reread BABOK chapter 9 writing down every technique’s definitions and outline BABOK chapter 3 (elicitation) because there are so many problems on it. Therefore, I will do this Tuesday since Monday PMI is releasing the practice guide. I am just happy to get over the hump and face my fears. Now I know that I will pass the PMI-PBA certification exam fulfilling my 2014 end-of-year goals. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PMI-PBA Recalibrated Studies

In my first practice exam in over one month, I have scored 55% on the 100-problem PMI-PBA quiz. This is the first time that I have taken 100 problems in one sitting. I have to increase the number to get accustomed to the standard 200-problem certification test. Even though I am still having problems with analysis and traceability & monitoring domains and am disappointed that reading the requirements management book hasn’t helped, I am proud to have written down problem 1-40 wrong answers. My schedule starts tomorrow but it is too important to start working on it tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Done Is Better Than Perfect

                I have completely outlined my requirements management book this afternoon. This is the second book that I have read to prepare for the PMI-PBA certification. I will review the appendix’s case study and reread the book with a highlighter. I am very committed to passing the PMI-PBA certification the first time. This’ll be my third certification and a great way to end 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Almost Done

                Earlier this morning I’ve decided to start working on outlining my requirements management book instead of working on my Nanowrimo because I’ve haven’t focused on my PMI-PBA certification in one week. That’s too long. I have managed to finish outlining chapter 7 along with chapters 8 through 10. I have learned new business analysis terminology and the significant amount of overlap between business analysis and project management. I will finish chapter 11 later today and the appendix containing sample plans over this weekend. It’s great to feel like I’m seeing the finish line within sight. This bolsters my motivation to keep persevering until I finish outlining the book and passing the PMI-PBA certification.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Back at It!

                Although my body felt lethargic, I was back at outlining the requirements management book to pass the PMI-PBA exam. I am determined regardless of how I feel at the moment to earn my third certification. I’ve heard uneven routines = uneven results. This has jolted me back into action. Today I am on chapter 7 and by tonight I will be on chapter 9. I will complete the book by Monday which is an accomplishment because this is my second business analysis book that I have read. I have some significant skin in the game regarding this PMI-PBA certification. I have put in some serious work towards this. I have learned so more vocabulary words which will aid me on the exam. After finishing the first read, I will reread the book this time using my highlighter.

This week I will take the drill and the 100-problem practice exam upon completing the book. It is high time that I start regularly doing the online practice tests because the PMI-PBA is online. I have to stop fearing being wrong. I need to get as many looks as possible. I know that the more problems I solve the higher my score will be. There is still a whole lot of time left this month to earn my PMI-PBA certification.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Building PMI-PBA Test Stamina

                Having completed requirements management chapter 6, I am more than halfway done with this book. Finally, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and fully believe that I will finish outlining all eleven chapters. I will devote the weekend towards reviewing the case study and taking a 100-problem practice exam this time. It is all about reclaiming my momentum since I’ve stopped studying during the midterm election. Now that I am back, I am ready to read the material and measure my progress. This measurement includes increasing the number of questions. Since the actual test is 200 problems, it’s time to increase the number of questions. I must build up my stamina to sit for the real exam. Next week I will take my first 200-problem practice exam to evaluate my progress. Regardless of the results (and I am hoping for a minimum score of 70%), it is important that I get started. Furthermore, I will keep taking 200-problem exams the rest of the way because it is all about getting as many looks as possible. I am thinking that the drills and practice exams come from the same test bank so at some point I will see the same question. The bigger issue for me is to see patterns. If I am struggling in a particular domain then I will consider taking a 50-problem drill in addition to the 200-problem practice exam. Starting with the 100-problem practice exam this week and building up to the 200-problem practice exam next week will give me enough ‘looks’ to determine if I am ready to sit for the exam this December. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Franchise > Certification Studies This Week

                 I have delayed my PMI-PBA certification studies because of this midterm election. Franchise > Certification. Many people have died for my right to vote. I just want Election Day to be over with due to all of this mess going on. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

PMI-PBA and Self-Investment

                I am happy to have purchased my Watermark Learning requirements management book because I have learned so much from just two chapters. I know that I will pass the PMI-PBA exam immediately after finishing this book. It should take no longer than one week. Afterward I will retake my traceability & monitoring drill and another 50-question practice exam. In addition, today I will outline BABOK chapter 3: elicitation because I will master all of the business analysis concepts. Furthermore, I guess I am happier that I am investing in myself and my future. I will not only be able to earn my PMI-PBA certification but increase my income. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

This Week in PMI-PBA Studies

                This week I will be doing something every day towards working closer towards my PMI-PBA certification. I will continue outlining PMBOK chapter 5 and BABOK chapter 6, take the RMC chapter 5 knowledge area quiz, another Watermark Learning PMI-PBA traceability & monitoring drill after outlining BABOK chapter 6, and a 100-question practice PMI-PBA exam. Furthermore, I will look at what the PMI-PBA LinkedIn study group feedback is once PMI makes the test scores available. I will learn from their mistakes and recalibrate my studies in order to better prepare. Moreover, this is the week before PMI publishes its own Business Analysis Practice Guide which will be available online October 28th. I am working this week on positioning myself towards improving my PMI-PBA traceability knowledge and overall score by the time this PMI publication gets released. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Okay So I Piss Someone Off

                 A week ago I went to a graduate economics info session. I was interested in returning to earn my graduate Applied Economics program. I was disrupted twice in my pursuit and now that things were stabilizing, I decided to try it again. During the info session, I asked about transferring my credits from another school. I caught the program director off guard because he was never asked that question. The graduate economics program was founded in 2012; however, I was going to ask because it was an accredited school so it should accept transfer credit. Okay so I annoyed him. Whatever because it let me score a private telephone discussion. I submitted my graduate transcript. Although the director said that I had to retake the courses because they were Bs instead of As, I felt great to ask about transfer credit especially as a woman because society told us not to be confrontational; but, if getting out of 2 courses and saving $5500 were the end results then I’d rather piss people off to save money. It is my life and my money!

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Week in PMI-PBA Certification Study

                 I have made significant PMI-PBA progress. I have outlined BABOK chapter 4 and taken my first traceability & monitoring drill. I am glad that I have done this because the drill has forced me review BABOK chapter 4 and pay more attention to BABOK chapter 6 and PMBOK chapter 11. Having earned my PMP certification using PMBOK fourth edition instead of the fifth edition, I am unfamiliar with the new edition. I must master this PMBOK fifth edition to pass the exam. I will write down PMBOK page 61 twice a day plus write down all of the chapter 11 risk management processes.
                The next week is essential towards preparing the October 28th Business Analysis Practice Guide publication. I will finish outlining BABOK chapter 6, PMBOK chapter 11 and take another traceability & monitoring drill plus another practice exam. When October 28th rolls around, I will be well-positioned to incorporate the practice guide and pass the PMI-PBA exam the first time.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pushing Ahead with my PMI-PBA Studies

                Yesterday I completely outlining my Business Analyst’s Mentor Book that I purchased from Amazon last Monday. It was a milestone because before then I would stop and start reading BABOK and my other business analysis book; however, I stuck with it. During this past week I learned more concepts and vocabulary words that would help me pass the PMI-PBA exam the first time. I also wrote down entire BABOK definitions to ensure that I fully understood everything I read. Rewriting some of these definitions down multiple times helped absorb their meanings. It wasn’t just okay that was a requirement but I understood which sequence that requirement was in. Throughout this process I developed the requisite endurance to spend 3-4 hours daily towards highlighting BABOK chapters 4 and 6 this week. Once I completely highlight them, I will take another Watermark Learning requirements traceability and monitoring practice drill and another PMI-PBA 50-question practice exam. I do feel that by the end of this week my online practice drill and exam scores will increase by 15 points and I will start reading my other business analysis book. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

PMI-PBA Self-Investment and Learning that PMI Will Publish a Business Analysis Practice Guide

                Buying the Business Analyst’s Mentor Book is my best PMI-PBA investment thus far because it deciphers all of the business analysis jargon into understandable concepts. I have read 41 pages. Even though I am resting my fingers, I do see myself completing another 41 pages tomorrow and finishing the book by Wednesday when my physical book arrives.  When I get the physical book, I will reread the book and write down anything this is new. I might even write down BABOK definitions to incorporate the formal business lexicon that is on the PMI-PBA exam.  I know that this Handbook will increase my PMI-PBA online exam score. This week when I take another 50-question practice exam, I will score over 75%.  I have to because I am working on improving my scores.

                Furthermore, I have learned through my LinkedIn PMI-PBA study group that PMI will publish its Business Analysis Practice Guide online on October 28th.  It’ll be free. In between now and then, I will read Business Analyst’s Mentor Book, BABOK, and PMBOK chapters 5, 6, 8, 10, 13. I am will be well-read and prepared to read the PMI guide. I know that following this plan gives me a very good chance of passing the PMI-PBA exam the first time.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

PMI-PBA Weekly Progress

                This week I will improve my PMI-PBA exam score by reading BABOK chapter 4 and taking two traceability and monitoring drills. I have scored 25% in this domain which is completely unacceptable. By next Sunday, my traceability and monitoring score will move up to 62% (61% is the minimum passage rate). These two drills give me more practice to see more exam-related questions. I know that I am capable of passing the PMI-PBA on the first try. I have passed the PMP the first time. I am happy to have purchased the PMI-PBA online exam simulation instead of cross-referencing the CBAP practice exam because the former has shown me my weak areas. I am no longer walking around blind anymore because I know how to address my weaknesses. That’s the one thing I don’t want to do when I walk into Prometric this fall and take the PMI-PBA exam.

                The PMI-PBA certification affords me more cross-disciplinary opportunities out there. I have received a phone interview for an adjunct position. The college combined its economics and business administration departments. This benefits me because I have economics and business administration degrees. Also the PMI-PBA can fill the void because this is a small private college which does not have anyone who can merge the two disciplines. Obtaining the PMI-PBA certification not only bridges the gap but makes me indispensable. I love teaching because I get to communicate and share ideas and information. This motivates me to earn my PMI-PBA.

My Brownies Are Finally On the Right Side of History!

                I am so happy that the Cleveland Browns have won today especially after starting 28-3. My Brownies have managed to come back from 25 down to win the game 29-28 making history in the process. This is the first time in NFL history that an away team has rallied from 25 down to win a game. Finally, my Brownies are on the right side of NFL history!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Summoning the Strength to Review My First PMI-PBA Online Exam Results

                I have summoned the strength to rise above my muscular soreness to start writing down all of my PMI-PBA online exam wrong answers. Writing them down by hand makes me reread the questions and understand the reasons behind the right answers. I also have discovered that I need to learn more of the business analysis terminology and reread PMBOK fifth edition chapters 5, 6, 8, 10 and 13. In a LinkedIn PMI-PBA preparation group most test takers say that they’ve studied chapters 5 (scope management), 8 (quality management) and 13 (stakeholder management). However, while doing the online test, I’ve noticed the importance of chapters 6 (time management) and 10 (communications management). I will also rewrite PMBOK page 61 every single morning to get back into the habit of remembering each process and their interdependencies. I am intent on scoring above 62% on my next online practice exam and over 80% on my final PMI-PBA exam.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Technical Difficulties

                I awoke hungry and jetted to the DuPont doughnut spot because Google said that it was opened until 2am. Wrong! It closed at 12am because it was Wednesday L. You meant that I walked down N street with crazy people cursing each other out for a closed restaurant? I huffed all the way to the 24-hour CVS got food and returned back home. Sheesh! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Getting All of the Fear of Failure Out of the Way

                 I scored 72.72% (16 out of 22) on the RMC CBAP/CCBA exam prep chapter 3 today. I took it cold without reading the chapter. I just wanted a baseline to see how well I would do. There was so much overlap between project management and business analysis. Although they had different terminologies, I understood most of the concepts. Given that 61% was the PMI-PBA passage rate (I was using the CBAP exam prep book since the PMI-PBA certification exam was new and there weren’t any prep materials), I knew that I would pass the exam the first time.   I also stopped fearing failing the exam because it was unknown. I just took a stab at it and what did I know: I scored 72%! Scoring that high also helped me decide that earning my PMI-PBA first ahead of my PMI-ACP would had been a way better move. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cleaning My Plate and Clearing My Mind

                Internally I have been thinking about going for my PMI-ACP and PMI-PBA certifications. I am actively looking for a new opportunity but the feelings are so strong. I just want to clear my plate. Getting these two certifications free up a lot of mental space in my head. The PMI-ACP goal has been stuck in my brain since 2012 and the PMI-PBA goal has been stuck in my brain since May 2014. Earning these two certifications increase my earning potential. I need them gone right now to go onto bigger and better things. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Staying Started

                Everyone talks about getting started but how many people stay started? It’s east to start something new. It’s hard to stay committed throughout the process. When the pursuit isn’t shiny and new, it’s hard to muster enthusiasm doing the rote, mundane tasks. I admit that at times I am guilty of this behavior. Inertia erodes things. I need to stay started instead of staying stagnant. Therefore, I am going for these three things the rest of this year: 1) finding the job that I want; 2) earning my CBAP certification; and, 3) earning my PMI-PBA certification; and, the only way to accomplish these three things are to stay started.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This Will Be a Phenomenal Week

                This week will be phenomenal. I am riding the positive momentum from last week. It feels great to be buoyed professionally. I know that I will build upon it creating something even greater. I am ready for it because I am getting closer to what I really want: more freedom to create the future that I want.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Silent No More

                Until now, I’ve remained silent and others have taken this to their advantage. People have told me to polite, courteous, and ‘to trust the process’. That stops today because I’ve reclaimed my voice. I refuse to let others and my enemies speak for me and write my story. I’m telling my story and my truth. I’m reclaiming my voice and my life. I’m giving life and voice to all of my dreams and aspirations. I have stopped fearing the future and what might happen. I am living in the present, taking each day as it comes and making the most of it. By being present and capitalizing upon all current available opportunities, I will make the future better; and, all of these things start with my declaration of not being silent any more.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

A Google Doodle for My Birthday

                How cool is this? I have my own personal Google Doodle for my birthday! Check it out below.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

PMI-PBA Certification Pilot Exam Update

This is the final weekend of the PMI-PBA certification pilot exam and I haven’t taken it because it has been chaotic as of lately. I do feel that I will get it done this year regardless of what has been happening to me.  What I have done in the meantime is improving my Excel 2010 and SQL programming skills. I scored 92% on the advanced Excel 2010 final exam and 86% on the Introduction to SQL final exam.  So my time hasn’t been wasted but the PMI-PBA certification has not materialized.  What I have learned is to centralize my focus and write down to do one thing every single day towards the goal.  I know that practicing this will put me farther ahead than now. 

Stop Trying to Make It Perfect

I have delayed posting new posts because I have been trying to make it perfect. Now I will stop this whole paralysis of analysis thing, I will be back soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Writing the End to a Story

                In 2014 I have been trying to get into a new phase in life. I have tried accumulating new skills, different industries, I mean everything but I am still stuck. I’ve listened to an empowerment coach’s podcast where the interviewer says to ‘envision the end.’ That’s it. I have been churning along but never truly define what the end (new job) would look like. There is freedom in knowing how it will end because I’ll at least have a roadmap guiding me down the road. Right now I am in the wilderness but describing in detail what the end would look like would be very helpful in me getting over this hump. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What the PMI-PBA Pilot Deadline Has Taught Me

                I have just completed my PMI-PBA pilot certification Excel verification spreadsheet documenting all of my projects. I am moving on this application faster than my PMI-ACP certification application because the PMI-PBA pilot program has a deadline. It forces me to push through all of the mess that I am dealing with currently. After passing my PMP exam in June, I started studying for the PMI-ACP certification in July. However, with all of the craziness that I experienced for the past 11 months stopped me. There was never a prolonged peaceful time period so I never established a rhythm. This pilot program forced me to keep going regardless of the chaos. Right now the chaos is constant yet the PMI-PBA pilot program deadline is August 4th. August 4th is going to come and go whether or not I’ve completed the application or have taken the test. Understanding this, I’ve decided not to let work and people further obstruct me from my certification goal. I will not only submit my PMI-PBA application but will sit for the certification exam and pass it this October. I have bigger dreams and taking the PMI-PBA certification exam is the first step. I will use this experience to prepare for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) exam this fall. Furthermore, clearing the PMI-PBA exam liberates my time and energy to revisit the PMI-ACP certification exam with a renewed mentality. By then I will be able to push pass the chaos and confusion and will even be out of my current work environment.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quick 1st Half of 2014 Assessment

                I must admit that I hadn’t expected to be where I am at today, June 21, 2014. On January 1, 2014, I expected to have my PMI-ACP certification but then PMI announced that it was having a PMI-PBA pilot program. Immediately I jump at the opportunity.  I must also admit that in the past 6 months I have become a Small Business Book Award judge, attended the White House spring garden event snapping photos, and have an article published.  With today being 9 days until the halfway mark, I do see myself accomplishing these key objectives:
·         PMI approving my PMI-PBA certification application
·         Completely outlining PMBOK chapters 5, 8 and 13 to prepare for the PMI-PBA
·         Finished reading BABOK chapters 2 and 3
·         Scored 80% on the RMC Project’s PMP scope, quality and stakeholder management knowledge area practice exams.
·         Completed Ed2Go Introduction to SQL and Advanced Excel 2010 online courses
·         Enrolled in the USDA Graduate School SQL course for in-person assistance
·         Expand my personal and professional network
·         Have fun the entire time
Although this looks like a lengthy list, I am already in the process of completing many of these tasks so I will meet all of these obligations before June 30, 2014. Furthermore, here are my prospective 2nd half of 2014 goals below:
·         Transfer the PMI-PBA knowledge and start studying for the Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) exam by October at the latest. I think that I will finish it before then.
·         Get promoted
·         Seek more challenges
·         Travel more
·         Improve my SQL and Oracle programming skills
·         Pass the PMI-ACP certification test

Showing Compassion for Yourself at All Times

                Sometimes I am too hard on myself wanting to do more. Someone today has let me know that I am doing more than a whole lot of people. Furthermore, once I know better, I do better.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Transition to Mentor

I have been a member of a particular Linkedin test-taker support group for a couple of years. This week a person posted that he has failed the exam twice. I feel sorry for him because everyone else in the Linkedin study group has been passing.  I’ve never known anyone who has failed once let alone twice. I don’t want him to fail a third time because then he would be disqualified.  I know the pain of failing the CAPM the first time.  I’ve used that pain as motivation to pass the PMP exam the first time.  One of the study pages contains all of these study links. I’ve copied them for him emailing them privately.  Even though I have stopped studying for this exam to prepare for the PMI-PBA certification exam, I just want to be a blessing to someone.  This certification exam has a lot of cross-industry portability.  I want that man to be able to pass it and help his family have a better future. Heck, I just want him to pass and not feel like a loser.  After sending the email, it hit me that I am now a mentor, a den mother, if you will in this group.  I do have a considerable amount of influence, it’s due to offering people congratulations when they’ve posted passing the exam.  This is the first time that I have actually contacted someone and provided resources to a test-taker.  I am happy that I have been a blessing to this man and nothing more.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Preparing for the Project Management Institute's New Professional Business Analyst (PMI-PBA) Certification

Friday I learned from Project Management Institute’s Twitter that it is holding a Professional Business Analyst (PMI-PBA) certification pilot program.  This motivated to read PMBOK, BABOK and purchase a study book to prepare.  Unlike my PMI-ACP certification endeavor (which I will return to later this year), I have a lot more overlap with business analysis than agile.  I have a PMP, MBA, business analysis education and 8 years’ business analysis experience.  I would easily qualify.  

                After debating and expending much energy deciding whether or not to return to my office, I’ve discovered that I can copy and paste the BABOK to Word enabling me to create a chapter 1 summary sheet. There is a whole lot of information that I must grasp but I am ready to absorb everything in order to pass the PMI-BPA pilot program.  Though 61% is probably the passage rate, I am aiming for 80% and will accomplish this through using CBAP exam materials.  I do think that buying the Rita Mulachy CBAP flashcards and writing down a couple per day will help me become stronger in the business analysis area. Even though this is chapter 1, there is so many differences between business analysis and project management. I have to learn the lingo. My brain is expanding with blood circulating through parts of my brain I probably haven’t used since studying for my PMP last year. 

Trying Something New in the Gourmet Department

     I have rested today (I think that 1-hour wait at Shake Shack with the employee misspelling my name as Katana instead of Carla has drained my energy!). I’ve slept in until 8am then have taken a nap from 2pm-3pm.  Here I am on a 4-day Memorial Day weekend with everything planned except for rest.  Today I have gone to the grocery store and will start packing my lunch just to see how it is like. I already know that buying groceries are cheaper than eating out but I just want to see how packing my lunch goes.  I might even improve my cooking and food preparation skills. 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Receiving a Career Blessing and Now I am on My Way!

Yesterday I received a LinkedIn invitation from someone with CBAP certification who is willing to refer me for my CBAP certification. This is huge because IIBA requires 2 recommendations to sit for the CBAP exam. These recommendations were my main hurdle but not anymore! Clearing this hurdle all but guarantees me earning two professional certifications this year. This spring I'll pass my PMI-ACP then CBAP. I am also applying for online adjunct faculty positions because I have a graduate school and more than enough experience to share. Furthermore, I want to be able to help people get on their way professionally because they are making an effort to improve themselves. Becoming an online adjunct professor would help me be a blessing to these students. That's why I am embarking on this journey.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why Not Me?

I have been daring to do more.  This month I have applied for a high-profile fellowship. I have asked myself ‘Why not me?’ Looking at the previous participants, I have the same education and experience. The only difference is that they have applied and I have not; therefore, I’ve asked myself ‘Why not me?’ Applying is great because it removes the boundary that only certain people can become fellowships. Why not me and why not be the first? I have transferred this same mentality while preparing for my TEDx talk.  My graduate school alma mater is cosponsoring a Tedx talk. Immediately I watch YouTube videos of previous Tedx talks to see what they are looking for. It is essential to do some research to improve my chances of being selected. I know that I have an in because of my education, experience and securing external distinction. Since I am a Small Business Book Award judge on the first try, I know that I can land a TEDx talk spot.  I have the education, skills and the life story that connects with the audience. Why not me? Who else if not I? 

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Breaking Out of My PMI-ACP Certification Inertia

I have received my second Rita Mulachy PMI-ACP Exam Prep study guide today because I cannot find my first one.  I have completed the first chapter. This is a big step in the right direction towards earning my PMI-ACP certification, and, more importantly eradicating inertia. I have sit on the PMI-ACP certification for two years. My Program Analyst job and PMP certification consume these two years so this time is productively spent; however, clearing this hurdle liberates my time and gives me another marketing tool.  Getting the first chapter out of the way helps me off of my duff.  Chapter 2 is over 40 pages so it will take a week.  It will also be the first chapter test and exercises that I take.  I am ready for this opportunity because it will create my baseline. I think that I can complete one chapter per week so I will finish the study guide by mid-June.  Even though right now, I am fretting that it might take so long and the 2 months might obliterate my timeline, at least I have gotten started so I will be farther along than procrastinating. The one thing is for certain: Now that I have started, I am on my way!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I can breathe freely now
No more labored breaths
Inhaling and exhaling fear

I know that  I am in a far better place

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Profoundness in Unexpected Places

                 Yesterday my life coach said something profound about my situation. She said that some people viewed my intelligence as a form of maliciousness. They thought since I climbed to the top that I exhibited some kind of Machiavellian trait of winning at all costs in order to be where they are at. However, once they discovered that I did not possess that character trait, they tried undermining me. I never understood how embodying negativity was healthy for me; and, this was before all of the biochemistry findings from think tanks. Whenever I got angry, it always felt like my body was eating itself. I didn’t need that cannibalism in my life and certainly I wasn’t going to perpetrate this externally. Her words made me reevaluate my situation and realize that I never wanted to ever be a part of that group in order to be accepted. I was perfectly okay being myself and even willing to fight to for it. I don’t believe in hurting people in order to get ahead because I have gotten this far without having to do it.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Things are moving fast. Today while working on applying for jobs and enjoying my snow day, I receive an email congratulating me on becoming a Small Business Book Awards judge.  I am honored because there will probably a whole lot of applicants. It just feels good to be acknowledged. I’ve submitted my two topics (economics and technology). Possessing economics work experience, I am well-versed in the topics. Furthermore, I have over 10 years’ data mining experience and am a Trekker so technology is right up my alley. Most importantly, I love reading books because I can always learn something from them. With the Small Business Book Awards, I intend to read all of the cutting edge business topics to stay on top of my game.
                This announcement comes on the heels of receiving Chaz’s Careeranista book and being mentioned in the acknowledgements. I will build upon this momentum by considering freelance writing. I might even restart my page to earn more income. $5 is better than nothing. I think it’s even my 1% cost of living adjustment (COLA) from the federal government.  And it doesn’t just stop with this new book judge announcement. It gets better.

                While reading my graduate school’s alumni newsletter, the university says that it is looking for bloggers. Since the alumni department follows me on Twitter, I know that I am a frontrunner. Furthermore, I have stayed in the alumni notes page with my promotions and project management certification accomplishments. I will use my writing as my ticket to get out of this predicament.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Making Moves

                I helped proofread a friend’s book and she quoted me and wrote me in her acknowledgements. She also debuted a career website along with her book. I asked her about writing articles for the site and if freelancers wrote the majority of the material. She responded that though most freelancers wrote the website material, they did it for free. Well, I knew that I could at least get something since I helped her with the book.  Furthermore, I wanted to expand my career opportunity and writing is right up the alley.

                Writing will be my ticket out of a toxic workplace. With the government shut down, Friday being my off day and Monday being Presidents’ Day, I have 5 days towards working on my craft. Immediately I wrote her my biography (BA, MBA and PMP) and a photo to her copy editor to get started. Even in the midst of a snowstorm, I am making career moves.  I am using my pen to get out of this raggedy mess.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Memorial Day

                Going to the MLK Memorial is great (especially since it’s 50+ degrees in January. Last year during inauguration it was 20 degrees.). I attended the groundbreaking so it feels that I am coming full circle.  Plus it is the holiday. I am the living embodiment of the Dream: a black women with two degrees, two project management certifications and a very well paying job. I am happy to see many families with children there.  It is essential to teach Dr. King to the future generation. There are a lot of activities with the Park Ranger (the children’s activities are the best because they come with a junior Park Ranger badge.). Moreover, there are a lot of immigrants there which I find unexpected. I guess their presence magnifies the importance of Dr. King’s civil rights legacy upon them. 

Martin Luther King quote

Martin Luther King stone bust

MLK quote

MLK quote

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MLK Memorial Sign

MLK quote

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MLK quote
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MLK quote

MLK quote
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MLK quote

MLK quote

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Paying It Forward

                Today I receive my Cleveland State University Perkins student loan payoff letter. In it the university says that since I’ve paid off my loan, my money will be used to make loans to other students. That’s an unknown added bonus for me because I know the struggle.  Although I graduated 12 years ago, I know what it’s like to be struggling for money. I worked at the Upward Bound and took out Perkins loan to afford the tuition. Luckily, I was an Ohioan so I received the in-state rate.  My Cleveland State University education has helped me land a GS-9 Economist position in my first government job.  Currently I am a GS-14. I want my money to go to current students so that they can have the same if not greater opportunities than I do.  Below is my payoff letter.

Paying it forward just doesn’t stop with new students. It continues with me because now I am more motivated to payoff my American University tuition debt.  I will use my tax refund to pay it off because it has been 3 years since I last matriculated. It should be over by now!
Cleveland State University Perkins Student Loan Payoff Letter