The Year was 2004 and the man was Carlos Zervigon, PMP Instructor.
I had been eying the PMP Course Ads in the Gleaner for a couple months with keen interest.
I already knew what to expect from the Faculty of the University of New Orleans both through face-to-face classroom interactions with—educators who knew how to facilitate learning —among them Dr. Paul Hensel, Dr. Alan Witt, Dr. J. Rabalais, Prof. Tim Ryan, Dr. Lilian Yee Fok, Dr. M. Kabir Hassan, and Dr. Steven Smith. I also knew what to expect when it came to social interaction with the Faculty through our Alumni Fundraising and Social Events.
So, what was holding me back? Did I really need to take PMP when I had been gobbling up the Project Management and Project Monitoring Methodologies taught by USAID and that of other donors especially the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Besides there was strategy which I wanted tied nicely to Finance and Policy, the MBA program had a major focus on Finance and we were encouraged to pursue Professional Certification soon after graduation and I was very keen on that. I had learnt through my work as a Corporate Strategy Planner that I could serve in both spheres —but which of the loves should I put my money on first?
It was a tough one given, the courses and designations had to be paid in US Dollars. The Project Management Office at the National Environment and Planning Agency was well stocked with huge binders on Project Management many of which were produced by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)—and I was a bookworm with a bottom less pit of an appetite for its content.
The raging hunger had started when I served a USAID Project, the online Project Management and Project Monitoring courses (World Bank or IADB) I was taking brought even greater knowledge leaving me famished. Then NEPA’s HR Department announced that individuals who pursued professional development courses within a certain time frame would get their course fees refunded if they were successful and provided proof. My problem was solved—now I could kill two birds with one stone. I registered for the PMP Course with UNO Executive Education. Carlos Zervigon had a class full and several group learning exercises to facilitate over the days of the course. He was excellent, calm, and rich with knowledge. He also had a few living life tips to share. I was learning the PMP approach and I was snatching some of his learning facilitation techniques along the way as well.
Carlos shared PMP with me in a way that was practical and ready to apply on the job. Best of all I could now mix and match from the PMP Body of Knowledge and the Project and Program Management Principles and Practices expounded by International Donors and Governments.
With the satisfying and delightful course served up by Carlos my next stop for desserts and snacks was the Humming Bird Chapter of PMP and the other areas in which I was so hungry for knowledge, competence and skills. Still I walked around with “my belly in my hand”—ravenous for the PMP Designation. Then, finally work and travel came to a slower pace in Canada and I earned the PMP Designation in 2013. But the learning is never done— both that taught formally and learning that you extract as you apply those principles and practice to problem solving. Thanks Carlos and NEPA for a great start.
Meegan Scott, B.Sc. Hons, MBA, ATM-B, CTL, PMP