Why did you choose to do this course?
I was near the beginning of my employment as a postdoctoral researcher and I was looking for a course that would support my career long-term and provide practical skills. In academia, as well as in industry, as your career progresses project management becomes an essential skill.
Why choose DCM?
The QQI Project Management course was one of many courses being offered through my employment. I discussed the content of the different courses with my employer and we both believed the QQI Project Management course provided by DCM aligned the best with my career development plan.
How did you find the course?
I believe one of the most important aspects of any course is having an engaging knowledgeable instructor. The instructor was very friendly and supported the course content with examples from his own experience. It is clear that time and effort was put into the design of the Project Management course. I really liked that the main part of the assignment was choosing a project and working through each stage of the project management process for it. By applying the concepts of the course to a project that I was working on at the time, it helped me to understand the different elements of project management and it also made my own project easier! There are small practical aspects of the course that can be incorporated into your working life very easily and to great effect e.g., the subsections on effective use of emails, minute taking, and running efficient meetings.
Any advice you would give to new students?
In the course, ask the instructor if you are confused by anything, and for your assignment pick a project that you are familiar with. When revising the material and completing the assignments, work through each part of the course slowly and really take your time to understand the material. This will help to reinforce your learning and perhaps give you a new perspective on your chosen project. Keep all the notes from the course; even after the assignment is finished - I refer to mine regularly for work!
Since completing the course, what have you done or how has your career progressed?
Since completing the course, I have progressed through my postdoctoral position and I am now looking at the next step in my academic career. In a recent funding application, I was able to use my project management skills to identify project milestones and deliverables, map out the project timelines (including providing a Gantt chart), identify and assess potential risks to the proposed project, consider contingency plans, and compile a stakeholder registry.
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