The Master in Project Management program, of the University for International Cooperation, helps its students to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. Therefore, students who finish our MPM program, take advantage of the knowledge gained to later opt for this valuable certification.
We have a success story to share, of a former student of the MPM program, who just finished his Final Graduation Project. His name is Hrishikesh Oemraw, and he recently passed the PMP certification exam, at its first attempt. We decided to interview him, to know more about his achievement.
How did you prepare for the PMP certification exam? How much time did you invested in this preparation?
For the exam, I basically did two things:
1. Read PMBOK, every chapter including some of the appendix and code of ethics
2. Practice with (free) mock exams
My PMP certification exam was scheduled during the development of my Final Graduation Project (FGP), this made it a lot easier and harder at the same time for me to prepare. Due to FGP (and nature of it) I was already forced to revisit all materials provided by UCI, specially the PMBOK, about three months before the exam. As a result (and due to the busy nature of the FGP) it took three weeks to prepare for the exams. The last week of my exam I spend about 10-15 hours a day reading and taking mock exams.
Finally, I want to mention that I received all the support from my FGP tutor, Mrs. González in the form schedule flexibility, to have extra time available for the preparation of the exam.
Do you consider that the MPM program, from UCI, helped you to achieve this goal? In what way?
Definitely! The PMP certification exam consists of questions that are simply not covered in the PMBOK, like when you get a scenario. Here is where MPM program shines. The MPM program does not just prepare you to become a “master in project management”, but it also teaches habits and skills which will reflect on your exam answers.
To name one specific subject matter is Integrated Change Control; UCI students are familiar with how ICC works and how to implement this. In my PMP certification exam there must have been at least 8-10 questions about ICC.
The PMP certification exam guide clearly states you will have to be familiar with management styles and these are not in the PMBOK. The MPM program at UCI teaches its students of the various management style a project manager must be familiar with. In my experience, like management styles other subject areas of PMBOK that are not covered thoroughly in the PMBOK and need further explanation are Quality Management, Procurement Management and Project and Product Life Cycle. All these are extensively covered in the MPM program.
What advise can you give to people that are preparing for the PMP certification exam?
Don’t do group studying (unless you believe that it might help you) and don’t over study.
Make sure you are familiar with PMBOK standards and have experience in project management for at least 3 years aided with formal project management education.
Others might have been successful in obtaining PMP by doing an online 35 hours PMP training, but you know you are better prepared when you have been trained by an accredited university, like UCI.
You already finished the MPM program, how do you consider it has changed your professional career?
This is a bit difficult for me to answer right now as I have just finished. However, I remember a few years ago during a day in the office I was handed a piece of paper containing guide on procurement. At the time, I thought this was made by some previous senior managers and left as a rule to use daily in the company. But after doing the MPM I now understand why the system was designed like it was designed.
As a matter of fact, I even proposed changes to make the system more effective using my gained knowledge during my FGP. I am much more familiar with terminologies that are used in projects, how to write a plan and guide projects, and how to implement change control within a project.
What impact do you think the PMP certification will have in your professional development?
My goal is to run my own consultancy someday. I believe having a PMP logo on your business card or resume makes you much more credible as it shows that you have demonstrated to have substantial knowledge of project management and its continuous evolving.
PMI and PMP are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, INC.