How has the Champion Program helped you as an individual?
At the Champion Program Annual Graduation ceremony in December 2016 in Bengaluru, a young project management professional was overwhelmed by the grand scale of the event. It was the first time he had received an opportunity to meet so many project management leaders from different organizations. He realized that professional maturity is much beyond the silos in an organization, and beyond individualism. This PMP-certified young project management professional did not have any idea of it when he casually applied for the Champion program.
First forward to today. He is now a respected project management professional, both within his organization and within the community. He acquired PgMP, PMI-ACP, and other credentials, in addition to PMP. He has voluntarily trained and mentored over 350 professionals in project management from across organizations. His white paper on the subject has been published at the national-level project management conference. He also delivered a keynote address at an international conference. He has worked for the upcoming seventh edition of PMI’s A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)®. He is now a more confident and knowledgeable professional. Most importantly, he is part of the excellent professional network of PMI Champions. From scenario one to two, this is my journey in the Champion program.
Why would you recommend the Champion program to a new volunteer?
If you want to sharpen your project management skills, join this program. It is all about project management advocacy – collaboration, content creation, presentations, mentoring, writing, teaching – that improve the project management skills. Above all, this program facilitates learning from people who are already stalwarts in their sphere.
This program opens doors for building a strong network with project management professionals coming from diverse backgrounds, geographies, and experience, but who are connected through the passion for volunteering.
Finally, this will enable you to understand the value of empathy, collaboration, learning, growth, teamwork, servant leadership, and volunteering. You will get mentored (directly or indirectly) to be a better version of yourself. This program enables you to get inner satisfaction and fulfilment.
How have PMI membership and certifications helped you and your organization or team?
Once, during a challenging phase of my career, I was desperately looking for a job opportunity in the project management space. One day, while I was waiting for a job interview, something strange happened. All the candidates were called for their interviews. But I was kept waiting. I became restless, and enquired about it. But nothing happened. I was then called much later in the day. After multiple rounds of screening, I was able to secure an offer. Everything seemed to be usual.
My recruiting manager became my close friend after I joined the organization. After two years, he shared the behind-the-scenes story of my recruitment process. I was not supposed to get interviewed as the interviewer panel had got my resume a bit late. They had already fulfilled the positions by then. But someone pointed out in my resume that I was an active PMP and PMI member. Hence, they decided to give me a chance. After I performed well, they had to take special permission to open an additional position before giving me an offer. As Steve Jobs said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward."