I started graduate school in October of 2011. I went to Keller because they offered a great business program in project management and the campus was only a couple of miles from my house. Courses were only eight weeks so I could graduate in a year and a half. I just wrapped up the last of my work and I’m finally done!
I took some great courses and I learned a lot, including:
- Leadership practices
- Organizational behavior and change
- Business law
- Project management approaches to scheduling, cost, risks, and contracting
Some classes were disappointing and some were amazing, and it all seemed to depend on the professor. I’m sure that’s true in any program.
I’ve been invited to be a member of Sigma Beta Delta, an organization that requires a GPA of 3.88 or better. I worked hard to make that a reality, and I’ve accepted the invitation. I’ll let you all know how that pans out.
I’m sure someone will ask about the graduation ceremony. I’ve decided not to attend it. It would cost almost $200 and a Saturday in June, and it just isn’t worth it to me. I didn’t even go to the ceremony for my last Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and I’m more proud of that one. I’m going to celebrate my graduation with a fancy dinner at a French restaurant with friends and then the train ride to Glenwood Springs and back with more friends. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m really looking forward to the train trip as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
So, What’s Next?
I’m taking a couple of weeks off to catch up on work and other things I’ve neglected because of schoolwork. I need to clean my house! I also need to get the Jeep ready for the summer and find some clothes to wear. I’ve let a lot of things slide in order to keep up with my homework.
I went to school to change my career from Web development to project management. Getting a solid education was the first step, and the next step is certification. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the best project management certification for people in the United States, so I’ll be chasing that next. You need experience as a project manager, and I have that covered because I’ve been doing it part time since 2005. You also need education, and I just completed that. The exam is tough, and I’ve decided to study on my own using preparatory guides. I hope to take and pass the exam by the end of July.
I’m not quite finished with school, but the next round will be short. I’m looking at master’s certificates from Villanova. I’d like to get some Six Sigma training under my belt before the end of the summer. It really interests me, and they are great skills to have. Business analysis also fascinates me. I’m going to focus on making my résumé as good as it can be, and any additional courses will have that end goal. These courses will be completed by the fall.
I’m going to take the GRE this fall or at the end of the summer. I intend to go back to school at some point for a Ph.D., but probably not until four or five years from now. I’ll need good GRE scores to get into a good school, and GRE scores are good for five to seven years (the length of time depends on the school). I know I’ll test better now than I would in a few years, so I’m going to take it now and apply it later. I’ve already paid for the Kaplan GRE preparatory program, and I’ll be doing that when I’m done with everything else I have planned for the summer and fall.
In a perfect world, I would stop doing Web development and start managing projects full time. I can’t learn as much about project management if I continue to work for myself, so I’d like to work at a big, non-government company that is project oriented. I’m going to focus on learning. I’ll start looking for a new job after everything else is done and I feel that my résumé can support what I want to do. I’m really excited (and nervous) about the future!