After graduating from high school, Hsu C. got an internship in the UK, where he gained experience in project management.
When looking for a job, Hsu given the reality of this industry: a Project management professional (PMP®) was vital for him to get better roles. This led him to pursue a Masters in Project Management (MSPM) at Lewis University.
“I’m from Taiwan and got my bachelor’s degree in the UK,” Hsu shares. “I did an internship in London which gave me experience in project management, but all the jobs I applied for required the PMP certificate.”
MSPM courses and seminars are accredited as professional development units for the PMP certification, which is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). It produces professionals with the know-how to get things done in the midst of global change, unite diverse talents, and organize diverse teams to collectively turn ideas into reality.
This was enough to convince Hsu to pursue an MSPM at Lewis University. “I am taking MSPM because it has PMI recognition. This will make my MSPM degree stand out from other project managers and indicates that I have studied one of the best project management programs in the world,” says Hsu.
Arvind Reddy, another MSPM student, agrees. “The PMP certificate will allow me to progress in my career as a project manager. Without the PMP certificate, you can only find jobs as an assistant or intern, but after I get my PMP, I will be able to find jobs as a full project manager,” he says.
Its non-industry specific nature is an added bonus. Students like Reddy earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science. The MSPM cohort is also diverse, allowing students to support and learn from each other.
“There’s a guy from Hong Kong who worked as a senior project manager for years in Toronto and is taking classes with us,” Reddy explains. “The great thing is that many more international students have Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) jobs, and they share the opportunities that open up in their company.”
In class, teachers are always ready to lead discussions and answer any questions. “Dr. Harris is by far the best teacher in Lewis,” says Reddy. “He brings energy and enthusiasm to difficult course topics that make them easier to understand and apply.”
Likewise, these experienced faculty members share their industry experience – providing students with invaluable insight. “One of my teachers was a full-time project manager at an international company in Chicago,” Reddy shares. “During his course, he always provided examples of what we were learning and how they applied to his profession. It was helpful to hear real-life examples of the concepts we were learning.”
Crossing disciplines is also encouraged. “One of my favorite classes was Organizational Behaviour,” says Hsu. “It was like a course in business psychology and the creative process. I found it fascinating to learn about issues of trust and the effectiveness of motivation on individuals in a group project.
All of this contributes to Lewis University’s goal of developing an engaged community with professional associations that utilize the experiences of faculty and students. This extends to helping students find research, internship or career opportunities.
Reddy, for example, met professors who connected him with IT and project management jobs throughout his studies. His first job was working as a project management assistant for an automotive company. Currently, he is a junior project manager in a software company under the CPT program.
The same applies to Hsu. During his second semester, he got a job at a local company in Chicago. He started as an intern at a large construction company, where he helped manage every phase of a development project, including compliance and safety regulations. He still works in the business – and hopes to stay in this industry due to the demand for construction project managers.
Click on here to find out how you can start your project management career with Lewis University today.
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