Building a Professional Career in Project Management

Welcome to Page One of our Association for Project Management scrapbook on being a project professional.

How did you start your career in project management?

If you’re a project, programme or portfolio manager, or another specialist such as a cost engineer, a business analysis or a project manager, how did you get to where you are today? And where do you think your career will take you in the future.

And if you’re someone aspiring to move into project management as your first job or as part of a career change, how might you do that and what should you expect from your new career?

Chartered Project Professional

Chartered Project Professional
Chartered status recognises project management as a profession with a series of benchmarks for the competence, behaviours and approach that define chartered professionals and give industry and government confidence in the ability and professionalism of those who achieve the qualification. Sorrel Gilbert, Programme Manager at Mercury Systems; Ben Fenwick, Apprentice Project Manager at Arcadis; Teri Okoro, Director at Toka; Matt Brody, PMO Analyst at Dyson; Adeline Daly, Head of Programmes at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group; Stewart Anandappa, Technical Director at Jacobs; John Greenhough, Project Management Apprentice and James Pearce, Project Management Higher Apprentice, both at Rolls Royce plc, all share their views on chartership.

Registered Project Professional

The latest Association for Project Management qualification, RPP recognises experience and competence gained in the workplace. It offers practising managers a way to benchmark their own achievements and a status that is recognised by employers across the industry.

Stacey Dawson

Stacey Dawson, Senior Programme Manager at General Dynamics and Michael Wallace, Managing Consultant at PA Consulting discuss their experience.

It builds a community across the industries by everyone speaking in the same language

Stacey Dawson, Senior Programme Manager

Student qualifications

For many, particularly those at the start of their career, formal qualifications are an entry route into the profession; an opportunity to acquire the basic knowledge and to start building your professional support network.

Ednah Nzombe

Ednah Nzombe – as an MSc Student in Project Management at the University of Westminster, she explains the services open to APM members and the benefits of student membership.

It opens up your mind to becoming a better person

Ednah Nzombe, MSc Student

Fellowship
Ahmed Adnan-Nasr

Experienced professionals, like Ahmed Adnan-Nasr, Project Controls Manager at WSP|Parsons Brinkerhof, benefit from the self-confidence and the ‘weight’ associated with the status of Fellow of the APM. Ahmed explains how being a Fellow involves framing and organizing the knowledge and skills he has developed piecemeal throughout  his career to date to present a coherent skillsbase.

You have all the bookshelf of your knowledge and all the information and the background of experience

Ahmed Adnan-Nasr, Project Controls Manager

APM Full membership
Ewelina Kruk

Ewelina Kruk is a project manager at Gardiner and Theobald and she discusses her experience of changing from another career into project management.

The opportuity to collaborate with other people, network … event to find support from the industry I work in

Ewelina Kruk, Project Manager

Lived experience

Darren Coleman, Project Director at Bechtel for Crossrail On-Network Works reflects on his career to date; from starting out as a British Rail Apprentice, through a civil engineering degree to directing a £1.3bn programme.

Darren Coleman

My role now allows me to do a bit of everything – safety, engineering, project management, commercial and project controls, and client and stakeholder management. Most of all, it allows me to work with a wide range of people from different cultures and backgrounds who are at differing stages of their careers. I want to continue to learn, be challenged and deliver change – but, most of all, I enjoy helping people to develop and realise their goals

Darren Coleman, Project Director

Related resources

Project Management Career Path
Advice and resources that explain the role of the project manager, career routes and the kind of competences required.

APM Careers Hub
Careers advice, a specialist ‘job board’ for project and programme managers along with informatio about apprenticeships.

Coming next month: Learning from others to improve performance

Why ongoing learning and development from peers is important; next month we feature a selection of personal stories from Association for Project Management corporate members whose organisational capability has been recognised.

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