David started working on his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification a little over a year ago. I will never forget the day that he came running into my office. Grinning from ear to ear, he said, “I passed the PMP exam!” We all knew he would pass on the first try, but not everyone does. So I asked him what it took to get to this moment…
Why did you decide to get your PMP?
Originally, I thought I would go back to school to get an engineering degree. Now that we are a part of CP&Y [our parent company that offers full-service consulting for the architectural, engineering, and construction industry] I thought it would make sense. After speaking to some Partners within CP&Y and my mentor, I realized the timeframe wasn’t something that interested me. Working full-time and going back to school would be hard. It was looking like a 6-year time frame and I was hoping to do something a little quicker.
I did some research and found the Project Management Institute. The PMP Certification is world-recognized and is the gold standard for project management. I knew it would be invaluable for the type of work we do and our clients. I want to help better our services and client experience by improving our processes and procedures. I’ve learned how we can better control project costs, handle scope changes, and manage schedules so our clients can meet their accessibility goals.
ADA compliance can be overwhelming, and our responsibility is to partner with clients, so they receive the most accurate transition plan database that meets the standards. Overall, I hope to implement better service and quality in all aspects of our project.
What does it take to earn your PMP?
A lot of time. If you put your mind to it, you could get it done in six months. It took me a little over a year…but I was also in the midst of planning my wedding. Although, my wife, Alexa, would probably say that I didn’t help that much. I had a lot going on, so it took extra time. These past few months I’ve made it a priority because I understand the value of it.
You take a three to four-month course through an accredited institute or university. After that you have to collect all your requisites, so all your hours leading projects. With a four-year degree, I only needed three years of experience.
You have to go through and document all the hours of every project you’ve managed and where those hours fell in certain knowledge areas. Then you have to memorize the entirety of this book.
They generally say you should take about three months to prepare for the test or about 80-100 hours of study time. There are five knowledge areas, so the test focuses on those areas. It is generic project management so it’s not specific to one-time type of industry or sector.
Any advice for someone wanting to obtain their PMP certification?
Take a good course. Don’t wait as long between the course and the exam because the content will be fresh. It was a great experience. I definitely recommend it!
David is currently working on four Colorado-based projects and finishing one in Oklahoma. His day-to-day focus is data collection and analysis, quality assurance, technical assistance, and client relations. He is the first PMP in our Colorado office and only one of five in our national team of 400.
Congratulations, David, on this amazing accomplishment!
Be on the lookout for more updates about David and his career progression!