Student Profile: Michael Beyers, PMP
I work in the medical device industry where I’m an district operations manager and Six Sigma Black Belt. I cover the northwest US and I’m based in the Seattle area. I’ve been in this field for the past twelve years. My organization has a weak matrix structure, so I fulfill many of the duties that a PM would handle in a more matrixed environment. Projects that I manage will range from leading Kaizen events, to software/process deployments (beta and validation tests) to moving entire facilities- start to finish. Before working in this industry, I spent two years with the federal government working in field operations- mainly on projects, and before that I worked in film and multi-media production working primarily on...yes, projects.
After twenty plus years working as a project manager (albeit never with that title), I decided to get certified through PMI. As a significant part of my role involves leading teams through projects, I had considered doing the certification for the past several years. Last year I finally committed myself to that endeavor. I went through the application process at PMI, and then commenced the arduous task of studying for the PMP Exam...
I believe the hardest part in my study was where to start and trying to use the PMBOK as the main study material by itself. It is an extremely handy reference and resource, but a study guide it is not, which I painfully discovered. Another issue was balancing study against a busy work and travel schedule.
I initially signed up for and took another online training course that was mediocre at best. I didn’t learn much from that at all, except that it got me to go through the PMBOK guide. After completing that class, I searched the Internet for another PMP exam preparation and found a lot of positive recommendations for the PM PrepCast. I went to the site and after clicking around for a while; it appeared I had found a quality course- and that it unquestionably was.
I’d be hard pressed to find anything missing from the PM PrepCast. I thought the structure and organization of the course were very logical and easy to follow. The multimedia format makes it very convenient especially for me as I travel a lot. I could fire up my iPad and never miss a study session (as I always had the PrepCast and PMBOK Guide wherever I was)- home or away. Cornelius is very engaging and he presents many real world examples and situations that facilitate understanding concepts of the PMBOK. In addition, many of the interviews provide further relevance to the material and how it is put to use by PM practitioners.
My #1 recommendation is to set up a study plan and stick to it- Studying for the PMP Exam became my priority for about four and a half months. I felt ready at the three-month point, but due to work, I had to move my test back…twice!! Even though I pushed the test back, I stuck to the study plan and did not let up in intensity. There were two other vital components that I consider tantamount to the study plan– I used Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep and I took many, many practice exams. One of the PrepCast students had a recommendation that I found helpful- use the exams as a diagnostic to assess your knowledge. In any specific area where I didn’t hit at least 80% correct, I’d go back and study those sections of the PMBOK Guide, Rita’s course and/or the PM PrepCast, then retest in those knowledge areas until consistently scoring 80% or better. Thanks for a great course and wide variety of resources for those involved with Project Management.