Student Profile: Susan Hughes, PMP
I have been an IT Project Manager in the Banking and Financial services industry since the mid-90’s. I learned my PM skills on the job but without any formal training. Although I managed a 5 year Program of projects with a combined value of over $3MM, I realized my knowledge and skills were limited to those organizations I worked for and crossing over industries could be a challenge. A co-worker told me about the PMP certification and its benefits which motivated me to pursue it. I saw the PMP certification as a means to successfully cross over industries and step into companies and projects with confidence in my skills and expertise.
I started out with PMP for Dummies to provide me with the most basic information in a manner that was easy to digest. This also helped me appreciate what I was getting myself into. I trolled the Internet for every free learning resource I could find: podcasts, webcasts, simulators, test questions, etc. You Tube became my best friend for free study materials. I especially focused on Simulators that enabled me to partition out questions by knowledge area, process group, and processes. This way I could see where I was weak.
All this was foundation learning to help me appreciate the goal. Then I created my study plan. I purchased Dale Crowley’s PMP online instructor training for the framework and Rita Mulcahy’s PMP study book and I developed a study plan/schedule. Between the two, I was able to supplement all the Dale Crowley framework material with Rita’s real world application insights. I spent half my time this way and the other half of the time doing Simulators and memorizing and practicing formulas and scheduling. I also obtained an iPhone ITTO app that I could open and practice anytime, anywhere.
Finally, a month prior to my test date goal, I purchased Cornelius Fichtner’s PMP Simulator. Based on all the free material I found on the internet, I felt that his simulator was the best as far as question content and format but the real gem was in the answer explanations which were detailed and thorough so that I clearly understood the rationale which furthered my learning. Another outstanding feature of Cornelius’ Simulator was the ITTO specific practice exam which I felt helped me immensely. I also found great value in the PMP Formula Study Guide. The last week before my exam, I spent the time reviewing only the areas I felt weak, reinforced formulas and scheduling, and practiced memorizing ITTOs. I followed all the advice on what to do to prepare for the exam and passed!
In closing, it was all worth it. Money was tight so I had to take advantage of any free resources because boot camps etc were beyond my financial means at the time. But the day I uploaded my revised resume reflecting “PMP” in my title, I was sourced for a PMP opportunity which I successfully obtained. Although I leveraged many resources, I found Cornelius Fichtner’s materials to be comprehensive, easy to follow and understand, and the best resource for passing the PMP exam.
THANK YOU FOR THE EFFORTS YOU DO TO HELP THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY EXCEL!