Student Profile: Joel Ogden, PMP
I am currently broadening my business acumen as a Business Development Principal with Jacobs, primarily working in the public and defense sectors. I have over 15 years of management and IT consulting experience working with Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte Consulting, and now Jacobs. Recently, I was the deputy program manager for a multi-million dollar software development project for a government customer. It was in this role that I pursued my MBA in Project Management and began the quest for PMP certification. I never saw myself becoming a PM, but as my responsibilities grew, I became acutely aware of the need for solid project management across the various projects I supported. This led me to pursue the PMP beginning last summer (July 2015), and achieving the certification in December 2015.
To begin studying for the PMP, I would recommend saturating yourself with the terminology. Get a good primer (I used "Head First PMP", Greene/Stellman). This was instrumental in setting a solid foundation for me. It took me about four weeks to get through the book, but I look back at this as the right starting point for me. I needed to understand the terms how the PMBOK defines them, which can be different than your particular field defines them.
I took the exam on a Monday. Leading up to that, I took a half day off of work on Friday, went to a local college library and took a full four hour exam using the PM Simulator -- I highly recommend this tool. It is by far and above the best resource I had in my preparation. I reviewed the exam (I scored well), and went home. I relaxed that evening. The next day, I went again to the library and took two 4 hour exams, again using the PM Simulator. On Sunday I rested, and only out of compulsion did I do a little bit of final review using a PMBOK wall chart (you can get them on Amazon) just to put fresh images in my mind. I took the exam first thing on Monday morning, passing with Proficient in all categories).
Joel Ogden, PMP