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Grad Feature: Career Catalyst

Grad Feature: Career Catalyst

After working in the trade show industry for six years, Alejandra Menacho was ready to take the next step. As a detailer for the Kennesaw marketing company Derse, Alejandra desired to advance her career by learning to become a project manager. Already familiar with KSU due to her proximity and seeing several of her family members attend the university, she registered for CCPE’s Project Management Certificate program after receiving financial support from her employer. The fact that the program was conveniently located and offered evening classes were several reasons Alejandra enrolled. And the commitment from Derse to reimburse her half of the costs was just icing on the cake.

“I wanted to learn more about managing projects, costs and leadership,” she said. “I knew this [class] was going to be something that would help me in my career.”

Setting Her Sights High
With the ultimate goal of earning her PMP (Project Management Professional) credential, Alejandra said the class did a great job preparing her for the certification exam. The PMP is the most widely-recognized and respected credential in the profession awarded by the PMI (Project Management Institute).

Alejandra Catalog CoverProject integration and control, time and cost management, and communication and quality management are among the skill sets taught in the project management course. The three-month program is instructed by Pete Schestopol and Francine Warner, who have 50+ years of combined experience in national and international project management. Additionally, it’s a registered PMI Education Provider, giving students like Alejandra a top of the line experience.

“I liked it being a three-month program,” she said. “It gives you time to truly understand all the information instead of being given to you in five days like most boot camps do.”

Valuable Knowledge Gained
Alejandra cited time management, understanding more project concepts and how to handle a variety of projects as the most vital sources of information she learned in the course. She said that 80 percent of the exam preparation was provided by the class and the remaining 20 was done on her own after the class ended. “I would’ve never been able to do this by myself,” she said. “It’s important because I knew this would help me move forward in my career.”

After the class concluded she continued to study the course materials and also took several practice exams. Entering the exam, Alejandra felt prepared and confident due to the advice of her instructors who suggested taking it as soon as possible. Six weeks after completing the program, she passed her PMP exam.


Vision Achieved
Alejandra now implements the knowledge gained from the program in her workplace. As a result, she was recently alerted by her supervisor that she has been selected to begin training for her coveted project manager position. She hopes to be fully trained within six months. However, education never stops for Alejandra who said her next goal is to obtain her MBA. “When you finish this class, you become very motivated,” she said.

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