Akierah Binns Shares How Learning PM Skills Transformed Her Career

 

30 September 2020

Published inPM for Social Good

Topics Scholarships

Akierah Binns headshot

Akierah Binns shares the impact of project management on her life.

As a public relations officer, Akierah Binns is often asked to collaborate with stakeholders when it comes to communication management. The only problem was Akierah, an expert in communications, never learned how project management could help effectively streamline some of her processes. Once she realized how the two professions often go hand-in-hand, she decided to work towards getting her master's in project management. 

“When I received the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) scholarship, it completely transformed my life because what it did was provide me with the impetus and the resources to obtain a master's certificate, and that has equipped me with specific skills,” says Akierah. 

Now, after studying project management skills and using them as power skills in her profession, Akierah notes that her skill set doesn’t just help her make an impact in her career, but in her day-to-day life as well. 

“Project management is knowledge that I can apply at the national - and community - level projects that we are working on to really change people’s lives,” she says.

 

Since the PMIEF believed and invested in me, it gave me that added confidence that I could go on to practice project management successfully. This was the boost I needed to press on to the end and not stop there, but to inspire others within my community to advance.

Akierah Binns PMIEF Scholarship Recipient
 

Watch the video below and read Akierah’s full story to learn how she is Powering the Project Economy™, how the PMI Educational Foundation helped her make an impact and how project management has helped transform her life – personally and professionally.    

 
 
  

The PMI Educational Foundation: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a public relations practitioner by profession. In this role, I support the policy-setting function of my organization by coordinating strategic communication projects that allow internal and external audiences to be fully cognizant of the work conducted by the organization.

Studying project management was my best opportunity at being able to optimally handle this function by successfully coordinating developmental programs that have substantial impacts at the national level. This sparked my interest in project management as much as it showed me that I wasn't fully equipped to perform effectively in my role. Therefore, I embarked upon the pursuit of a master's in project management. Taking this path revealed itself as being one of the best decisions of my life to date, and the opportunity that PMIEF granted me in the form of a scholarship provided me with the resources and impetus that I needed to advance in this area. 

PMIEF: How did you learn about the PMI Educational Foundation? 

I first encountered the PMI Educational Foundation through PMI's website. I noticed that there was another aspect of PMI that involved outreach and affecting the community, so I explored further because I wanted to know how I could become involved with this community. While doing that research, I discovered the multifaceted work and outreach of PMIEF, including the scholarship opportunities available. I applied and it has been a tremendous blessing to have been the recipient of this prestigious award.

PMIEF: How has project management made an impact on your life?

I have always thought of myself as someone who needed to be more agile in my approach to life and its processes, so pursuing project management has helped me to hone that ability in a remarkable way. This is not like any other field I have previously pursued because subsequent to learning a knowledge area, concept or process, I could engage in real-world applications, in both my personal and professional projects. To articulate that impact in one word is difficult but I would go with immeasurable because project management applies to a broad range of contexts. I had always wanted to launch into this field, and with the added support from PMIEF, I was able to discover this advantageous way of thinking laterally and working more effectively.

PMIEF: How has the PMIEF scholarship made an impact in your life? 

The true measure of the impact of the PMIEF scholarship cannot be put into words. When I received the scholarship, I was already experiencing harsh financial difficulty with covering my course payments and, even while pursuing the course, was worried about my capacity to meet my financial obligations and complete the course. Receiving the scholarship really helped me to refocus and put my energies into my research engagement at the time in order to complete the course. Since PMIEF believed and invested in me, it gave me that added confidence that I could go on to practice project management successfully. This was the boost I needed to press on to the end and not only stop there but to inspire others within my community to advance. Most importantly, it has imbued the confidence I needed to execute my work functions. With less worry and more time to focus on my studies, I was able to balance studies with demanding job functions while performing optimally using project management processes to plan, execute and monitor activities. I am eternally grateful to PMIEF for its generosity.

PMIEF: Why do you feel its important youth learn project management skills early in life?  

All of life is a series of projects so it is of utmost importance to acquire the skills needed to navigate as early as possible. The earlier youth acquire project management skills, the better they will be able to apply those skills to the decisions they make in their personal and professional lives. Had I been previously equipped with these skills, my choices would have been more strategic and led to even more positive outcomes. Project management takes a holistic approach. It is not just professional; it is personal, and this is what makes it paramount for youth to learn these skills as soon as possible. The sooner they apply these skills to their personal life then the easier it will be for them to transition and apply those skills in their professions. Regardless of what profession that may be, project management skills will always prove relevant.