How a PMIEF Scholarship Boosted My Confidence, Opened New Doors and Took My Career to Another Level


15 March 2018

Published inPM for Social Good

Topics Scholarships

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Jitendra Shinde, PMP® is a successful project management practitioner with over 10 years of experience in the field. While Jitendra developed in his career as a project management practitioner, he was also constantly searching for additional professional development opportunities—which led him to pursue a Professional Development Scholarship through the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF). Jitendra sat down with us to share about some of his experiences.

1. Please tell us little bit about yourself (particularly your background in project management, education, work and experience).

By profession, I am a project management practitioner, having more than a decade of experience in IT and EPC projects. I started my career as GET in project planning and have throughout my career progressed in project management. At present, I am looking after a geographic information system-based IT program for Reliance Jio, a 4G telecom giant in India. Earlier, I worked on residential construction project Antilia (one of the costliest houses in the world) and on an EPC program to build India’s largest retail store chain for Reliance Retail.

I am basically a production engineering graduate from North Maharashtra University, India and hold the PMP® certification from the Project Management Institute. In 2016, I took the Project, Program and Portfolio Management program (P3M) at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. I am also an ISO 9001:2015 certified Internal Quality Auditor.

2. How did you find out about the PMIEF Professional Development Scholarship?

Usually there are several scholarships available throughout the world for pursuing full-time UG, PG and PHD programs—but they have hardly any scholarships for mid-career professionals that can’t afford to spend a year or so on a full-time program. Post PMP certification, I was extensively looking forward to further learning in project and program management. I also surfed a lot and finally shortlisted the program to attend, which was quite costly. On one fine day, I came across a webpage of PMI where I saw the ad for PMIEF, and from here my journey went toward a PMIEF scholarship.

3. What was it like to apply for the scholarship?

This is a really tricky question. Applying for the scholarship in not at all easy. In fact, when you are applying for international scholarships of a rare kind—and that are open to [the] whole world—it is pretty complex. At first hand, your chance of getting shortlisted is unknown. You do not have anybody to guide you.

Although the application is pretty simple, the questions are really challenging. When applying for a PMIEF Professional Development Scholarship, the project manager within you must be awake. He is the only [one] who can lead your scholarship essay—purely putting you up front, explaining your need for pursuing the program you intend to pursue, and answering why. It took me considerable time with several iterations of a draft. The best part of this exercise was that I got the chance to discover myself.

4. What course did you use your scholarship for, and why did you choose this course?

I received the scholarship to attend P3M at the Indian Institute of Management. IIM Bangalore is a top Indian management institute and one of the world’s most renowned institutes. The P3M program is one of the legendary executive management programs at IIMB. If you are in India, you will feel privileged as you are just a few miles to reach it; but if you are abroad, do not hesitate to spend a few bucks to fly out for this program, which is definitely worth attending.

Exceptional blending of concepts, real-life questions and case studies—especially on project management strategies—make P3M simply incredible, and learning from an MIT Scholar and a Rhodes Scholar makes all the difference. Except for the few hours of sleep past 2 o’clock in the morning, you will find yourself in a full-fledged project management world.

5. How has your scholarship impacted you professionally?

Getting a PMIEF Professional Development Scholarship was sheer encouragement. It not only facilitated my P3M program at IIMB, but also boosted my confidence. At my workplace, my seniors took it as a token of appreciation. Today I am making the most out of my studies at IIMB and am now able to deliver IT programs at performance levels I never knew I had before at each key parameter.

After a decade of work experience, I got a chance to have classroom learning, which not only linked me to a top-notch faculty, but also provided ample networking opportunities among other class participants. 

6. Do you have any advice for others who might be interested in pursuing a scholarship?

Receiving a PMIEF scholarship is a really prestigious honor, which not only will help you pursue your dream program, but also increase your morale to move ahead in life. As I said earlier, there are hardly any scholarships available for professional development, but this should not discourage you from applying. Please look through in detail for the scholarships that interest you. Also, duly note the application deadline and time that PMIEF takes for shortlisting.

It is mandatory to identify a course to pursue before submitting your PMIEF application. Please do not try to copy/paste an essay. Write a fresh one in your own words. This scholarship stands as an encouragement for those who cannot fulfill their learning needs due to time or financial constraints. Last but not least, please seriously attempt to apply. Your attempt may fail, but you should not fail to attempt.

7. Is there anything else you would like to share?

PMIEF is making great contributions to project management education, which increases people’s potential to renovate lives and communities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank PMIEF.

This article was produced in conjunction with the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) as part of the November 2017 Open House. The PMI Educational Foundation is proud to support practitioners by administering professional development scholarships. These scholarships help project managers, nonprofit staff, school administrators and teachers fund project management training. Learn more about to take next steps in your career through the PMIEF scholarship program.