Members of PMIEF’s Community Engagement Committee Share Why It’s Important to Learn Project Management Early in Life
Every year, around the globe, role models share life advice during commencement speeches for the moments that happen after you throw your mortarboard in the air. But, what if we knew the outcome of our life lessons then? What advice would we give our younger selves?
In this Q&A series, we asked prominent members of the PMIEF community how their current skill set could have helped them as a kid. The roundtable discussion shared how they feel a project management skill set can help young people achieve their goals and make their dreams a reality.
In the second article of this series, PMIEF’s Community Engagement Committee — David Khaw, Organizational Project Management Principal 'Coachsultant' and Co-Founder of MiNDa Coachsultancy Sdn. Bhd; Avdivaragan Chandrasekaran, PMP, Founder Director, Infocareer Pvt Ltd.; and Connie Hester, PMP and PMO Process Lead at Dell — share their thoughts on teaching project management skills to youth and why they think it’s a vital tool for the future. Read below to learn how they feel project management has changed their career path and what advice they have for the next generation of leaders.
If you had learned project management skills at a young age, how would that have helped your early growth, school life, opportunities, etc.?
David Khaw: “I think if I had learned project management at a younger age, it would’ve helped me connect more with my peers and help improve my academic scores.”
Connie Hester: “I think, ultimately, if I had known the project management skills then that I know now, I may have chosen to try a new career path early on.”
Avdivaragan Chandrasekaran: “I feel I could’ve been more successful in my academics. However, aside from that, being a PMP makes me think to be more giving and to give back by teaching others what I’ve learned. Growing up, I was focused on my path and not necessarily the path of others. If I had known PM skills, I may have acted differently.”
In your experience, how have you seen kids with project management skills perform differently than kids without those skills?
DK: "I work as a youth director outside of my day-to-day work. A core value of the club is working together. I’ve used the Project Management Skills for Life® resource to help train them on project management skills. I think it helps them focus on specific projects.”
CH: “I’ve seen, overall, learning PM skills helps promote confidence in youth.”
AC: “Aside from seeing PM skills helping youth complete school projects, it helps in life. It creates strong life skills – such as better communication skills with friends.”
What advice would you give to a young person when it comes to learning project management early as a vital tool for the future?
DK: “My advice is to be agile. PM skills help you work in many environments. Study the resources you have and how you decide to implement them is up to you.”
CH: “Learning PM skills early on not only helps create confidence, but it helps create accountability. It holds you accountable to your responsibilities and it holds others accountable as well. Also, I feel it can ultimately help change a lot of conversations about job skills for a younger generation.”
AC: “Project management skills help kids to be incredibly successful. The skills help them prepare for problems not only in school, but in life. I’ve been a PMP for nearly 20 years, and instilled my knowledge to my son. He got into Harvard with the skill set I was able to pass down.”