It has been said that hindsight is 20/20 – especially in these current times. While we would all like to go back in time and advise our younger selves on what’s to come, how to prepare for what’s next and what haircuts not to get, we can all reflect on what’s important now and for the future.
For 30 years, the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) has witnessed the impact of your contributions on the next generation and emphasized the importance of educating youth at an early age to build project management skills. From learning a project management vocabulary to executing a school project on time, youth that practice project management can build, strengthen and learn critical life skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking.
In this article, dedicated PMIEF advocates and donors of the foundation — Rocio De La Cuadra, Michael Branch, Miguel Angel Rivera Adan, and Agnieszka Gasperini — share their thoughts on the impact of the foundation and why they feel it’s critical for youth to learn and practice a project management skill set. Read below to learn how they first became involved with PMIEF and how you can get involved today.
PMIEF: How did you learn about the PMI Educational Foundation?
RDLC: It was 2015 at the Big Conference in Lima, Peru, when Roberto Toledo talked about the PMIEF and I fell in love with the Educational Foundation. He spoke about all wonderful things the PMIEF does for children and I've thought about all the necessities could the PMIEF could provide in our Peruvian society.
MAB: I first learned about the Educational Foundation on a shuttle bus from the hotel to the convention center in 2000 or 2001. I had no idea at the time, but I was actually speaking with the one and only Jim Snyder. Learned later that he was one of the original founders of the Project Management Institute and was an extreme advocate of the PMIEF.
AG: I started my adventure with PMI in 2002 when we started chartering the PMI Chapter in Poland. As soon as we got the registration in 2003, we were presented to PMIEF. From the first moment I was introduced to the Educational Foundation, I loved it’s mission. As the Polish Chapter, we decided to organize the first summer camp for children from an orphanage in 2004. That was the first session of this summer camp, and we presented its results in Milan during PMI LIM in 2010. This project has a very long history, and we organize two sessions per year – summer and winter camps – across few branches of the Poland Chapter.”
PMIEF: Why do you think the work of PMIEF is important?
RDLC: We need to give tools to the new generation. The world is growing fast – the best way to help youth is to provide education by giving and reiterating our values.
MAB: It is important because it offers development opportunities for young minds to take a concept and develop it into something tangible using project management processes. It develops their cognitive skills to address issues, identify and mitigate risks, understand a budget, and create solutions that matter.
MARA: The work is critical because the work of the foundation has a very long-term positive effect on the quality of life of the young people through altruistically helping them in learning project management principles and how to apply them.
AG: Working with PMIEF and sharing its mission around the globe makes me feel that we are influencing change in the world by giving and sharing with others. Educating youth about project management skills is a very important responsibility as we help them to develop their potential career paths.
PMIEF: What advice would you give to your younger self about project management?
RDLC: Project management is not only technical tools – project management provides skills to deal with the future. New generations need to cultivate skills for tolerance, persuasion, negotiation and empathy. From my point of view, project management provides these soft skills as well.
MAB: Open your mind to developing skills that you may not currently have and leverage what you learned throughout your life. It will benefit you and those around you greatly. I hope this inspires you to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.
MARA: Make project management your first choice in thinking about and acting on every problem that you find either at home, college or the workplace – then success will follow.
AG: Open your mind and heart for the gift that you are receiving from PMIEF, and learn project management skills that will be your life skills. Learn about project management because that will make your life easier, both personally and professionally.