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Q&A with a Project Management Grad Student

June 6, 2023

Project Management, M.S.

For project management professionals considering an advanced degree to propel their career, there are many aspects to consider. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota student and video blogger, Christine Reisel, provides information regarding the curriculum of the Master of Science in Project Management. She also discusses potential challenges and considerations for potential students and what a typical day is like for the program’s students.

Q&A with a Project Management Grad Student

Are there specific study tips you would offer online masters in project management students?

“I would say that you should use the discussion boards often. By responding to more than just the minimum number of posts, you can develop an understanding of the material quickly. Also, ask your classmates questions or challenge them. It creates a knowledge-building environment.

Breaking up assignments into smaller tasks helps me not to feel overwhelmed. For example, a typical assignment might be writing an 8-10 page paper. I will break it up and focus on the sections. And if I can do that, I’ll set a timer, write for 15 minutes, take a break for 10, write for another 15, etc. Before I know it the assignment is complete, and I can focus on very specific applications of knowledge.

And if you’re looking for resources, use either the PMI.org website or the back of the textbook reference section to see what the others used for resources.”

How do you anticipate utilizing your project management degree in the workforce?

“As a junior-level project manager, I have already started to apply my knowledge. I will take suggestions from what my classmates do and try to implement them in my department at work. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. I have also become more confident, which will increase with the project management degree. I anticipate approaching issues with a different methodology since I can look at a project and understand how all pieces need to flow.”

What is a typical day like for you as an online graduate student?

“Get up and go to work. I check my email throughout the day since I have it on my phone. When I get home, and if my reading is done, I log in and check the discussion board and respond to any new posts. From there, I attend classes online. I then spend the remaining time working on papers or assignments. And finally, get some sleep!”

Want to become a successful project manager?

Advance your career by pursuing an online M.S. in Project Management from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

In your opinion, what is the best strategy for becoming a successful project manager?

“I think the best strategy to becoming a successful project manager is trying. It’s okay to make mistakes, and understand that NO project plan is ever implemented with any issues or errors. Tasks or deliverables will be late or unforeseen risks can occur. To expect perfection will be a deterrent when it can’t be achieved. With that said, strive to do well.”

As an online graduate student, what is the biggest misconception you have found in terms of online education?

“I think the biggest misconception is that you won’t receive any support from your professors and that you’re doing this “on your own.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. While most professors have other jobs, they are very accommodating and will get back to me in a reasonable time frame. All of my professors have given feedback when asked. I still keep in touch with the professor from my first class. I check in with her now and then.”

What advice or tips would you give to incoming M.S. in Project Management students to prepare fellow professionals for pursuing an advanced degree?

“Don’t give up. Let yourself make connections. Reach out for help from classmates & professors. Have fun!”

What types of support and tools at Saint Mary’s University have you found most helpful?

“I have used the Saint Mary’s online writing center’s templates.”

Communication is an important aspect of project management. What strategies have you been taught that you will utilize in the workplace?

“There are three strategies that I focus on keeping emails short and succinct, updating the project plan often, and being confident in myself!”

What has been the most challenging aspect of the M.S. in Project Management program, and how have you overcome it?

“The most challenging aspect of the program has been the reading. There seems to be so much reading to do and almost no time to do it. I carry my books with me, though, and whenever I have a few minutes, I try to get some reading done. I’ve also created my schedules and planned out when I’ll read the texts.”

If some students are unsure about enrolling in Saint Mary’s Project Management program, what would be your advice to those individuals?

“My advice to hesitant students would be to enroll! Saint Mary’s Project Management program is excellent. You receive benefits from your PMI certification, and the university is committed to new technology. I was scared when I first applied, but looking back now, I wish I had enrolled sooner. Whatever your hesitations about enrolling in the program, you won’t be disappointed with Saint Mary’s Project Management program.”

Individuals looking to advance within project management can maximize their knowledge and skills by pursuing an online Master of Science in Project Management Degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The program prepares students for leadership roles and the knowledge necessary to manage projects from start to finish.