Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Last week was a good week. I went and did a Project Management certification course. I am now a certified PRINCE 2 practitioner. PRINCE 2 stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. It is a de facto standard used extensively by the UK Government and is widely recognised and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally.

There was a lot of project management in my degree back at MCAD. It was even a required class in my major, taught by the lovely Julie Dirksen. I always enjoyed it. I liked the behind the scenes role of making sure all the ducks were in a row and that things were getting done on time. It's a great feeling to set up the framework in which something gets created.

I had tossed around the idea of getting in project management out here, but found out that people really need some kind of training or certification. Matthew then suggested that I do PRINCE 2 and there was a course that was starting the next Monday. I was excited about the training and interested to see what it was all about.

It was an intense week. You take two exams. The first one comes on Wednesday and that's a foundation exam. You spend the first three days going over material from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. You are still going over material that you're going to be tested on Wednesday. It's a lot of ground to cover, but you'd be surprised at how fast the day goes by. There were about 12 people in the class. I must say that it was a great group of people. I loved our instructors Simon and Kobus. I liked to call Kobus the Cobra.

We all passed the first exam and then we went on to study for the practitioners exam on Friday. I didn't like the second bit as much as the first. Thursday and Friday we went over a mock exam. The test questions were difficult, I am too tired to go into now, but it was tricky. //
will finish this up tomorrow //

The best things about going on the course was that it got me out of the house, I got to learn something new and I met some great people. The course in and of itself was good. I liked having somewhere to be everyday and learning about project management processes and best practices. I liked studying and being back in school. It was good to have a challenge.

After we all passed our first exam on Wednesday we went down to the pub to celebrate. It was fun to go out and chat with my fellow PRINCEs. It felt good to be part of a group, we would go and get lunch and sit outside together. There would be a little bit of banter and wisecracking in class. We were all in it together!

It gave me a huge boost. I didn't feel like an outsider at all. One of the great people I met, Graham, works for a charity called Sense. Sense is a leading national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind. They provide expert advice and information as well as specialist services to deafblind people, their families, carers and the professionals who work with them. They also support people who have sensory impairments with additional disabilities. I am going to see Graham today to do some volunteer work for them. I have been wanting to do some volunteer work for a long time, I am glad that I found Graham and Sense.

I know it sounds crazy, but I can't tell you how good it felt to go that course. It just got me out of my rut and changed my perspective a bit. We all went out on Friday after the three hour practitioner's exam. I think it was the first time that I had a group of people to go out with that didn't involve Matthew. Now, of course I adore Matthew's friends and like to go out with them, but these were my friends. To be honest, I felt like I was back in elementary school! Look, I am making friends!

Now the real test is to see whether or not my certification is going to help me get a job!

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