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Student Q&A: Millie Magada
Business Faculty Student - Project Management
Editor's note: Millie successfully completed her studies with Upskilled in January 2020.
Millie Magada is currently studying the diploma-level
course with Upskilled. While her current role is in Social Work, she tells us the benefits of the course and what her professional goals are after its completion. Millie shares how the diploma will help develop her leadership and management skills and improve her career development.
Why did you choose to study Project Management?
I am a Social Worker by profession, and when I started studying Project Management, I realised that many of the skills that are needed align with Social Work as well. This made me decide to do Project Management so that I could develop my existing skills further. Another reason is that the demand for Project Managers is increasing. This will provide plenty of opportunities for career advancement in social and human services, so that I can make an impact and have influence on community projects, which create a positive impact on the lives of people.
Like Social Work, I believe that Project Management allows me to work collaboratively with diverse team members to tackle on challenges that need to be solved, and that teamwork ensures that projects run smoothly. I also want to become more proactive in planning and implementing strategies to meet the goals of the future programs that I may be involved in, further developing my stakeholder management and engagement skills.
What is your current role, and do you require any Project Management skills for it?
I’m currently working as a Family Intervention Worker. I do require Project Management skills for it because I’m part of a team that is delivering the Sponsor’s project goals for the clients that we work with. In Project Management, it is essential to foresee risks and issues that may occur in a project, and it is the same when working in human services. We do use similar concepts in Project Management to plan, organise and control the risks to ensure that the service/project we are providing to clients can be successfully achieved.
Usually Project Management involves delivering a product, however, projects also entail funded services like community development, counselling services, healthcare and crime reduction. My current role falls under the human services projects, and my main objective is to help people lead a better life. My role is delivered through government-funded projects and in order to successfully deliver them, I need to be competent in initiating, planning, designing, implementing, assessing, managing and changing service delivery; hence Project Management is crucial in Social Work/my role.
What would you say are the main benefits of studying a course online?
The benefits of studying online are that it is is self-paced, and you are given ample time to complete a subject. If you are a working parent like me, online studying is very beneficial because you don’t have to take time off work, nor leave your family for a while to travel to campus for lectures. I used to hate studying online, however, online studying has become so much easier because you have access to your assessor and it’s very easy to contact them when you need help.
I should also add that my assessor at Upskilled is very prompt and gets back to you as soon as possible. You also do not miss any lectures because they are recorded as webinars and you get to view them in your own time. There are also so many comprehensive resources that are posted and cater for different learning styles. So, you are assured of finding material online that will help you understand the concepts taught clearly.
What has project management taught you about leadership so far?
So far, Project Management has taught me many things about leadership. I’ve learnt that leadership skills can be learned and developed, and even a timid person like me can become a leader. Please bear in mind that leadership and management are different. To be an effective leader, you need to be innovative and creative and want to continue to develop new skills that enhance, improve and complement your current capabilities and ways of doing things.
A leader inspires, encourages and motivates his/her team to be the best they can be. A leader listens, has excellent communication and interpersonal skills, is influential, negotiates, contributes towards team-building and team performance, recognises his/her team’s efforts and gives constructive feedback. To be a successful
, it is critical to develop leadership skills to motivate and inspire teams for the successful outcome of projects.
Do you have any goals in mind once you finish your diploma? If so, what are they?
My goal is to take on a
/Manager role in community, healthcare and/or human services projects that align with my social work background. As I am currently doing direct client work, I am aware of the issues that people go through and some of the gaps and issues that are encountered in the programs/projects.
As a future Project Manager, my goal is to actively participate in project implementation and effectively communicate issues and risks that may be encountered during service provision, so that programs are tailor-made to be effective and beneficial to service users. This will also be a way of advocating for service users, so that the projects are accountable in ensuring that social justice is adhered to, and to avoid scope creep by not setting unrealistic goals for both the team and clients.
How will the Project Management course benefit your career?
It will offer me many opportunities for my future career because I can work in a variety of industries and organisations that require a Project Manager. Most of the skills that are required to be a successful Project Manager in most organisations are transferable. This will allow me to change jobs until I find an organisation that suits my professional needs.
There is no monotony in Project Management. Like Social Work, everyday is different, so, I can experience new and interesting challenges, which will keep me occupied and push me to reflect and adjust my way of thinking. Project Management will also enhance my problem-solving skills, helping me to take on responsibility, continue to learn and grow, as well as build my leadership skills, so that I can be influential to my team, stakeholders and everyone I will be working with.
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