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I am Seeking a Mentor for Project Management are their any companies who specialize in OJT to hire?

Veteran

Robert Wallace Imperial Beach, CA

I am a graduate with an MBA and I would like to learn my career with guidance on the every day aspects of a project manager. I am seeking a mentor that is a current project manager to show me the ropes. Thank you

15 February 2022 4 replies Mentoring

Answers

Advisor

Yann Jugeat Lacey, WA

Hi Robert,

Do still need some guidance?

Yann

Advisor

Patrick Haley Longmont, CO

Hello Robert.
I see You have already received some really good advice. Please take into consideration, You may need to have something in hand that resembles "in progress" PM training. Recomend you check out the Project Management Institute (PMI), who offers aid to Veterans for covering the cost of any exams / credentials. Please consider checking out the following:
- https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cover-cost-your-pmp-exam-va-educational-benefits-eisenzimmer-pmp
- https://www.pmi.org/chapters/wdc/military-outreach
Also, I encourage You to consider drafting a formal / informal PM education plan for yourself.
If You get hung up or have any questions feel free to reach out anytime: phaley@us.ibm.com.
Patrick
Patrick M. Haley PMP®
Project Manager
IBM Managed Security Services
Email: phaley@us.ibm.com

Advisor

Gabriel Hoffman Falls Church, VA

Robert, one of our directors of Project Management has graciously offered her time to help answer any questions you might have, if you are interested.

Advisor

Joe Engle Indianapolis, IN

Hello Robert. Good question. I have done some project management, and worked with many project/product managers. I have not heard of companies that 'specialize' in OJT to hire. Companies want to hire somebody to fill a need, like a PM. That being said, in many cases, there is an expected learning period, more on that in a bit.

Let me answer this question.
How do I go after a Project Management(PM) position when I don't have much experience?

A company needing a PM will likely get candidates that fit into one of three categories.
1) They may get applicants with relevant experience at a very similar company that can hit the ground running.
2) Then there will be candidates that have PM experience, but in another industry or field. These candidates will need to learn about the new company's project/industry, and manage it. There will be a learning curve and the hiring manager understands that the new PM will need some guidance and time to get up to speed. This is very typical, so the new PM may start out on an introductory project, or be paired with a senior PM for a while.
3) Thirdly, there would be the candidate right out of school, with knowledge of PM, but no experience. Again the hiring manager might be looking for an 'entry level' PM, and this would be the perfect candidate! And of course the hiring manager will expect a learning period, longer than a PM with some experience.

You described yourself as "demonstrated experience and background in program management". So given this experience lets look at a typical scenario where a hiring manager is looking for a PM, but you are not familiar with the project/industry. You should emphasize your experience and education, but acknowledge you are not familiar with this specific type of 'project'. Ask who would be available for questions or guidance when a question arose, as you get up to speed on the project. Most likely the hiring manager already understands and expects this, and will have ready answers for you. Answers like, you can come to me, or I will have you work with our senior PM, etc. Given this example, if the manager does not have a plan to discuss with you, that would be a red flag.

The job market is hot right now. There are many opportunities for you. I have seen companies want to hire the 'ideal' candidate (described as 1 above) but they don't get any ideal applications anywhere close to that! Go for it.

I hope this has provided some perspective for you.

Good Luck
Joe

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