My upskilling story – studying MSc Project Management

Image of MSc Project Management student Luke

The journey that led to me studying MSc Project Management at RGU began with what I thought would be a short trip from London to stay with my parents in Aberdeen while working from home.

Why did I choose to study MSc Project Management at RGU

In 2019, I relocated to London, where I was employed in an international design consultancy, working within a marketing capacity. I was able to learn quickly and enjoyed an informative and productive period of employment. However, my professional development came to a premature end, a casualty of the pandemic. As it was becoming clear that COVID-19 would cause a national lockdown, I took the opportunity to work from home for a short time in Aberdeen. As we all know, the lockdown wasn’t short at all – unfortunately, this eventually led to my redundancy. After my redundancy, I took some time to evaluate my options to move forward. In a volatile environment for employment, I thought that it would be best for my personal and professional development to upskill by undertaking a master’s course.

I was attracted to study MSc Project Management due to my previous professional experience and involvement with my employer’s projects. I was involved in researching and preparing presentations as part of the pitching process for new projects. I found it interesting watching the successfully obtained projects unfold. I felt that changing to the project profession would open a new career path, suited to me. A project management degree would be my first step in progressing my career. After researching different courses and considering their modules, I decided that RGU provided a well-rounded course that would set me up for future success.

What part of this course have you enjoyed the most?

Though this year’s course was made difficult by COVID-19, in September at the beginning of the course, we were able to physically attend some classes, albeit with social distancing rules and reduced numbers. I found these classes crucial in giving me base knowledge and a grounding in project management. But when the second lockdown hit, we transitioned to 100% online learning. Though it was challenging at first, I was able to interact with students who I may not have had a chance to meet otherwise. This proved to be one of my favourite parts of the course. As a class representative, I have made connections with students from around the world.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying Project Management?

A piece of advice that I’d give to someone thinking of studying Project Management is to not be afraid to speak up, regardless of your academic or professional background. Within the master’s course there are students with varying degrees of experience with projects however, everyone can learn from each other.

Besides theoretical knowledge, a large part of project management is about exploring possible problem resolutions from different points of view. Your unique experiences may mean that you see a problem in different way than someone from another profession. There is a better chance of finding the best course of action when a group of people come together to think up a solution.

What’s next for you?

Considering my next steps, I need to first of all finish my dissertation. Following this, I’ll be making my first steps within the project management industry to continue my learning process, albeit in a professional sense. My next goal after achieving my degree will be to work towards becoming a chartered project professional.

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