Archives for November2014

Zero to APM Introductory Certificate (IC): A Graduate’s entry into the world of Project Management

APM Introductory Certificate

APM Introductory Certificate

Last Wednesday I started my first graduate job, Thursday morning I was back in the classroom. I was sitting in a conference room in Reading with 5 other ‘students’ waiting to begin the APM Introductory Certificate.

As it was one of Provek’s public training courses we were all from a variety of different backgrounds and companies. We ranged from the lone, lowly graduate with zero experience to a Gatwick engineer who had been managing projects for years.

Thankfully Nathalie, our trainer, was great at pitching the material at my level (the lowest level) but progressing quickly to challenge those who were picking it up quicker. So when I asked what a Gantt chart was it didn’t take her too long to recover!

The APM IC covers a lot of ground, it is a lot to absorb in two days, but the structure allowed for frequent repetition of older information. Each of the units logically builds on and expands previous modules meaning that whilst you progress you are naturally revising previous modules.

Provek’s method of teaching was very hands on, we were dragged out of our seats for activities at frequent intervals and whilst we complained a lot about the movement it was extremely helpful for our understanding of the units. Often the activities helped us grow in confidence or revealed areas we needed to return to, usually to our collective dismay!

Nathalie’s depth and breadth of experience helped her give us relevant and helpful real world examples as well as take the information she was giving us that one step beyond the theoretical to help us apply it when we were back in the work place.

One area I had a slight advantage was how recently I had done exams, many of the other delegates hadn’t done them in a while. My most recent exam experience however, wasn’t particularly helpful. As an English Graduate I haven’t done an exam with a definite right answer in a while, no long-winded explanations of my reasoning in this exam!

The exam was thankfully quite simple, 60 multiple choice questions, it didn’t stop the frantic highlighting and rereading during our final pre-exam minutes but it did make the actual exam far less stressful than I was expecting.

The questions are designed to thoroughly explore your understanding of the intricacies of the terms used and sometimes the difference between two answers was tiny until you (hopefully) remembered an important distinction.

After an hour it was all over, we were outside going over the questions we had struggled with and waving goodbye to the invigilator and his home décor magazines.

A week later I’ve passed and whilst they assure me now that if I hadn’t passed I would still have a job – I’m not so sure!

It was a brilliant experience, the training was of a high standard and I am very happy to now be in possession of my very own professional qualification, bring on APMP!