Meet Brandon Smith: Project Manager at MRM
Brandon Smith started working in a retail role years ago, where he moved his way up to becoming a team leader. While he enjoyed his role, he knew he needed a career that would provide him with more financial freedom and remote flexibility to support his family as a father. His employer’s educational benefit piqued his interest as the perfect opportunity to work towards his goals.
“The educational benefits really got my interest. I knew that as a dad I needed a job that would allow me to work from home and provide me with more income.”
Finding the right program
Brandon knew he wanted to further his education, but he also knew he needed to find a course that supported his education requirements and his lifestyle. After looking through his employer’s catalog of offered courses, he decided to enroll in Pathstream’s Project Management Certificate program.
“After my research, I found Pathstream’s Project Management program would be a good fit for me.”
He knew there was a lot of opportunity in tech, specifically project management. Not only did the coursework appeal to him but so did the structure of the program.
“I’m a dad, so having the program be fully online was huge. When I’m taking courses before or after work, it’s really beneficial. I also liked the fact that it was self-paced so that I could learn and grow at my own pace.”
Learning effective Project Management skills
The skills covered in the course prepared Brandon to succeed in his project management role, with many of the tangible skills taught showing up in his current role.
“The course was really good. I really liked the training. A lot of the things that I learned in class show up on the job.”
Even though his course covered the project management software Asana and his job uses JIRA, he still felt that the course prepared him well.
“I thought the labs were great, even though the software I work with is different. A lot of project management software performs similar functions, so I still felt that the labs were helpful.”
He also discussed how impactful the information about stakeholder management was for his current role. Managing relationships can prove difficult with so many moving parts in a project.
“I learned how important stakeholder management is. The course prepared me from a mindset point of view. Stakeholder management is key and communication is critical. It really helped me when I got in my role.”
Increasing productivity in an Agile work environment
Working in an agile environment has its challenges. As a project manager, Brandon juggles software developers’ needs, manages workflows, addresses issues, and more. He spoke about how the skills he learned in his program helped increase his productivity.
“The skills I learned helped me to plan my productivity. Every day is different and things pop up, and I think they positioned me to be as productive as I can be in a live environment.”
The skills Brandon learned will continue to serve him as he looks toward career growth. He knows the importance of prioritizing his personal and professional goals and plans to have monthly meetings with his supervisor to stay on track.
He even has his sights set on furthering his education to be able to tackle responsibility outside of his current project management role.
“I hope to grow and I do want to continue my education. I want to learn more about scrum because even though I was hired as a PM, there’s a lot of overlap with scrum. I’m looking to do a scrum certification by the end of the year.”
Advice to prospective learners
When asked about his advice to prospective learners or anyone interested in taking a Pathstream course, Brandon talked about the importance of taking ownership of your education and making learning a lifestyle.
“Go into it with an independent mindset, get your work done and master the information. Become a continuous learner. Your job responsibilities can change so be willing to learn and grow. Make it a part of your lifestyle.”
Take control of your future
Are you ready to earn more or find the right career for you? Either way, Pathstream has you covered. We can help you utilize your employer benefits program to improve your career. Pathstream works with leading universities like NYU to offer the certificates below:
- Tableau Data Analytics Certificate
- Asana Project Management Certificate
- Salesforce Administrator Career Certificate
- Facebook Digital Marketing Certificate
We also offer more programs covered by employer tuition assistance programs. Contact us today to find out if your employer covers our programs’ costs and access your course catalog.
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