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Spotlight PM for December: Lynette Grabow

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Once a month we feature a client of ours who not only completed our PMP Exam training, but who as a result were able to pass the PMP exam with flying colors. We spotlight these individuals to congratulate them on their success, as well as to let others who are considering pursuing the PMP exam be able to catch a glimpse of what the exam is like, what methods are best to study, and what this particular client would recommend to anyone considering the PMP exam. FOr December, we are spotlighting Lynette Grabow. Check it out, you’ll learn alot!

  • What was your experience with the PMP course? What did you learn? How did it prepare you? Did you like it? Why/Why not?

    • I enjoyed the PMP course very much.  I had been trying to study for the PMP exam on my own for quite some time, and found that was very difficult.  Studying in a class setting was much more beneficial to me because when there are others there to talk to about ideas and why the answers to questions are what they are, it helps to make the information that much clearer.
    • I would say that one of the most important things I learned was to quit thinking about how I do my job in my organization and put myself in a ‘PMI’ mindset.  By that I mean that what works or doesn’t work in my particular organization in some cases is not what PMI teaches.  It’s important to remember that PMI is establishing the way our profession should work — and in some cases, businesses are still fairly youthful in their PM practices, so not everything is practical.
  • How difficult did was the exam when you took it? Do you think your experience taking the test would have been different without the PMP course ahead of time?

    • The exam was actually not as hard as I had expected it to be — maybe because I was prepared for it?  There were, of course, some questions that I knew right off the bat, and others that I had to come back to after thinking it over for awhile.  The most challenging questions for me were the ones where there were two obviously wrong answers and two answers that were not quite right; but one of them is better than the other.
    • I definitely think my experience with the test would have been different without the course.  For one thing, the way that Brian put together exercises to help us learn the calculations, and some of the memory tips he gave us for that was extremely helpful.  For me, the calculations are just something I have to do over and over to make sure I am understanding them and Brian gave us an opportunity to do that.  Also, his list of ‘PMI-isms’ was incredibly helpful; I reviewed that list right before I went into the testing center and I think it was helped to put me in the right frame of mind for the test.
  • How do you feel the PMP course prepared you for the PMP exam?

    • I think the course helped prepare me for the exam in many ways.  When you’re studying on your own, it is sometimes difficult to set aside time to study and really dig into the material.  Taking the class ensured that the time was set aside and allowed me to concentrate on nothing but the exam for a week.  Also, learning in a group setting helped me to integrate the information.  But, you can get that with any class.  I think what makes Brian’s class unique is his knowledge of the material.  There were a few times that when questions came up, someone in the class had a different opinion of what the answer should be than Brian, and he always took the time to look up the answer in the PMBOK and made sure we all understood how PMI was interpreting the information before we moved on.  He is an innovative and dynamic instructor and very, very approachable and easy to learn from.
  • Tell us about some about your business /career. Why did you want to pursue PMP certification? Why did you feel this certification was needed?

    • One of the reasons I wanted to pursue PMP certification is because I love project management, and I wanted to obtain the certification from a personal satisfaction point of view.  Additionally, as the Project Management profession is growing and the PMP certification is being requested more and more, I think it will help me to advance along my career path.  As a Project Manager for a very large corporation (over 50,000 employees), there are many opportunities for advancement; having the letters PMP after my name can help my resume to stand out in the crowd.  After that, having the knowledge to back up the certification comes into play when interviewing for advancement opportunities.
  • What are your goals are with certification?

    • I am hoping to secure a Senior Project Manager position within the next year or so.  I want to be in a position to help my company establish ‘Best Practices’ and find ways to put PMI’s practices into place.  I plan to continue to learn and grow in the Project Management profession the rest of my life.
  • Lastly, please share any advice that you might have for others considering the PMP course/exam.

    • For those who are considering taking the test, I would say Study, Study, Study; and when you think you’ve studied enough study a few hours more.  For those who are considering taking the class, I would say GO FOR IT.  The class was very helpful and I am certain that without Brian’s course, I would not have been able to pass the exam on the first try!