Alexandra Vrijheid | Project Management Student Testimonial
We catch up with Learning People student Alexandra Vrijheid who changed career with professional certifications and Learning People support …
I had been in sales for about four years and decided it wasn’t for me. So I was considering a career change and looking at which courses were available. I decided to make a career change into project management because I am passionate about organisation, people and their motivations.
I was looking for a job that would challenge me, be different every day and where I would feel like I am making a difference. I researched a lot and connected with project managers to see what qualifications they had and whether I needed any.
When I started looking at the specific certifications online and where I’d be able to do them, Learning People were at the top of my list.
Were there any specific skills you were looking to gain or develop by enrolling with Learning People?
I had an idea of what project management entailed. My dad’s a project manager so I had talked to him about it, and before making my decision to change career I’d had conversations with other PMs by either LinkedIn networking, networking with PMs from my former companies and talking to friends of friends.
After talking with them, I decided it would be good for me to complete the qualifications to make me feel more prepared and knowledgeable in my future project related role. In terms of transferable skills, I had already developed quite a few during my sales career but I was looking to understand more about the project lifecycle.
At the time I knew very little about the different stages in a project and I wanted to know more about project planning, governance and planning, risk management and budget preparation. My aim was to learn the textbook basics of running a good project, literally, so that when I started working I’d be able to see the principles in real life projects and identify good practice.
Was there a particular reason you chose to enrol with Learning People, and did you speak to any other educators or training providers?
Because it was a career change and a lot of money, I wanted it to be the right provider. So I contacted a few different providers but nothing was similar to the conversations that I had with my Learning People career consultant Alex. Some of the other providers didn’t get back to me when they said they would and it just didn’t feel like there was the same level of support with them.
Tell us what the career consultation phone call was like for you
It was very positive. Alex knew a lot about the industry and was able to answer all of my questions.
Tell us about your experience of learning online using our system
I had a demo of the platform before I enrolled which was really helpful to see what I would be using. It’s all pretty straightforward and I really like the interactive side of things where it gives you a quiz every so often.
Were you able to gain support from our Career Services team when you needed it?
Absolutely. My Career Services consultant was Rachel. I’ve had great support from her and we’ve also had weekly chats about my cover letters for job applications. Her feedback has been great and she really helped get my CV to where it is today. I’m so happy with my final CV and I definitely appreciate her input as it has been paramount in my success.
How did you get on with the practice exams and test preparation?
I hadn’t taken an exam in a very long time, but once I started doing the multiple choice test questions and the practice tests within the system, I realised I knew more than I thought.
How did enrolling with Learning People affect your career?
It’s been a very big part of my career change – I would have struggled a lot going into a role like this without the training and support from Learning People.
Tell us about your new job
My new role is as a project coordinator and right now ASDA is in the midst of a massive transformation programme. So there’s a lot to learn. I’m supporting a handful of project managers with different projects and supporting them with their IT delivery governance.
Things like maintaining and reviewing project plans, RAIDQ Logs, submitting for approval and ensuring all the governance is completed and updated accordingly. I also support the tracking of finances for the programme, raising POs, reviewing and receiving invoices from the vendors which means ensuring that what is said will be delivered on the invoice, will actually be delivered on the agreed date. And also, helping with weekly status reports so it’s quite a variety of different things.
What has been the best part of your Learning People experience?
Probably getting my first certification!
How has your life changed from enrolling to right now?
My mindset has definitely changed. I know more about project management and I’m very motivated to learn more and I see a lot of opportunities ahead.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about enrolling with Learning People?
I would say do it. It was such a good decision for me.
If you’re considering a career change it probably means you’re not happy in your existing position so there’s no harm in giving it a go. You can always go back to what you were doing before, but it’s so important to love what you do. So I would say 100% go for it.