We caught up with Learning People student Alexandra Vrijheid who changed career with professional certifications and Learning People support.
Tell us why you enquired with Learning People.
I had been in sales for about four years and decided it wasn’t for me. So I considered a career change and looked 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 was making a difference. I researched a lot and connected with project managers to see what their qualifications were, and whether I needed any.
When I started looking at the specific certifications online and where I’d be able to do them, studying with Learning People was at the top of my list.
Did you want to gain or develop any specific skills by enrolling with Learning People?
I had an idea of what project management entailed. My dad’s a project manager so I 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. Regarding transferable skills, I had already developed quite a few during my sales career but was looking to understand more about the project lifecycle.
At the time, I knew very little about the different stages of a project, and I wanted to know more about project planning, governance and planning, risk management, and budget preparation. I aimed to learn the textbook basics of running a good project so that when I started working, I could see the principles in real-life projects and identify good practices.
Was there a particular reason you enrolled with Learning People, and did you speak to other educators or training providers?
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 use. It’s all pretty straightforward, and I really like the interactive side of things where it gives you a quiz every so often.
Did you 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 helping 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, and 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.
Start learning today
If you are looking to improve your project management skills like Alexandra, please get in touch with us today and we can guide you through every step to help embark you on your new career.
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