I was speaking with a friend of mine in November 2012 about how difficult it was to get a job in the project management environment. He told me how he had been in four different interviews as PMO Analyst and had met at least a candidate from Career Insights at each interview.
He further told me, that he did not know what they do at Career Insights but CI’s candidates were full of confidence and stood out in the group tasks at the interviews. That was how he got to know about CI and he recommended CI to me. He said one thing he knows for sure; that if I grasp the opportunity with both hands, CI will help boost my confidence and sharpen my Project Management skills.
I attended the introductory class in January 2012 and I was very impressed at how Keji analysed and disected the PRINCE 2 Manual inside out in ten minutes. I knew there and then that I was on the right path and right place to hone my skills.
I commenced my week-long intensive training in February and I went there with a mind ready to learn from a seasoned Project Management Guru. Although, I had passed my PRINCE 2 exams prior to attending, I understood little about the practical nature of a fast-paced Agile PM environment and before the end of the day, I had a better understanding.
I was so determined that each day i travelled 6 hours round trip from outside London and I was always the first to arrive at the office. Even Abi struggled to keep up with my early arrival. I joined CI at an excitng time when a major change request was about to take place and I am proud I was part of the team that carried out the analyses that led to the change of name.
In April, I felt I had done enough to start applying for interviews. I got my first interview at the end of April and when I went for the interview, I held did well on some aspects but was found out because I hadnt enough experience as a product owner. I walked into the interview room and was given a set of scenarios and was told I have 30 mins to come up with UML diagrams, BPMNs, Logical Process flow diagrams and any other analysis to help me present the scenario to my interviewers. Within 30 mins, I did all I could and blew their minds away. At that moment I thought the job was mine. I never knew I was in for a shocker!!!. . Then came the simplest of questions. They said; Could you please tell us 6 different information that would be in the Functional Specifications Document? I felt like the ground should open and swallow me instantly. I was found out as I had not been a product owner. Bottom line was that they said I had a sound business knowledge but lack the technical experience they were looking for.
Then came a new project in May. EH-FaceCard was born and I was fortunate to take up a key role in an exciting project. I was involved in the project from the onset and when an interview came up in June, I knew it would be easy to get the job. At the interview, they offer a range of mortgage services across their platform and their main users are mortgage brokers. Then came a scenario that their MD wants to add an additional service to the platform and the question was how would I go about it? They liked my response very much and what struck them particularly was when I said: I would visit the mortgage brokers and inform them about the service to be added and ask about their concerns and issues. If they think adding the additional service will boost sales, make usabilty easier or slow the entire process down. They said they didnt think about visiting the mortgage brokers as they just use members of their development team to role-play. I told them: why role play when you can get more valid requirements from the mortgage brokers. Bottom line was they chose to give the job to a junior member of the company and that if it was based on performance in the interview, they would have offered me the job. The agency that sent me there said they gave me a very good feedback and I was pleased with that cos that was all I needed to hear.
I continued learning from the best and in July, I had an interview in a company that has over 20 brands and controls a yearly turn over of £5bn.
The interviewer said he was looking for a BA experience in dealing with difficult stake holders and as well as experience of working in an agile environment.
I told him about HMC and how difficult it was dealing with a Sponsor who already knew what he wanted before asking the BA team to carry out tasks. I also told him about how difficult it was to have our daily scrum meetings as we have some offshore stakeholders and that still we reached a solution that enables us to have our daily stakeholders meeting.
He was so impressed with HMC and the fact that we work in an agile environment. I knew the job was mine when he took me round showing me their development teams. They have 32 development teams and each team consists of 7-8 developers,
When God says it’s your time, no one can take it away from you. It was such an informal interview and it was like he was selling the company and their portfolios of projects to me and wooing me to come on board his team.It got to a stage I became the interviewer and he, the interviewee.
Bottom line, two weeks after, on the 1st of Aug 2013, I got the offer and I give God all the glory for what He is doing through Keji.
Thanks Keji. May God continue to empower you as you empower others. The bible says He that watereth shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:25).
Guys, keep believing, your time will come and it is soon.
God bless us all. Amen!!! Amaju