My name is Otillia Muzvondiwa. I’m a Project Manager at St.Mary’s University, A mentor and a trainer at Career Insights, Digital Bananas Technology.
In February, 2014, I had no job, no prior Project Management or Business Analyst experience as I hadn’t worked for 2 years since I had to take time off to take care of my young family.
It started with a decision, a decision I made to start a new career. I knew it was time for me to start a career and I wanted to be a Business Analyst but didn’t know how to go about it. I took to the internet to look for a course on BA or a training institute that offered what I wanted but all promised to provide theory and no experience what so ever. With the growing need for experiences in today’s job market, where would I get one?
My mum told me about Career insights because she came across it on Facebook (My mum loves social media). I called for further enquiries, spoke with a member of staff and immediately I was convinced that I needed to start the training as soon as possible.
My Intensive Hands Of Training With Career Insights
I started my 5-days intensive training from a Monday through to Friday. This was quite intense for me because I had lots of information pushed into me but I did enjoy it as I was enthusiastic and excited to learn something new which made me look forward to starting my work experience .
I found the training necessary prior to the work experience because it gave me a good foundation in that I got the information/ knowledge I needed to work with and apply when i started my work experience. It came very helpful as I now see myself constantly referring to notes I took at my 5 – days Intensive training.
At the training; I was set up, introduced to and given access to DBT’s Eco system, platform and resources/tools (Gmail, google drive, Basecamp, SharePoint etc.) where the company has all its Live Project, Project Files, Text Documents, Project Discussions, Activities and so on.
My Work Experience At Digital Bananas Technology
My work experience started when I joined the live projects after my 5 Days Intensive training. At this point i considered myself an employee and I knew I needed to take my job seriously if I wanted to get the result I desired.
I joined a project called Great Gatsby which was about creating and customising Experience Day videos for a company called ‘’Red Letter Days’’ according to their requirements. I started attending meetings, taking up tasks to do and I was soon immersed into the Project as a member of the BA Team. This saw me staying up late to make sure I complete my tasks, have meetings with my team and so on. Great Gatsby was temporarily halted and I immediately moved into another project called “Need for Speed” which was about developing a Widget that would integrate Facebook ratings and reviews into a company’s websites where I was the Deputy BA lead. Before the completion of THE “Need for Speed Project, I became the BA Tech Lead of another project called “The Transporter” which was about creating an online booking cab services in Africa.
These Projects gave me the opportunity to learn and develop new fundamental skills needed/used in a Project’s lifecycle, I soon understood the framework and Project processes as I applied all I was taught in the 5 – day intensive training into the live projects and saw real results and consequences, it was a valuable experience. It was at this time in these projects that I went for my first interview at ST. Mary’s University and secured a role as a Project Manager.
Taking the Career Insights BA & PM Personality Test
You would wonder how it happened that i came into Career Insights hoping to be trained a Business Analyst but ended up getting a job as Project Manager. The secret is the Personality test.
The Personality test is functionality in the CI Website that helps you with making a decision of either becoming a Project Manager, Businesses Analyst, PMO Analyst, etc., by asking you series of questions to determine your personality and what you are naturally inclined to doing, it was developed in the proviso that it would be better to do things that are natural to you that you wouldn’t have to struggle with, that way you achieve sweet success.
I took the personality test after my first presentation to the sponsor at a sponsor’s meeting, where he advised that he could see more of a Project Manager quality in me rather than a Business Analyst. The personality test did confirm that I should go the Project Manger route which I obviously haven’t regretted making that decision.
My Mentoring Sessions
Alongside my daily work on Projects, I attended Mentoring Sessions that have been set up by senior members in DBT, to educate and inform candidates about topics relating to Project Management, PMO duties and responsibilities, Project Planning, Business Analysis and so on. These mentoring sessions are held almost every day and the dates/details posted on the Basecamp calendar. Fortunately for me, I was home to attend all of them which equipped me with the information I needed about the tools, resources, etc to be used to achieve success in projects
Getting a Job
This is the most exciting part. I had gathered so much information and spent time working in multiple projects, I had spent just above 12weeks in DBT’s Eco system, used the project tools on most of my tasks and projects, completed a Project’s lifecycle, seeing a project from when it started to its closure and yes, at this point, I felt confident enough to go out there, not only to talk about what I had been doing for the past weeks but replicating these processes according to any company’s framework, I knew it was time for me to get a paying job.
Getting a Personal Mentor
Even though I felt I was ready, with the skills and experience I now had to land me my first role, I was still scared. I didn’t know the steps to take towards securing an interview and actually going for one. The questions in my head were, how do I go about looking for a job? Where do I search? What do I say in an interview? What skills would I put forward? How do I collate all my information, knowledge and experience I had gained so far into a story that tells a potential employer that I can actually do the job? At that point, I knew I needed someone who had been where I want to be, to hold my hands and lead me into getting a job. I decided that the right thing for me to do was get a mentor.
I took a mentor because at that point and I needed to get a job fast without wasting time making mistakes. I wanted to get it right and I did. My mentor showed me the ropes, collated all I had learnt so far, searched for a suitable role that matched my skills and helped me secure an interview. She didn’t stop there, she prepared me for the interview by telling me how to express myself and show my skills and yes, I secured my first role, I got the job! You can click here to read my message to Keji when I secured my first role as a Project Manager at Queens Mary University.
Becoming A Mentor & Trainer
I now have a job, I secured my role as a Project Manager and I’m happy. It didn’t stop there, you decided to profit from DBT by becoming a ‘mentor’ to other candidates, showing other candidates how I was able to attain my success, training them and leading them through the path towards getting a job.
Remember, everyone needs help at some point and that’s what I do now, I help other candidates by not only training them but also mentoring them and I get paid for it. The best part is that I do this without having to quit my day job.
Career Insights worked and is still working for me. I bless the day I made the decision of training at Career Insight. To God be the glory!
By: Otillia Muzvondiwa. BSC, MA
Project Manager – St.Mary’s University,
Project Manager, Mentor &Trainer- Digital Bananas Technology
Now its your turn.
I will still be holding the training programs myself however it will now be in conjunction with the Career Insights Alumni group. They understand where you are coming from because they have been there and they know exactly what you need to do to succeed because they have the T-Shirt to show for it. The sessions will a lot more intense and extremely hands-on with one-2-one support from your mentors. Now booking! Join the November 2014 session before it’s fully booked.
Call to book your slot on: 0203 793 7731 OR 0203 793 7732 (Mon – Fri 9am – 5:30pm)
Listen to how we can help change your career path and pay package: