Program Manager, Technology
Instructor, Project Management
20 years of experience in the workplace
Sean Ghotbi is an instructor in the Project Management Certificate Program at California State University, Fullerton. In this Q&A, he talks about program benefits, the value of a cohort model, and common career paths for graduates of the program.
What is one of your favorite courses or assignments in this certificate program and why?
All courses are equally important and educationally rewarding, as each contributes to the development of the learners in specific project management knowledge areas and performance domains.
The Managing Procurement, Planning, and Risk in Projects course could be regarded as the most critical of all for the simple reason that projects would have low probability of success without an appropriate level of planning in the areas of scope, risk, and procurement (where applicable). The aforementioned would have significant impact on project schedule, cost, and quality; hence, the successful delivery of the business goals and objectives in the project.
What does the cohort model — where you take all of your classes with the same group of peers — bring to the Project Management learning experience?
It helps with developing skills in teamwork, team development, collaboration, and conflict management. It presents a unique learning opportunity that reasonably resembles a real-world project experience involving a team that have not previously worked together.
In order to achieve the intended learning value, the entire team needs to be involved in all aspects of the project, contributing to and holding one another accountable for the success of the same group as pertains to the project outcomes.
How does a program like the Project Management Certificate program prepare students for successful careers?
A certificate program that is designed to bring both the concept as well as the application of a discipline into a unique learning experience can have immediate, significant impact on the development of the participating individuals, novice or practicing professionals.
They would be able to effectively advance in that discipline and apply the gained knowledge in their business environments while going through the program and ultimately upon successful completion of the program.The student will attain critical, creative, and practical thinking skills necessary to flourish in business environments. Essentially, the student will understand how to apply their learning to solve real-world challenges.
What are some common career paths for graduates?
Project Coordinator – Concurrently while going through the program.
Project Manager – Immediately after completing the program, or while going through the program based on the business needs.
Project/Business Analyst – Immediately after completing the program; or, while going through the program, based on business needs.
Program Manager – After a few years of experience as Project Manager
Is there anything else that students should know in order to be successful in this program?
On the soft skills side, they should understand the value of teamwork and be willing to continually develop as a leader as they go through the entire program. On the hard skills side, having the knowledge of an application software such as Microsoft Project would extend their learning experience in the areas of schedule and cost management.
You can learn more about the Project Management Certificate Program – including information on dates, cost and registration – on our program page.Project Management