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Student Profile: Emily Dean, Bachelor of Science in Project Management
Already working in project management and eager to grow her career, Emily Dean was excited to enroll at CityU to further her knowledge and get her degree. Emily jumped right into a job after earning her associate degree, but knew she always wanted to go back to school to get her bachelor’s. CityU’s flexibility made it all possible. With graduation right around the corner, Emily is happy to say she juggled the demands of her full-time job, the rigorous curriculum of CityU’s Bachelor of Science in Project Management and plans for her upcoming wedding. Congrats to Emily and the Class of 2015!
City University of Seattle (CU): Can you tell us a little more about yourself? What’s your professional background?
Emily Dean (ED): I was born and raised in the Seattle area. After receiving my associate degree from community college, I entered the full-time workforce. I began working in retail and found a strong pull toward leadership, quickly working my way into a management position. Eventually I was able to leverage my management experience to a project integration position with a local aerospace company.
CU: How did you find out about CityU?
ED: I have always dreamed of completing my bachelor’s degree, and after settling into a stable career, I decided there was no time like the present! CityU was recommended to me by my employer as a great college for people who are pursuing an education while working full time. In researching different online program options, CityU was repeatedly suggested by people in similar situations, and for me, it was local and there was the option to be on campus if necessary. I am getting married this summer, just two months after CityU’s graduation, and I’m proud to be able to say I successfully completed my education while balancing my career and planning my wedding.
CU: Why did you decide to enroll in the bachelor’s in project management?
ED: Throughout my professional experience I was drawn toward people management, and I was enjoying my position in project integration. Project management seemed like the perfect marriage of learning project and people management skills. Additionally, I’ve found project management is a sought after skillset, specifically in the engineering and software development industries. I felt the CityU Project Management program would offer job stability and open new doors in my career.
CU: What did you learn, and how will this degree help further your professional goals?
ED: I learned so much over my two-and-a-half years as a student at CityU. I feel as though I am walking away with a well rounded understanding of project management – from project conception to project closure, and everything along the way. I learned through the assignments and lectures, but I also took so much away from interactions with my peers and professors. As much of a challenge as group projects are (gulp!) they taught me the importance of planning, communication, fulfilling commitments, and even conflict management. Through having an array of professors, I learned the importance of understanding and fulfilling their individual expectations and preferences, which is representative of stakeholder management. There was just as much or more education gained through my interactions as there was through the classroom lessons, all of which will make me a better project manager and allow me to reach higher.
CU: Would you encourage others to study project management at CityU? Any advice for them?
ED: I would absolutely encourage people to study project management at CityU! The program was really educational and achievable while balancing all of life’s other challenges. My advice would be to focus on a quarter at a time and plan out your workload. Really invest in the readings and assignments, the more effort you put in, the more you will gain!
CU: Was there anything about CityU or the degree program in particular that you appreciated?
ED: I had some great professors at CityU who were dedicated to my personal experience and learning. Even as I prepare to graduate, they’re taking the time to offer feedback and suggest ways in which to further my learning. I really appreciate that.
CU: Are you planning to apply for jobs after you graduate? Where do you want to end up?
ED: Thankfully I am already employed as a project manager, and I was able to learn concurrently in the classroom and the real world. I won’t be seeking out a new employer, but I hope to work my way up within project management and eventually become a director in my field.