I started this journey during my Executive MBA in 2016 where I had to choose an elective and chose Project Management. It was then I decided I was going to learn more. In the process, I got to know about the PMP® Certification. I dragged my feet between then and 2018 when I decided to take this seriously. I then began to research the criteria for the PMP® Certification, which included extensive project management experience, classroom time and the certification examination. I began to study, but it was like I was hitting a brick wall as a lot of it seemed too complex.
A colleague of mine who was a student of Mr Obalim at Ciel Consulting highly recommended his training school and I came over and made enquiries. The team advised on the specific materials to get and how to go about preparing for the exams. I registered for the classes in December 2018 with the plan to take the exam in March 2019.
My first class with Mr Obalim is summarized in one word – DEMYSTIFYING. He made Project Management totally relatable and easy to understand. His classes were interactive and warm. We could ask any questions and clear answers We shared some of our own work scenarios for his review and feedback. With that psychological adjustment, I dived into studying.
Actions I took following Mr Obalim’s training:
1. I created a study schedule and stuck to it.
2. As a working man, I sacrificed my weekends for a few months knowing the process was for the short period of time.
3. I studied using vivid scenarios, and not from an academic approach. I built the scenarios based on PMI®’s expectations, and not my previous experience. Rita Mulcahy’s PMP® Study Prep was an awesome study material.
4. I iterated. For every question I failed, I went back to study the entire section to understand not just the answer, but the context.
5. When I had questions, I just sent Mr Obalim an email and he would respond promptly.
6. I gave a few weeks to the exam for just revision.
I took the certification exam on the 16th of May 2019, and as the system calculated my score band, it seemed like a million years. The result came up and once I saw “Congratulations” it was enough or me. I got my report print out and left the hall. However, it was in my car I realized my score band was “Above Target”. A shocker though but in hind sight, I realized a good foundation was laid at Ciel Consulting. Indeed, Mr. Obalim’s classes demystified the process and made it easy to study.
I must commend his ability to break things down and with a smile or a giggle, use relatable scenarios to illustrate his point. Ciel Consulting will always be part of my PMP® success story.
Emenike Ezekwesili (PMP® #2563914)