Technology Project Management graduate student Ashutosh Kadukar recently earned the Project Management Institute's (PMI) prestigious Global Accreditation Center (GAC) scholarship award.
The $3,000 scholarship is intended to assist young project management professionals in bolstering their experiences, certifications and qualifications in the industry, and Kadukar is determined to make the most of its potential.
Having earned an undergraduate degree in production engineering in India, his experiences while working at a gearbox manufacturing company are what led him to pursue a master's degree in project management and begin exploring PMI's available resources.
"I began as a design engineer and I slowly progressed into a project management role," he said. "While I was making this transition from engineering to project management, I was also exploring different professional organizations to support my growth. That's how I came across PMI. I thought it was just an organization to help with certifications, but I soon realized that PMI has much more to offer.”
“PMI has chapters and forums that allow individuals from the project management community to connect with each other, which has been great. There are a ton of resources available, like PMIstandards+, which allows me to go through different templates, resources, and standards that can apply to real-life situations. As a student, those resources have really helped with my studies across several courses."
Being part of the PMI Houston Student Venue has also allowed Kadukar to explore and connect with project management contacts around the area, giving him a chance to better understand their industry perspectives and the projects they currently have underway in addition to connecting with other students.
"Technology Project Management is a relatively small group of students, so a student chapter is a great way for everyone in the UH community who is interested in project management to connect, which is a fantastic idea. I didn't even know that PMI had scholarships,” he said. “Zara Rashidbayli has been great about sharing scholarship opportunities and upcoming volunteering and event dates with all of us. Her transparent communication is how I came to know that there even was a scholarship available, and because I received that award this year, the incoming students are really excited to network and explore all of the opportunities available to them out there," he said.
The PMI-GAC scholarship has already allowed Kadukar to pay for his Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification, and he's also looking forward to enhancing his project-product prowess by earning Professional Scrum Master (PSM™), Wicked Problem Solving (WPS™) Practitioner, and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certifications.
"Earning these industry-standard certifications will help me stand out in the professional market when I graduate in May 2024. I'm looking forward to finding a role in product or program management, perhaps with a technology or engineering company," he added. "I worked as a Business Office intern at Volvo Group North America last summer. That was an amazing experience and a great starting point for my career in the US, because it enhanced the credibility of my resume and will be a foundation for many potential opportunities in the market."
The specific product, however, is far less pertinent than the need to ensure its production and supply runs smoothly.
"The commodity may change," Kadukar said. "Today, I may be managing oil and gas projects. Tomorrow, I could be handling software projects. Even though I'm growing and gaining valuable experience, my management skills remain consistent. This is what I tell everybody: if you're skilled and interested management, make sure that you leverage this beautiful flexibility – you can move into nearly any industry and still retain your immense value and impact as a project management professional.