UC Davis CPE scholarship winner Rajesh Kumar Yadav poses for a photo

CPE Awards Inaugural “Build Your Own Career” Scholarship to Nepalese Changemaker

Working with nonprofit development projects that directly benefit marginalized communities, Rajesh Kumar Yadav has been making an impact in his native Nepal for nearly 10 years. But his dream of helping others spans borders. As a recipient of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s (CPE) Build Your Own Career Scholarship, Yadav’s goal of overseeing a portfolio of development projects and programs on a global scale is now within reach.

The award—designed to help financially challenged professionals advance their careers—will enable Yadav to enroll in CPE’s online Project Management Certificate Program, so he can build up his project management skill set and be better equipped to advance in his career and successfully manage his current projects more efficiently. “I'm overjoyed to know that I have received the inaugural Build Your Own Career Scholarship,” he says, adding that the lack of recognized project management certificate programs in his home country have prevented him from taking this next step in his career. “The opportunity to pursue professional education despite financial restraints, travel limits and other professional commitments would not have been possible without this scholarship program.”

Making the Impossible Possible

After almost a decade in the nonprofit industry, Yadav admits that his career has not progressed as quickly as he would have liked. Two years ago, he took on the role of project manager after previously working in project execution, monitoring and reporting. But it’s been an uphill battle. “I had to fight hard to get this job,” he says of getting turned down for several interviews and encountering difficulties managing his projects in the first year.

“I later came to the realization that in order to succeed in the professional world, I required both theoretical knowledge and practical abilities for managing projects,” says Yadav. “I believe I would have thrived much more in my profession if I had had the chance to enroll in a formal project management certificate program earlier in my career,” says Yadav.

“The project management course curriculum and schedule are absolutely perfect and worth devoting my time to,” he says. As an approved provider of project management training by the Project Management Institute (PMI), CPE’s program checked all the boxes he was looking for, motivating him to apply for the scholarship.

“This scholarship is a great opportunity for me to hone my project management knowledge and skills at an internationally renowned institution while remaining in my own country,” Yadav says, noting that he’s employed and has family obligations and budgetary limitations that prevent him from traveling from Nepal.

Without the scholarship, Yadav says he never imagined he’d be able to attend a foreign institution. “The course cost is reasonable for students and professionals from developed countries, but for most students from underdeveloped or least-developed countries, this might not be affordable. Even the moderate course costs are more than our annual salary here, making it difficult to contemplate flying abroad for professional education,” he explains. “This scholarship is an illustration of how UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education has acted to promote inclusivity and a better world.”

A Career Milestone

For Yadav, the opportunity to participate in CPE’s Project Management Program is a dream come true. “It’s like achieving a career milestone in terms of my academic and professional development,” he says. “This certificate program will give me a competitive edge in any industry. With this scholarship, I'm confident that I'll be able to advance my knowledge and abilities, obtain a formal certification in project management from a reputable organization and become competent in my profession.”

About the Build Your Own Career Scholarship Program

Learn more about CPE’s Build Your Own Career Scholarship, including how you can support deserving professionals like Rajesh Kumar Yadav.  

As Yadav prepares to start the certificate program, he is looking forward to broadening his perspective, networking with international peers and learning from UC Davis instructors. “I want to gain the expertise and self-confidence necessary to manage projects while adhering to the allocated budget and schedules and achieving all of the predetermined goals,” he says. “I'm confident this training will give me access to cutting-edge project management techniques and best practices from around the world.”

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