Project Management Certificate Program graduate Jessica Johnson headshot

Student Spotlight: Jessica Johnson

Juggling a variety of tasks at the same time was never an issue for Jessica Johnson, a facilities and housing specialist for a community services organization in Northern California. From writing grant applications to working with contractors to build homeless shelters, Johnson was always involved in a variety of projects. "When you work for a non-profit you wear many hats," Johnson said. But when she wanted to become a project manager, her CEO suggested she enroll in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Project Management Certificate Program.

As a working professional and mother, Johnson found that the program’s online courses suited her busy schedule. "The online format was great," she said. "And I made connections with a few students who were going through at the same pace as me."

Though she had plenty of experience managing projects, Johnson wasn’t familiar with the field of project management or its technical vernacular and practices. Here, she found the instructors really helped. "The teachers were great. Tony Oliver [instructor for several Project Management Certificate Program courses] provided great feedback. He would allow students to resubmit assignments until they understood it and got it right."

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Johnson described how the lessons she got out of the program courses applied to aspects of her job. "The wide variety of information I learned was so valuable and immediately applicable to my job, such as project procurement, resource leveling and budgeting," she said. "But Mastering Project Time and Cost Management was my favorite class because it was most relevant to what I do."

"I would absolutely recommend the program," Johnson continued. "It’s thorough, well organized and the instructors are very responsive, which isn’t always the case with online courses. The lessons and skills I learned could be used on the job immediately."

But perhaps the most valuable thing she got out of completing the program was career advancement. "I was able to use my certificate to earn a promotion and a pay raise," Johnson said. "My title is now 'Project Manager,' and I’ve been given significantly more responsibility."

Hopefully she’s got space in her closet for a few more hats.

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