Project Coordinator Gains Valuable Management Skills at UCSC Extension


- Vishal Kapoor

Term : May, 2013
Department : Business and Management
Program : Project and Program Management

By the time Vishal Kapoor enrolled in the Project and Program Management Certificate program, he had already completed both an M.B.A. and an M.S. in computer science. Originally from India, Kapoor turned to UCSC Extension’s International Programs to find a way to continue his internship at a Silicon Valley company while fine-tuning project management skills he could apply right away.

 “The best part of studying at UCSC Extension was that I got an opportunity to meet a lot of professionals who are working as project managers,” he says. “The exposure and experience gave me more clarity on what project management is all about. I was impressed by the reputation of the university, the course content, the pricing, and the flexibility of the schedule.”

Kapoor worked closely with Extension's International program staff to secure his course schedule and complete paperwork for his visa. He was able to earn Extension credit for his internship and felt empowered by the knowledge and skills he could take back to work. As a project coordinator, he is still gaining the experience needed to manage his own projects, and Extension’s courses offered valuable practice and critical feedback. He liked being able to take ownership over projects in courses like Applied Project Management.

“It was a very impressive course, for one simple reason: the content is designed in such a matter that it is not just theoretical concepts, but relevant project work,” Kapoor says. “We had to make all of the documents that a project manager is required to create, like a project charter. In my current position, I don’t often get the opportunity to be so hands-on.”

Kapoor especially appreciated the program’s focus on project planning, a skill that is often underutilized in the real world.

“A lot of the time, people get into fire-fighting mode,” he says. “You are in a contingency situation, doing damage control, as opposed to planning well to avoid those issues. Extension courses emphasize strong planning skills. The instructors are all very articulate, approachable and friendly—you really get an opportunity to learn from their experience.”

Once he completes his certificate, Kapoor plans to study for the PMP® exam. He says that the foundation he has built at Extension is good preparation for the exam, which many regard as the industry standard for project management.

“The certificate program is extremely helpful for students gunning for the PMP®,” he says. “It is in sync with what the PMP® demands. When you got to LinkedIn and browse professional profiles, a lot of people have certifications from UCSC Extension, as well as the PMP®.”

Visit our Project and Program Management page to learn more about Extension’s unique offerings. Browse upcoming Project and Program Management courses.

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