Software Architect Brings New Project Management Skills to His International Team


- Jake Lee

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

Jake Lee is a chief software architect responsible for developing new operating systems for smart computing labs abroad. Lee completed a master’s degree in electrical engineering abroad before coming to the United States. He discovered UCSC Extension while on a lunchtime walk with some of his colleagues. As an employee of an international company, he noticed that he needed project leadership and management technologies to effectively run several projects with virtual teams across several countries, and decided to enroll in Extension’s cutting-edge Project and Program Management certificate program.

“I have some experience as an engineer manager,” Lee says, but when it came time to develop an ambitious international project, he realized that he needed more training in order to direct and manage international teams efficiently. “I was looking for a place to get help learning practical project management skills, so I decided to study how to manage projects more efficiently.”

Lee says he appreciates his instructors’ varying teaching styles and methods. “Alan [Tsuda] suggests that I ask myself the fundamental questions: What is the meaning of project management?  What would be the leadership model you’d like to take? With him, I take more time to think about what I’m doing and gain different perspectives. Jeff [Schlageter] sticks to the core management ideas and skills; with him I feel more comfortable studying for the PMI exam with practical technologies. I learned a lot of things from both of them.”

After he completes his certificate, Lee hopes to pass the Project Management Institute’s exam and start putting new project management techniques into practice at work.

“When I was part of a research team, we usually worked with lots of international teams including those from France, England, China, India, and of course, America,” he says. “We had to manage them remotely, using technology. It was a challenge, communicating with six or seven teams, some in the U.S., some in Europe, some in Asia. Everyone has a different voice, a different background, and a different culture, even if some of them were working for a same company; we [had to] work as a multicultural team. I now use what I’ve learned to overcome these challenges and manage these projects.”

Lee recommends that those who are new to project management take the time to learn up-and-coming methods in order to best communicate at work.

“If you are not very clear about project management, maybe that means it’s time to come back and study,” he says. “Spend some time at UCSC Extension, learn new technology and new ideas, and maybe you will fulfill what you need to.”

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

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