After completing the Project Management course and finishing the master’s degree program in Biotechnology: Regulatory Affairs, I hope to use my knowledge and skills to support a successful career. Right now, my focus is primarily on earning my master’s degree, so I have yet to decide on a specific career path. Therefore, it is valuable for me to consider a variety of potential project management roles and positions. Some of the roles I would consider include project manager, regulatory team leader, and procurement team leader.
First, I can envision myself assuming the role of a project manager. According to the Harvard Business Review (2016), this top-level leadership position would involve the high-level development and oversight of a project. My role would be to define the scope of the problem, oversee the activities of the teams involved in completing the project, coordinate with stakeholders and sponsors, end the project upon completion, and assess the results in order to gain knowledge for future projects (Harvard Business Review, 2016). This position would be available in almost any industry, but I envision myself taking on the role in the biotechnology or engineering industry, considering the nature of my master’s degree. I could also see myself becoming a project manager in other science-related sectors.
Even though I am not completing the PMAN program in project management, I still believe I could take on a role as a project manager. More than ever, technical specialists are working as project managers in their fields of expertise (Paton & Hodgson, 2016). Therefore, the fact that my master’s degree will be in biotechnology does not preclude me from a high-level role as a project manager. In fact, my technical expertise could actually benefit me in a project manager role, since organizational knowledge creation is an increasingly important aspect of the project manager’s role (Bibbins, Rollins, & Johnsto, 2017). Because I have a strong academic background in biotechnology and forensic science, I would be ideally positioned to contribute to organizational knowledge in a science or engineering company.
Nevertheless, completing the Foundations of Project Management course will provide the essential academic foundation I need to assume the role of a project manager, even in an industry with which I am familiar. This course will cover a variety of non-technical topics that project managers need to understand and apply in order to be successful. For instance, in this course, I will become familiar with the overall steps of the project execution process, from initiation to closing, and I will learn about the planning and implementation of complex, multi-phase projects. The course will also help me prepare to become a project manager by enhancing my leadership and team oversight skills. In efficiently complete a project, a project manager must be able to effectively manage relationships (Meng & Boyd, 2017), and this course will introduce me to the necessary communication and coordination skills. The other courses in my master’s degree program are more technically oriented toward the industries in which I will probably work, but this course will help directly prepare me for a job as a project manager.
Another potential project management I could assume is that of a regulatory team leader. On larger project, team leaders manage smaller teams of individuals who work on a specific aspect of a project (Harvard Business Review, 2016). They have the responsibility of overseeing lower-level employees, but they also report directly to the project manager (Harvard Business Review, 2016). Because my master’s degree will be in Biotechnology: Regulatory Affairs, I can imagine myself in a role as a regulatory team leader in a larger project in the biotechnology or engineering industry. This position would make the most of my academic background, since I am familiar with government regulations in the field of biotechnology.
Completing the Foundations of Project course would directly prepare me for this job. For leaders involved in the regulatory aspects of the project and development process, it is important to be able to understand and apply leadership theories that maximize project performance (Lai, Hsu, & Li, 2018). This course will help me learn about team oversight and development so that I can do so in my future career. In addition, by familiarizing me with the job of the project manager, the things I learn will help me understand their responsibilities and work effectively with them in a job as a regulatory team leader.
In the future, I can also imagine myself in a role as a procurement team leader, most likely in the biotechnology or engineering industry. This could involve finding and obtaining the necessary materials for a project (such as lab supplies and reagents), as well as finding contractors to conduct research or manufacture certain aspects of the technology. Again, because of my technical academic background, this career path is closely aligned with my expertise. At the same time, taking the Fundamentals of Project Management course will help me learn how to coordinate with suppliers and contractors at different phases of a project, ensuring that I optimize the quality of the deliverables I procure while staying within budget. As a team leader, I will also be working closely with the project manager, and the course will help me better understand their job so that I can serve as an effective collaborator. In this way, I believe this course will benefit me if I find myself in a job as a procurement team leader in the future.