Project management became relevant in my life long before I even understood its propensity. It began at age fourteen when I started a neighborhood club for kids with the ambitious mission to save the earth. To create the project, my first agenda item was to recruit new members. I carried this out by going door to door and explaining my cause to the neighbors and asking if they would allow their kids to join the club. I then hosted a first meeting in my parent’s garage and was able to form an inspiring group of 6 members. As the head of the club I developed our first undertaking, which was to ask our neighbors to donate their cans for the group to recycle. To do so, I asked every member to collect as many empty cans as they could and each week I designated two members to accompany my mother to the grocery store to recycle the cans for money. The money earned was then used for our monthly “flyer party” where we would discuss ideas over lunch and hand craft flyers in which we would tape to our neighbors’ door, informing them on ways in which they could conserve. A little project manager, already hard at work!
Ten years later, my childhood obscurity became a full blown love affair. Taking various elements of project and finding a way for them to align, compliment and deepen a shared focus became the compass for my career ambitions. I went on to study Communications at the California State University, Fullerton and developed a connection with conceptual messaging and creative design. I joined the advertising club and won 3rd place in the first competition I entered for a print ad design. I was a top performer of my website & HTML design class, and the only student in the class whose final project -- which was to find a local company who didn’t have a website and build them one -- was adapted and uploaded live on to the web.
My years at CSUF were challenging and sometimes seen in the reflection of my course work outside the communications curriculum. I watched my grandmother, whom I was very close with, develop, suffer and pass on from cancer. My levels of maturity faltered causing me to lose focus, as I struggled to overcome my sense of loss and sorrow. However in time, I found new growth and began thinking about what my future means. With this revitalized perspective, I propelled forward in pursuit of opportunity.
My senior year I won an internship opportunity at Foote Cone & Belding, a well known advertising agency, and found a home on the account services team. After graduation I was offered a full-time position and spent several years at the firm serving as liaison between the client and the agency, managing my peer’s progress against my client expectations. Given the nature of the business, and the high functionality and output of the firm, I found zeal with these “grown up” puzzles-- managing work orders, time-lines, status reports, preparing competitive analysis and budget tracking. As the years went by, my advertising career...