Thursday, April 06, 2017

PMP Success Story: A Long-Awaited Dream Came True

By Ajanta Behera, PMP



Introduction

I had always been hearing of PMP® success stories from few of my colleagues since 2011.I had also heard that PMP certification is very tough. Since then, I had a dream of earning PMP credential. In earlier years, I put in some thought of doing PMP, but the determination was not that strong. Hence even though it was there in my subconscious mind, I never got a strong calling – until recently and received my PMP credential on 5th April, 2017. 


I was working in my former company as a senior support analyst.  I used to perform well in my current role and was always waiting for the right time to get promotion to the management level. There came an opportunity once in the team, and my manager got promoted to the next level. However, I could have been promoted easily, to replace his position. 

But as it is said, good things in life do not come easily; they need to be earned. Next in few days, it was announced that our company is getting closed. At that moment, I decided to shift my career from the technical background to the management side, as I strongly believe I am born to be a manager. That was the moment that sparked a thought of me pursuing PMP certification.

PMP Coaching Experience
Once I made up my mind of pursuing PMP, I looked up for the classroom training for PMP and I found that the days were quite suitable for me from 21st Jan 2017 to 29th Jan 2017, over the weekends.

I still remember that day, when we were waiting for Satya Sir and he came in around 9.30 a.m. He was suffering from a very bad cold. He was also not keeping well. He started with one round of introduction for all the aspiring candidates for PMP.  Then he started giving details on the topics for PMP.  

More than us, Satya sir had the confidence that we would be PMP certified someday. His knowledge on each and every topic of PMP says that he knows the content in and out.  He constantly gave us information on what is important from the exam point of view, and which one should we focus more. After each chapter, there was a rapid question answer session, which we had to answer ourselves. Then the discussion of why a particular choice was correct and many quicker and smarter ways to remember the concepts. 

The way Satya Sir delivered each topic - made each topic so easy to understand and it was so easy to remember. It clearly shows that Satya sir has put in a lot of effort himself and that is one reason why many of his students are able to come out with flying colours. He made the formulas so easy to remember. 

It is well said, that a student’s life can be well carved with a great teacher. Satya sir was another great inspiration for me to complete my PMP certification.

Own Study
After attending Satya sir’s classroom training, I had to make up my mind for registering in the PMI site. I registered within one week and then filled up the application in the PMI site. Then filled up the form and submitted it for approval to the PMI. Within 7 working days, I got a mail that I can schedule my exam. 

I had also ordered the hard copy of the PMBOK® Guide and had thought of completing it once, along with Satya Sir’s Book “I Want To Be A PMP”, before scheduling the exam. I scheduled my exam for 5th of April 2017. This happened somewhere around Feb 2017. Then the extensive preparation phase started. Being a mother of an active girl child and no support at home, it was a tough challenge which looked quite impossible in the beginning. But my constant perseverance, determination, hard work and last but not the least extensive support of my husband and my daughter finally helped me to clear the PMP yesterday as planned. 

When I look back at the way of doing preparation, I did the followings:

  • I used to put 6-7 hours of time daily for the preparation, getting up early in the morning, sleeping late. 
  • Even When I was travelling or went to a party, I always had the PMBOK Guide and Satya sir’s book, I Want To Be A PMP, handy with me.  These were the most important guides throughout the preparation time. 
  • I also referred Rita MulCahy’s book only for questions, Christopher Scordo book for the 1000 questions.
  • I had also solved the question sets provided by Satya sir. I had made it a point to complete around 30 to 50 questions every day. Also, used KnowledgeHut questions. 
  • It was practice, practice and practice all throughout the day. Satya sir’s question papers were really tough. All the questions gave an insight to me how to find a solution for a given situation or what would be the right course of action. 
  • Day in and day out when I had time, I just got stuck to PMBOK and Satya sir’s book. Satya sir’s book had all the important information, and PMBOK was highly detailed. 
  • Combining everything, I would have attempted around 3500 questions. I had also downloaded code of ethics and professional conduct from the net and gone through it once.
  • On the exam day, I was fully calm and composed. As said by Satya sir in his book, that the preparation time was already over and it was time for performing in the examination.


PMP Exam Experience

I scheduled my exam for 5th April 2017 in Prestige Shantiniketan, Bangalore, India.  I knew the location as it is within my office campus. My exam was scheduled at 8AM in the morning. I went there at 6.30AM and reached by 7AM. I saw other people waiting for the exam. I completed all my formalities for the exam and went inside at 7.45 AM for the exam. 
  • During my practice of the questions and answers for PMP, I had come across several long questions many of the time. So, I had planned that I will take only one question one at a time. I had no option of coming back to the same question second time. So, at the first shot itself, I need to answer the questions and then move on to the next question. I had planned to review my questions only if I have time. 
  • And the same thing (one mentioned before) happened during the exam. Though I was thrilled to see a personalised question paper for me with my name written on the top, I had to focus on my questions. And see each and every question were a long essay. I had to go through them, sometimes reading them again and again to understand the questions well. 
  • I could only complete sharp 50 questions in 1 hour on average and I finished my exam only 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Once completed, I just took a deep breath and submitted my answers with the hope to see the congratulations message on the screen. 
  • Satya sir has rightly said that once you have answered the question, it would not be wise to change the answers at the last moment unless very sure. I followed the same principle. 

Within few moments, I got one the best awaited messages of my life – “Congratulations …”! I was literally in tears. The feeling that I conquered the world can’t be explained. It needs to be felt.

Conclusion
I want to be a volunteer for the PMI site. Also, would like to help people with their preparation phase for the exam. Though Satya sir is already there giving the much-needed knowledge and inspiration to become a PMP, I would like to extend the same to several other people. 

Last but not the least, I want to thank Satya Sir, my parents, in laws, husband and my daughter to motivate me and keep me inspired to be a PMP.  This is a memory to be cherished throughout my life. Best experience with the best set of people.

Brief Profile: Ajanta Behera, I am currently working as an Associate Project Manager, Standard Chartered Bank. I have 12 years of experience in various domains - Clinical, Insurance, and Finance. I have total of 12 years of experience in variety of domains - Clinical, Insurance, Finance. 



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