If you walked through ITD Canada last night - you likely saw something very different than the usual nightly classes and studying students...
On November 23rd we hosted 11 Project Management professionals from various industries. Project Management experts attended from IT Companies like "Cisco" (focused on software development), to veterans concentrated on engineering projects and personal consulting. Many of the judges were organizers and members of the Canadian Project Management Chapter. These professionals formed a well-rounded panel of judges, highly knowledgeable and experienced in the field of Project Management.
Senior Business Administration students from this term's Project Management class were given the unique opportunity to present a mock business pitch of a Project Management plan to actual Canadian Project Management professionals. The students only restriction; a simulated $500,00 limit on spending and a 30 minute time limit.
The event was a definite success. With students in professional dress, 5 different teams presented unique and commercially viable Project Management Plans. There was certainly no lack of creativity in the ideas the students came up with. From Project Management plans ranging from the music industry to the fishing industry - there were no two presentations alike. Each presentation lasted approximately 30 minutes with a 10 minute question period following. The students professionalism and maturity was commendable, as each judge asked advanced and critical questions about the viability and quality of each component of their project plan. Put on the spot, students responded with understanding and humility, acknowledging the expertise of their audience.
Although presenting in front of a large group of industry professionals when you are a student (and technically an amateur in the field) is certainly nerve-racking and involves long hours of preparation, this kind of "hands on" real life experience is an invaluable exercise. Students were able to practice public-speaking and presentation skills, while also seeing how their work and ideas measure up in the real world of Canadian Project Management.
Don't worry - the night definitely wasn't all work and no play! After presentations finished students and PM professionals got to know each other and mingled over coffee and doughnuts. Some debates over project viability and alternative ideas from student presentations even continued on until the room cleared out. It was a great night for professional practice, sharing ideas, collaboration, networking...and even some fun.
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