I am Prasad Bhat, working as a Program Manager at Amazon. Prior to joining Amazon in 2022, I have 5 years of experience in different Supply Chain functions at General Electric’s different business segments viz. Transportation, Power, Renewables and Aviation. I am a Mechanical Engineer at heart and hold an MBA from BITS, Pilani. I’m a certified LSS Green Belt holder and have completed Micromasters in Supply Chain Management and Logistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US.
- PMP Journey:
It all started in Nov – 2021, when I was talking to my cousin who was about to appear for the PMP examination that month. As I started to dig a little deeper to really know about the PMP certification, I was fascinated to know its benefits in terms of the knowledge enhancement and its extraordinary network (just to name a few) all around the globe. Within a week, I decided to acquire the PMP certification. My cousin informed me that he had already completed the required training a couple of months back from ProThoughts and recommended that I book a seat for the next training session as soon as possible. For me, this was my first step towards acquiring the Project Management Certification.
- Completing the Mandatory 35 PDU Training:
To attempt the examination, one has to take a professional PMP training course (36 hrs) which earns 35 PDU (Professional Development Units). The next challenge for me was to select a professional institute, where I could complete my training. I am a person who will research a lot before choosing any alternative and would only opt the one I personally see the value preposition in. I spent a week surfing the Internet. There were various online/offline options available. After this research, I approached ProThoughts for the training. Mr. Vidyesh Alve was our instructor, he was well versed with the PMP area and had industrial experience. He is an expert in his field and explained all the concepts very well and in an easily absorbable manner, which greatly helped me to develop a deep insight of them. He was always open to questions and ready to extend the lesson at our convenience. I also had the opportunity to interact with other participants from different fields i.e. manufacturing, Insurance, IT, Banking, etc which showed that PMP is not specific to any field. Our session was divided into 2 weeks over the weekends.
- PMP Application:
The next step after acquiring the 35 PDUs is to complete the PMP application at the PMI portal. This involves describing real industry experience along with qualification in the prescribed format. Thoroughly go through the application instructions available on the portal to complete your application. Vidyesh helped in reviewing the application a couple of times before I went ahead to submit it on the PMI portal. One can only apply for PMP examination after this application is duly approved by PMI. My application got approved within a couple of days and I decided to finalize my exam slot. Due to the regular day job, most aspirants won’t be motivated to dedicate time for PMP prep. until you decide the date and book a slot on the PMI portal.
Remember: Book the exam slot, first!! Finally, I scheduled my exam on 20th May 2022 @ 06:30 AM IST. Being a morning person, I am a strong believer that early mornings are the best for any examination. I would, though, urge the aspirants to select the time which is most appropriate to the individual.
- Preparation Phase:
This is the most important step. I started studying dedicatedly for 5-6 hour daily, the next 3-4 weeks. I started with Rita Mulcahy material a couple of times to build my base. The 6th edition PMBOK guide and the PMP ECU’s were the other resources which helped me prepare for the exam. Mock tests are a MUST. The more you attempt a mock-test the more clarity you would have. Mock tests also help you in evaluating the gap between your actual prep. and your target which helps you in working toward specific improvement opportunities while being more confident on the areas you are good at. One must attempt a full four hours test to get a hang of how an actual exam would be like. Prior to your scheduled exam, at least 7-10 days must be dedicated to mock-ups. I completed 4 mocks before appearing for the exam, covering no less than 3000+ questions.
- The Day Before the Exam:
A day before the exam, I would recommend the aspirants to thoroughly go through the online examination prep tips and instruction, which will be provided by the Pearson VUE after booking the exam slot. Remember, do not over do the mocks. For this day, cover only the key areas that you find difficulty understanding. Minimal preparation and focus on being as fresh and active as possible, is the ‘Mantra’!
- Personal Tips:
Although you would find many tips online, here are my personal favorites –
- You must have real life experience to understand the concepts. Only theoretical knowledge will not help.
- Understand the concepts and get a feel of them.
- Consistency during the preparation phase is key.
- Once you have completed the book twice, attempt questions from different forums/ applications. Find the RCA of all wrong questions and clear all doubts. Don’t skip questions.
- I advise that you attempt 4-5 mocks tests in the same exam environment as the real test i.e time constraint, no formula sheets etc.