Tekalign Tsige Sahilu, DBA in Project Management
MY EXPERIENCE AT AIU
I started the Doctorate Program in Atlantic International University (AIU) with the intention of being the role model for my two children who were studying at international school here in Kenya. The main message was to tell them that education has no end at all. My son is now in Canada doing his university education in Environmental Sciences. My daughter is a senior student at the International School of Kenya. I am sure that my success of completing the Doctorate Degree program with AIU will inspire them to develop a vision of attaining the same level. I consider this as part of accomplishment of a big mission in my life.
For the last 15 years my work experience has been related to project management. Given this experience then I decided to do further study on project management. This has two advantages. One is that I can update myself with the new ideas and concepts of project management. This is an added value to my current position. The second advantage is that with my quite practical experience I can contribute concepts and ideas that can help to the development of the project management field.
With these objectives in mind then I started to look for Universities that offer distance learning in the project management field. Thanks to the modern communication I started searching in the Google website for universities offering project management course at doctoral level. Unfortunately, there are very few universities that have this course in their program. I found one of them to be Atlantic International University (AIU).I sent email expressing my interest. I got a positive response from Gordon Esseswho was my first contact person at AIU. I am grateful to him for all the efforts he made in motivating me to join the program.
When I joined the program, I realized I had made the right choice. Particularly, I was stimulated very much with the Phase I of the program, which was mainly focused on background information of the prospective candidate. I had no experience of this nature all throughout my previous learning/education experience. This is one of the good lessons that I have learned from AIU.
I liked also the system of selecting courses and developing the curriculum. Given that there is professional support from the university, this is very useful for learners like me who have quite significant experience in the real world. This will give a room to share experiences among various learners participating in the program from different countries of the world. The outcome can lead to development an internationally acceptable guideline in project management that can address the interest of many nations.
The main advantage this program has been that the university has come to my place instead of me going to the university. This has saved me time and money. However, I had not the chance of building direct and face to face communication with peers, alumni and faculty members. I had no the chance of getting to know people and share experiences.
I have been following the program from a very distant place, Nairobi Kenya. My great challenge was the inefficiency of the network system. It was hardly possible to access particularly the AIU’s library. I can see that the problem has been resolved through time and these days most of the AIU facilities have begun to be accessed easily. From this experience I would like to recommend to AIU to work further on the improvement of the system to accommodate and serve countries that are located in other regions of the world like Africa. There exists a big potential of candidates in such countries that can join the distant learning program.
My work experience and my theoretical knowledge that have been acquired through pursuing the course has proofed that project management is multi-disciplinary. Accordingly, a project manager needs to be a person with whole-brain instead of single-brain. A project is a team work that pulls together experts from various disciplines. The education of project management at the university level, therefore, needs to be a team work. It should not be left for a single individual. AIU needs to recognize this fact and hence plan accordingly in order to meet the demand of the learners.
I am not claiming that I have mastered project management. But given my practical field experience and theoretical knowledge that I have acquired through the process of learning in AIU, I can be of value in contributing experience based knowledge in the field of project management. As mentioned above my main objective is to be an example for my children. This objective can be broadening to include the future generation as a whole. I am not in a position to aspire any kind of job opportunity through completing my degree program. However, I can rather ponder on sharing knowledge gained through experience and education to the young generation. One of the proper venues that can enable me to fulfill my aspirations will be AIU. Through the opportunity to be given to me to be part of either the AIU Academic Regional Council or the AIU Foundation for Academic Advancement, I do earnestly hope to make a contribution towards the betterment of Project Management Course in AIU.
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