Hear from Your Peers: How Did PMP Certification Help You Achieve Your Goals? 

By Hannah David 

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing a graduate from our PMP Prep course. This interview was the first of several more to come in an effort to share the personal experience and success of those who pass the PMP exam. Here at TMOG Learning Center, we believe it is an important step for veterans in the process of transitioning to the private sector. However, do not take our word for it. Read the stories from our former students about the impact the PMP certification had on their lives. Below is the story and advice from Tierra N in response to the question, “How did the PMP certification help you achieve your goals?”  

 Tierra N. worked in Command JS 12 as a Mission Support Coordinator for about 5 years. Every day her work consisted of bringing cross-functional teams together, helping them coordinate to meet their deadlines. It was broad but enjoyable. However, after five years, Tierra felt as if she had hit the ceiling and started looking for a change. She heard about the PMP through the Command and learned that her department would pay for the course and exam. It seemed to Tierra that the PMP certification was the next natural step. After a considerable amount of personal research into the program, Tierra was convinced that certification would help her move on to a new position. Coming from a background in business and being quite analytical, Tierra believed it was time to move. She already had the skills; now, it was time to get certified.   

 When asked about her experience during the TMOG PMP Prep class, Tierra enjoyed Jon McGlothian’s teaching style. She felt he presented the material easily digestible and maintained an approachable, animated presence. Anytime Tierra comes across a peer considering pursuing PMP certification, she always recommends Jon and his classes. Her main reason is Jon’s consistent follow-up during and after the course. Out of the whole experience, Tierra had this to say as an encouragement to those worried about the course, “He [Jon] follows up with you, all the way through to the test; reviews your progress, reviews your practice test scores with you, let’s you know what you need to study up on.”   

 Once Tierra passed the exam and received her certification, she left Command. She wanted a position that would cut down the red tape and give her more autonomy in her work. Currently, Tierra does hybrid contracting work with the Department of Defense and feels fulfilled and empowered in her new role. Tierra said that she constantly receives messages from recruiters on LinkedIn now that she has her certification. She feels these recruiters are seeking her out because she has PMP certified behind her name. One of these recruiters interviewed Tierra for a strategic management position with NATO.  

 Tierra’s experience has given her an increased work-life balance while still doing what she loves. If it were not for her certification, Tierra said she would have stayed in civil services. In her opinion, civil services can act as a crutch sometimes, but the PMP certification helped her break free. The best advice Tierra can give anyone considering taking the course is not to take it lightly. The information is practical and applicable, but there is a lot to take in over a short period. To be successful, you need to commit to it fully. Every morning and every evening, Jon would have an assignment or task that helped her practice and apply her skills. The main thing is not to commit the facts to memory but to become second nature. The test is timed so you must continue to train your brain to recall the knowledge quickly to pass. Tierra compared the PMP to retired Olympians: even when they have been out of the game for a while, they still can turn it on and run faster than the rest of us.   

 Tierra stated that receiving the PMP certification was the best thing to happen in her professional career and would never take it back. She feels she was improved even in her personal life by becoming increasingly organized and naturally categorizing her day-to-day activities. Since taking the PMP, Tierra has earned her MBA. She keeps her eye on the prize and is prepared for the next big step.