One-on-One with Portland State University’s Center for Executive and Professional Education
PMI Portland’s sponsors are important community partners. Each sponsor has a unique role to play in Portland’s growing project management ecosystem. PMI Portland is pleased to highlight our sponsors’ contributions to our organization.
By Kerry K. Sharp
Question: Tell us about your organization.
Meghan Oswalt: The center I am with at Portland State University is the Center for Executive and Professional Education. We offer the non-credit, continuing education certificate programs. All of these programs have a business focus because we are the non-credit part of the School of Business. We have Project Management, Business Analysis, Business in Craft Brewing (one of our fun ones!), Athletic and Outdoor Product Management, Strategic Communications, and quite a few more. We have been around for a long time. We used to be the Professional Development Center and became the Center for Executive and Professional Education when we became part of the School of Business. These are short-term programs and a way for people to climb their career ladders without going going back for a full degree (shorter time periods and less cost involved).
Question: Would you say that the certification program’s short timeframe is what makes your organization unique?
Meghan: Yes, Centers like ours stand out because of the shorter time periods, but the schedules, themselves, tend to work better for people who are working full time. These classes don’t cost as much, but also they are focused on the practical and applied skills. We don’t go into much theory. We are focused on “what tools can I use right away when I return to work.”
Question: You have been a sponsor for a long time. Why do continue your sponsorship?
Meghan: It is always a good opportunity to for us to stay up-to-date, for one, on what is going on in the world of Project Management. Also, when I come to these events, I listen to the to the keynote speakers and talk to the attendees after the sessions and learn what is new. This allows us to adapt our programs with the times, but also, this is a fun group. I like being here and I like the people.
Question: Do you attend the Chapter meetings?
Meghan: Not every month, but I do attend.
Question: How do think being a sponsor benefits PSU?
Meghan: We are a small center so, being a sponsor is a way for us to get the word out that we are here. People don’t always know we exist. It is a good opportunity for us to let people know what we do and that it is feasible for them. It is a good way for us to get in touch with people, let them know what we have to offer, and have some fun.
About the Author
Kerry K. Sharp, CAPM
Kerry has a background in IT and software testing. She is an experienced software testing manager, document manager, and technical editor/writer. Kerry holds a B.A. in Digital Technical and Culture from Washington State University Vancouver and a B.A. in Humanities from Marylhurst University. She achieved a CAPM in August 2016. Her passions include baking, cooking, technical writing, process development/improvement, and spending time with her teenage nieces.