In this interview, Mr. Mark Romney was the interviewee; Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in Project management. Currently, he is the project manager at Educate Future Environmental Stewards, a non-governmental organization based in Florida. Prior to this job, he had worked in the same capacity for several other organizations. Recently, the Florida state governor honored him for the exemplary work he has done in environmental conservation, particularly for leading his team in educating fishermen on programs about fishing in a sustainable manner.
An audience was sought with Mr. Mark Romney to grant permission to be interviewed. He was made aware that the interview was meant to understand the link between his professional competence and his academic qualification (Voytek, 2021). Further, that the interview is for the purpose of completing course requirements at the college, and aside from the student and his/her professor, no other person will get in touch with its content.
The interview was conducted on October 2, 221, at Mr. Romney’s home in Florida. Due to his busy schedule, he could only guarantee to be interviewed at home, and he requested that it should not go for more than one hour and 20 minutes. The interview was conducted between 2 pm and 3:18 pm local time, and it lasted for one hour and 16 minutes. The proceedings were audio-recorded to make it easy for maximum concentration and reflection on the interviewee’s responses. The interview went on perfectly because he was very cooperative and was willing to indulge more in every probing question he was asked. Despite his big achievements in life and his current position, I was impressed a lot with his simplicity and how keen he is on details. Due to his addiction to efficiency, he requested that he should get a copy of the report that will come out of the interview to evaluate how professional it will be, though jokingly.
The analysis was done based on the themes that emerged from the interview, which explained the link between Mr. Romney’s education and professional competence. Priorities in his career, successful project implantation strategies, early conflicts in his career choice, his achievements, insights and work methods, his competence, education, and his career path were the key themes deducted from the interview.
Mr. Mark Romney as a project manager describes himself as someone who approaches his activities by making a list of tasks and the timelines for completing each task. He said his job entails evaluating the importance of each activity, then focusing on managing time to get tasks done on schedules. However, while doing this, he is always flexible, and willing to adapt to new methods to make the project successful.
Proper Project Implementation leads to successful stories
One of the most successful stories Mr. Romney is proud of is his efforts together with his team, on educating fishermen in Florida to adopt fishing methods, which assist in conserving the environment. The teaching covered aspects like the effects of overfishing, ocean pollution, climate change, and responsible angling methods. He affirmed that so far their efforts are successful, as many fishermen in Florida are now going about fishing in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
The biggest and the hardest obstacle Mr. Romney ever overcame in his life was the career conflict between what his parents wanted for him versus what he believed was the best for him. His parents and his two siblings are all medical doctors, and it was the profession both dad and mum wanted for them. For a long time, his parents were not sold to the idea of any of their children advancing in any course other than medicine. It took him a lot of painful persuasions for his parents to begin softening their stand about his career path.
According to Mr. Romney, project management is dynamic and managers of projects and their teams must apply the right processes, methods, skills to achieve specific project objectives; and activities must align with project objectives. His best achievement was changing the mindset of many fishermen in Florida on the effects of poor fishing methods; which converted many fishermen as sustainable fishing ambassadors. Additionally, he advised the youth to be open, flexible, and be willing to learn again through practical field experiences.
Projects are best managed by breaking them into phases and involving continuous collaboration with teams, and stakeholders. He stressed further that the project management team must make improvements at every phase once the work begins, by cycling through processes of planning, execution, and evaluation. This he does by inviting new ideas and sharing information with others. He presents himself as one who is not afraid of taking risks and making mistakes. In his work, he stresses flexibility, which he said makes him adapt to any workplace, and his decision-making seemed calculated.
Professional competence according to Mr. Romney is the demonstration of personal accountability, effective habitual use of knowledge, technical skills, sound reasoning, and reflection in everyday practice to help people being served. To him is about being punctual, efficient, proper time management, and effective communication skills. From observation, his father Mr. Lee Romney was very instrumental and key in building his character in the early years of his life; by inculcating values of hard work, honesty, respect, and dedication to work.
Education and Career Path
Mr. Mark explained how he found a passion for project management while still in high school, somehow in their neighborhood, road construction was going on. Every morning while going to school, he would see how project leaders organized workers for each day’s activities. This prompted him to approach one of the site project managers, who took him through his roles and the title of his job. From that point, his interest to read a lot of materials on project management increased, and he discovered how it applies in all fields, so he decided to pursue a career in project management.
However, he realizes that many graduates from colleges are not equipped well to meet challenging tasks of the job market; colleges should modify their curriculum to increase the employability of fresh graduates. Taking his project management career to the next level, he believes in developing and practicing excellent communication and interpersonal skill, and having the ability to negotiate and resolve conflicts. Further that he be must proactive in managing all resources of the project including personnel, finances, and assets effectively and efficiently.
Throughout this interview, Mr. Mark Romney came out as a very honest, hardworking, and dedicated project manager who takes pride in seeing not only successful completion of projects but also their impact on communities. His experience of over 10 years proved to him that a college education is key for professional career development, but not enough to make one competent and relevant in the job market.
A lot of real learning takes place on the job, and the youth pursuing a career in project management must be ready to learn more from new challenges they meet on the job. Colleges should collaborate with industry players to help them modify their curriculum to suit the needs of the job market. Project managers must continuously use collaboration, project tracking, information gathering, and working scheduling tools to make their plan, execute and evaluate projects’ impact on the communities and environment successfully. Lastly, flexibility, change, adaptability, and proactive decision-making are key parameters that steer projects in the right direction, during implementation phases.
Voytek, J. (2021). Tips on how to conduct an interview effectively. Betts. Web.