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Project Management Term Paper: Any Real-Life Experience Needed?

When you approach a project management term paper, there are many questions you must ask so that you can formulate an effective plan for its completion. One of those questions is whether or not you will need specific experience before completing the project.

There are a few factors at work that will determine whether or not you need experience. Consider the following:

  • Department requirements: It is important that you understand department wide requirements for experience needed before you begin your studies. Depending on your education level, there may be some requirements toward the end of a program to get life experience in at some point. Those requirements will be clear at orientation and in your departmental information. If in doubt, meet with your department contact.
  • Class requirements: Each class will have a different expectation for papers. Some classes, especially those that are early on in your academic career, won’t require experience in a real world setting. Some later may require some minimal experience – but your professor and department will usually express those requirements early and often so that you can prepare.
  • Previous experience: If you have previous career experience in a project management setting, you may not need more for a project requirement. You may be able to rely on your previous experiences to glean the information needed.

Even if you aren’t required to have the experience in the real world, you can still work to gain more knowledge of the process by volunteering and applying for internships. You can also get the information from other sources who have been in the project management field for a while:

  • Leaders in your department: Department contacts can lead you to those who have the experience you need to ask about. You can arrange interviews or even job shadowing positions that will help you with your research and ongoing studies.
  • Internship opportunities: Internships are open throughout the year to students of all capabilities. Meeting with your department regularly, and signing up for email updates, can keep you appraised of current opportunities. You can also ask other contacts that you know who may have information on internships available at their place of work.
  • Volunteering: Volunteers are always needed for large community and charity projects. Often, the directors also need volunteers to shadow them and offer extra hands. Consider reaching out to coordinators for events you are familiar with and asking for a place on the volunteer list. If you explain that you are studying project management, they will often find a position that will benefit your career and education as well.