Julia Zema

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UVM Helps Julia Zema Find a New Way to Approach Project Management

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Spreadsheets used to make Julia Zema uneasy.

As campaign manager for the Vermont-based Orvis fly fishing company, Zema project manages social media and public relations campaigns, as well as other initiatives. While Zema is successful at her job, she found herself intimidated by certain project management tools.

To help her enhance her skills and boost her confidence, Zema enrolled in UVM’s Project Management Professional Certificate program. At UVM, she learned there is more than one way to be an effective project manager.

“Before the course, I felt intimated by project management because I thought I would have to fit my square peg into a round hole,” she says. “But at UVM, I learned that it’s important to find your own project management style. I was exposed to different tools and different ways of thinking about how to manage projects.”

UVM’s Project Manager Professional Development Seminars

UVM’s interactive, case-based Project Management Professional Certificate provides the tools and techniques to improve the approaches and outcomes of project managers. The program is for anyone who manages projects, team leaders or professionals involved in initiating, planning, executing, or facilitating projects. Participants in the program explore and experiment with the tools and best practices of formal project management training over five, day-long, interactive seminars.

The immersive learning environment gave Zema a new perspective on project management.

“I realized that just because I don’t have a traditional project management skillset doesn’t mean I can’t be a successful project manager,” she says. “There are different ways of doing it well.”

The Rise of Project Manager Professional Jobs

According to the Project Management Institute, project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project. There are five phases of project management: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Four out of five organizations are struggling to find project managers to fill openings
  • Within the next 10 years, a projected 1.57 million new jobs will be created in project management
  • The median salary for project managers in the U.S. is $100,000.

Finding Success as a Project Manager

After graduating from Montana State University in 2008 with a degree in multicultural and global studies, Zema worked in marketing and communications for a variety of industries, including education, travel and the arts. Three years ago, she moved to Vermont to take a job as a digital marketing program specialist at Orvis. She was promoted to social media specialist in 2017 and campaign manager in 2018.

Her current job includes managing social campaigns, organizing monthly events, leading an initiative to promote women’s fly fishing, and providing her team with updates, metrics and analytics.

Zema also participated in the UVM Leadership and Management Certificate program and plans to enroll in UVM’s Leadership for Sustainability program this fall. She says the project management program was exactly what she needed.

“Just because I’m not a spreadsheet fanatic doesn’t mean I’m a failure as a project manager,” she says. “The UVM program gave me a whole other world of options.”

Register is open for the next session of UVM’s Project Management Professional Certificate

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