Penn State's online master of project management program is helping Paul Robertson spearhead a major renovation at one of North America's oldest and most prestigious golf courses. Convenient and flexible online classes allow Paul to receive a quality Penn State education while tackling a real-life project. He can also apply what he's learning to his job, allowing him to more effectively manage the multifaceted restoration.
Paul's educational background is in environmental protection, but Penn State Online has helped him quickly become a successful project manager. It was only a few years ago when Paul first learned about the field from Chris Boatman, a professional project manager hired to take on a drainage project at the golf course.
"During the two years working side-by-side with Chris, I became enthralled with the science of project management," he says. "I realized how little I knew about the actual processes and legalities of managing projects." Boatman also told Paul about Penn State's online program and encouraged him to pursue a master's degree.
Paul's love of project management continues to grow with each new course he takes and each new person he meets in the field. Penn State Online gave Paul the opportunity to network with his peers at a two-day event before classes began. He continues to be amazed by how much he is learning, from both his professors and his peers, and how that information is defying his expectations about project management.
"This is an unbelievably interesting program with a great cross section of students," he says. "With this degree, I'm not limited to a career in one field."
Paul is uncertain about what his next career move will bring, but knows his Penn State degree — and the credibility that comes with it — will take him far no matter what he does.
"I didn't really know what to expect coming in," he says. "But now I know I definitely made the right choice and I'm excited to see what the future holds."