Elozino Akiri’s first introduction to Project Management was through her role as a Process Engineer for a company in Nigeria. She had the opportunity to shadow a project manager mentor in his role, and she was in awe of his ability to coordinate all the moving parts of a project. After observing his role, she felt like the project manager was the superstar of a project because to effectively command the team, they had to have key knowledge of all the parts of a project. In the end, she was so inspired by her mentor, she decided to take the big leap of following in his path. She enrolled in Centennial College and applied for a Student Researcher role at WIMTACH, where, as a project management intern, she applies her knowledge from her studies and knowledge shared by her mentor to the key role of facilitator for development projects for WIMTACH industry partners. She hopes to eventually use the skills that she is developing at WIMTACH for a role in the tech industry.
Elo spoke to WIMTACH about her internship experience.
Why did you join WIMTACH?
I didn’t even know that WIMTACH took on so many projects, and I was very intrigued, and I felt like I would get a lot of experience … and I felt that there was a wealth of knowledge I can tap from by doing my Co-op at WIMTACH.
What are your responsibilities at WIMTACH?
There are already some known project management tools that we use to schedule tasks and keep the project up-to-date. So, there are already some tools that I was aware of … and [my intern manager] introduced me to ClickUp … and I was very fascinated by ClickUp because the other tools that we usually use, it’s only the project manager that has access to these tools. So it’s only the project manager that knows what is going on in those applications, but ClickUp allows every part of the team to have access to what is going on in the project.
I update the ClickUp platform for the different projects with the ongoing tasks and the scheduled tasks and tasks that have been completed. I also do minutes of the meeting … I just did the closing documents for a project as well, so basically keeping up to date by updating the task and making sure everybody knows which tasks you’re supposed to do and the deadline for each task.
What are you learning from your internship?
Working with Dr. Purnima … I think she has great soft skills and there’s a lot I can learn from her… How to approach a new client, how to talk to current clients, so I’ve picked up on that … I am learning good office etiquette and not just project management and collaboration, I like the meetings that we have and everybody being involved and everybody knowing what is going on which is very important, so everyone has a sense of ownership in what is going on.
Are you already looking for jobs, and is your work experience at WIMTACH helpful for this process?
It has been. It’s on my resume now, and I have been asked what I do, and it has been enlightening to some interviewers, especially learning about ClickUp, and they were a project management company because new things come up every day … I think that was a win for me.
What are your plans for the next five years, and do you think WIMTACH is helping you along that path?
WIMTACH projects are projects that have a positive impact in society, making the world a better place because a lot of the projects are health-based projects … I like that I have this knowledge and if it comes to the point where I would need it in the future, it is something I can utilize.
I want to get into the technology industry, but I would take baby steps … I would take baby steps and learn and go through my learning curve. My five-year plan would be a very developmental stage in my career as a project manager because I am just starting my career. I would be very open to self-development and career development.
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