Dustin is a graduate of the Foundry College Tulsa program and earned a credentialed certificate in project management.
How long have you lived in Tulsa?
As of July 2021, I’ve been here for eight years.
What was your motivation for earning your credentialed certificate?
I had several personal motivations to continue learning. I’m in a position that is secure, and I’m not looking to change fields, but this was a great opportunity to learn fundamentals I didn’t have, plus it allowed me to address a piece of my life that I hadn’t finished when I was younger.
What are your career goals, and how will your credentialed certificate help you achieve those goals?
My goal is to be in a Director of Operations position in the next three years, and my five-year goal is to be in a C-level position within this organization, since this organization means so much to me personally. Having these professional skills and the project management credential is very critical and important for me, and I feel well equipped for success now that I’ve earned the CompTIA Project+ certification.
How will your credentialed certificate help you achieve your career goals?
As a non-profit organization, we don’t have a role for every task, so many of us have combined roles. While my primary role is day-to-day operations, there is a portion of it that is purely project-based. Gaining those fundamental skills in project management is not only very important to what I’m doing today, but has helped me in the projects I’ve been working on. The correlation between the project management language learned in class and used by our vendors has really helped me manage successful projects.
What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
It’s worth it. It’s worth it today, it will be worth it three years from now, and it will be worth it beyond that. Learning provides a positive return, and this is a great opportunity to progress in your life and in your career. A huge benefit is that this program does not have the standard obstacles that a traditional school would have. Foundry College as an organization and the way it presents materials are excellent.
What has been your favorite part of the program?
My project management instructor has been my favorite part of the program, because he’s a link to real-world scenarios and experiences. The professional courses have been really important as well, particularly in areas that I thought I was proficient in but I actually wasn’t.
What has been the most helpful part of the program?
The real-world learning in Foundry’s classes offer things that a textbook simply cannot. But let me be clear: my coach has played a significant role in my progress in the program. Issues at work demanded all my time, and I fell behind on my quizzes and such. My coach gave me the support and encouragement, giving me the confidence to stick with it, get caught up, and continue with the program.
Can you share any advice on how to manage your time between work, school, and life?
Make time for learning. Put it on your calendar, just like you put your work meetings on your calendar. Make it part of your day, and commit to the role of student. Compartmentalize and don’t mix the two – be present for both work and school.
Interview conducted by Karen Adams, Chief Marketing Officer at Foundry College. To nominate someone for the Foundry College Student Spotlight, email firstname.lastname@example.org.