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We asked our volunteers: Q&A with Manish Khanna

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Volunteering is important for APM, the chartered body for the project profession and volunteers play a pivotal part in the future of the project profession and the organisation. We caught up with Manish Khanna FAPM, a project controls manager at Atkins, as well as a committee member with APM’s Midlands branch to find about why he chooses to volunteer and how beneficial it is for him.

What volunteering do you do at APM?

I’m a communication and engagement volunteer with the APM Midlands branch committee. I take an active role in developing the project management community not only within my organisation but also across the wider profession by volunteering, alongside others, with APM.

Recently, we launched the Midlands branch LinkedIn page to communicate and engage with various project professionals as well as those aspiring to become project managers. We also promoted the APM Branch Awards which helps generate excitement among the project community. I have taken an active role as an APM representative, inviting colleagues to events and attending workshops too.

I have also been part of a steering group with APM’s research manager Daniel Nicholls, to support APM’s research study on Dynamic Conditions of Project Success. I help to direct the research, aid its dissemination and ensure that the study meets industry requirements. I attend regular meetings and help in shaping the research methodology and approach. I am also actively involved in the survey for factors that improve delivery and improve project outcomes.

There are lots of different opportunities for us as volunteers to get as involved with the project community as we’d like or have time for.

Why did you get in to volunteering with APM?

Giving back to the profession is a two-way relationship based on an exchange of knowledge and the sharing of experiences. I got into volunteering because I’ve always wanted to be part of that, where I can share my knowledge and expertise, and gain new insights from others.

Volunteering is an important part of APM. We, as volunteers, keep the project profession relevant going forward by supporting and sharing new developments. I am passionate about volunteering and I believe that my extensive project management experience and contribution to the project community at a national as well as a global level can help shape its future. I have a good understanding of volunteering roles and the commitment we display to the project profession is paramount for me.

What do you get out of volunteering with APM?

I was always encouraged to champion a volunteering and mentoring mindset by being open-minded and curious. And this attitude is vital when you’re a volunteer. Volunteering promotes optimism and helps us to develop a more positive outlook. The other benefit is that it helps my mental wellbeing, enhances empathy, open doors to more networking and learnings from other experienced professionals in the field.

I believe success comes from volunteering and mentoring/coaching an inexperienced member of the team to help them learn and grow along the way. It lets us pause for a moment to reflect on something we have in our life right now which can be shared instead of always striving for more.

My plan is to become more involved in APM and support developing the community both with work colleagues and professionals within my network.

If you want to get involved as a volunteer in the APM community, we invite you to join in with our APM’s branch and SIG elections from May to July by clicking here. Nominations open on 3 May and close on 18 June.

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