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We asked our volunteers: Q&A with Teri Okoro

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Volunteering is vital for APM, the chartered body for the project profession. APM’s volunteers play an important part in the future of the project profession and the organisation. We caught up with Teri Okoro ChPP FAPM RPP, director at TOCA and co-chair of the People Specific Interest Group (SIG) to find about why she volunteers, what’s involved and how it’s impacted her career.

What APM volunteering do you do?

I am currently co-chair of the People SIG. I also sit on APM’s nominations panel, which is a subcommittee of the APM Board. I also represent APM on the Construction Industry Council Diversity and Inclusion Panel and I participate in APM’s mentoring programme for women preparing for their Chartered application, supporting mentees.

Why did you get into volunteering with APM?

I attended an APM Women in Project Management (WiPM) conference several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. At the next WiPM conference they called for volunteers and I didn’t hesitate to raise my hand; they were a friendly bunch who delivered well put-together events. I was also aligned with the aims of the SIG. I have also experienced a wide range of other volunteering opportunities, such as being a SIG secretary and judging various categories of the APM Awards in previous years.

Volunteering has always been something I’ve wanted to do and be involved in, so wherever the opportunity arose to volunteer with APM, I took it. And fortunately, there are so many different opportunities for us as volunteers to get involved with our project community.

What you get out of volunteering with APM?

Initially it was an opportunity to get to know and network with other professionals and contribute to the SIG, but ultimately, I have grown personally and professionally. I’ve become a more confident public speaker, gained numerous transferable skills, for example, producing a video, conference planning and designing surveys. I also attended and presented at numerous events around the UK when I became chair of the APM WiPM SIG.

I have been able to champion diversity and inclusion in different ways – by presenting, as well as authoring a thought leadership paper called ‘Joining the dance’. My volunteering activities have also   contributed to my achieving Fellow status with APM.

I have encouraged a wide range of people who have not necessarily viewed themselves as the volunteering type to consider volunteering. There are numerous volunteering opportunities and mutual benefit too. I was fortunate to be the first winner of APM’s Outstanding Volunteer award in 2018 – which was an absolute surprise.

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 are open and close on 18 June.

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