Reetu Kansal is encouraging other project professionals to take the next steps on their career journeys after becoming a Fellow of Association for Project Management (FAPM).
Reetu, who is senior project manager at University of London, was recently certified as a Fellow, having been a member of APM since 2016. Fellowship is APM’s highest membership grade, recognising those who have made a significant contribution to the project profession.
Like many others, Reetu became a project practitioner because she wanted to try something new and different. She had already gained experience of project work in a previous role at the Diplomatic Academy of London. She joined the University of London in 2008 in a non-project, partnerships role, but became aware of an opportunity to support the university’s plans to expand and enhance its provision. Knowing that she had the right skills to make a positive impact, she was asked to be involved in a strategic project. This project helped her make her mark and was the start of a more project-centric role for her.
“My project management experience did precede me having that as a job title,” she explained.
“Project management comes in many different forms. Higher education is very different to construction, for example. It shows that membership of APM isn’t just for people who have project manager as their job title. It’s for any professional who feels they’re managing projects.”
Reetu was inspired to progress from Full member to FAPM after delivering a series of webinars on the value of the profession in education and academia. Wanting to challenge herself and leverage her growing knowledge and skills, she submitted her application and was confirmed as a Fellow in April.
She said: “I wanted to do it for myself, but also to demonstrate to the outside world that I met the criteria. I felt I already had the necessary expertise, but we live in a world where people look at credentials. However, I would emphasise that people should also do it for themselves as a reflective exercise. Test your own capabilities.”
A passionate advocate for diversity and knowledge-sharing, Reetu is now looking forward to using her Fellowship status as a platform to inspire members of APM and other professional bodies, network with her new FAPM peers and encourage more women and young people into the profession.
“It has been a very rewarding process,” she said. “No one is ever the same project manager for life. People gain different skills and experiences, but Fellowship gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you actually enjoy and what makes a successful project.”