Bachelor of Project Management: One degree, endless possibilities

Seeking a degree that provides a pathway to a range of industries, Taylor Cowell shares his experiences studying a Bachelor of Project Management at the University of Adelaide.

My first semester at university has been exciting and not at all what I expected. I was initially apprehensive about my ability to undertake further education, but it was completely unfounded. The university environment is very supportive and sets you up to succeed with amazing teachers and resources. I have loved every minute of the first semester, and I now feel like I am set-up to tackle the rest of my degree. I encourage anyone who is on the fence to take the dive because the University of Adelaide sets you up for success. 

taylor cowell

Why did you choose your degree? 

I choose to enrol in a Bachelor of Project Management because it is a growing and evolving profession. It offers me the opportunity to explore different industries of work and not be limited to one strict linear career path or industry. 

All industries and workplace are beginning to recognise the importance of dedicated Project Managers and people with knowledge of project management processes. I think it is an exciting prospect to finish a degree and be offered the opportunity to apply for a diverse range of careers. The majority of businesses are now looking for project managers, and it only takes a Seek search to see all opportunities. 

Why did you choose to study at the University of Adelaide? 

I choose to study at the University of Adelaide because it is a world-renown educational institute that has a reputation for the profession’s courses offered. My friends and family have spoken about their positive experiences at the university, and it only cemented my certainty in my choice. 

The University of Adelaide is also the only institute in Adelaide that offers a dedicated undergraduate degree for project management. I spoke to the university student advisers, and they were very helpful in providing insights into the course. From their recommendations, I enrolled in the degree, and I have been extremely happy with my decision ever since. 

What do you enjoy about your degree? 

Coming to university as a “mature” age student after serving in the military and working in private organisations, I was apprehensive about how the transition would be. However, I have found my first semester really enjoyable. The top three things that have made studying enjoyable have been:

  • World-class teaching staff: The teaching staff have been fantastic offering practical, real-world application of the theories and methods taught. The study has been interactive, enjoyable and educational. 
  • Endless resources: I was surprised how many different resources and support services are available to students, to name a few: Peer Assisted Study Sessions, online assignment/study help (Studiosity), one-on-one assistance at the writing centre, and easy do it yourself guides for writing assignments and referencing. All these services have proven to be invaluable in making the transition to studying an undergraduate course. 
  • Diverse course selection: As part of my degree, I have multiple electives to choose from, and it has made my education even more enjoyable. I have been able to choose electives in accounting to design thinking. This has allowed me to broaden my knowledge and equip myself with skills that I think will be more relevant to my employability. 

What are your career aspirations after university?

My dream would be to work in an area of sustainability, sustainable innovation, or social impact, and this might be in government, private industry or even not-for-profit. My goal is to work on projects that make a difference; this is why I think a career in project management is exciting because there are endless possibilities. 

What job role do you have now and what kind of work does that involve? 

I have been extremely lucky to secure a part-time contract as a Project Officer at Office for Data Analytics, Department of the Premier and Cabinet. I received this opportunity in one of my staple courses “Foundations of Project Management” through my tutor, Mr Evan Hill. I would not have been given this chance if I had not undertaken my study at the University of Adelaide. 

My position is an entry-level project management role, and I am currently assisting in the early stages of a project that is looking to support vulnerable people through early intervention. This has been a dream come true because not only am I able to put the knowledge that I learn in my course straight to use, but I am also working on something that will positively impact society. I am also lucky enough to be continually learning in my workplace through the wealth of knowledge that my manager shares.

What courses did you enjoy the most? 

The course I have enjoyed the most has been “Foundations of Project Management”, which is one of the key topics of my degree. Dr Tracy Dodd runs the course, and she has been an exceptional teacher and mentor. She delivers an engaging and interactive experience tailored around real-world industry knowledge, and her wealth of project management experience supports this. Her style of teaching is incredibly collaborative, involving the students in the learning process, which meant it was more enjoyable to learn some of the dry foundational theories. 

Not only was the instruction exceptional, but Tracy delivered helpful advice to secure a job at the end of my degree. She reinforced the benefit of practical networking tools like LinkedIn and encouraged us to create one. Because of this advice, I was able to secure an interview for an assignment with the Acting General Manager of Junction. 

Supporting the course was my outstanding tutor Mr Evan Hill, he offered experience from over 20 years across government in a range of roles, including experience in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The skills and critical thinking that he taught during the tutorials have been invaluable, and I would not have been able to succeed without them. 

I was fortunate enough to secure a part-time contract as a result of undertaking this course, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking at enrolling in it! 

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