According to instructor Michael Klinicke, at its essence Project Management is a solution for everybody. By day, he works at T-Mobile for this near-unattainable goal–which he calls a “win-win-win-win-win” –and one or two nights a week in Bellevue College’s PM program, he helps students to seek the same.
For over 20 years, Klinicke has worked in IT, first in Project Management and, since 2006, as a Program Manager at T-Mobile. Like many of his students, it was an interest in how things came together that led Klinicke to Project Management. For Klinicke, this has included marketing product launches, including AT&T’s first nationwide calling plan in 1998 and, moving with the times, the introduction of data plans in 2000.
In 2005, Klinicke started teaching at Bellevue College where he’s been able to draw on these decades of experience to help his students realize their potential. “It makes it not just words in a book,” says Klinicke, who also asks his students to bring in their own experiences, which are often vast.
For PM, a job area that is expanding now more than ever, this hands-on experience is invaluable. During the Practicum, in which students are asked to do a real project with local non-profits like the Girl Scouts of the USA as customers, Klinicke gets to see the culmination of his students’ hard work over the year-long program.
Klinicke’s favorite part of being an instructor? After nearly a decade of teaching, it remains seeing his students come to understand the program. “The PM program gives them the confidence that they actually know more than they thought they did.”