My story in Europe began with winning the “Invest Your Talent” scholarship, which allowed me to study the subject in which I have a strong interest – project management – at three leading European universities. One of the requirements of the scholarship was a mandatory internship in Italy after graduation and since I had a three-month summer vacation, I decided to use it to the maximum and complete the internship this year.
After sending a request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I was lucky enough to receive an internship offer from “DBA Progetti”, part of the DBA Group. The company has more than 25 years of experience, with expertise in architecture, engineering, project management and software platforms development. I was therefore very happy to have the opportunity of joining the project for developing the Port Management System (PMS) for the Port of Baku. Since the developers’ team is based in the Slovenian office, my first week started with a business trip to Koper.
During the first week, I had to get acquainted with the project; the project manager also tested my knowledge by setting me tasks such as writing a project charter, risk analysis and stakeholder analysis, and developing a scope statement and WBS from the project’s technical proposal. I was familiar with this kind of complex analysis since we had done similar work in our project teams at MIP. There, the curriculum was designed in such a way as to enable us immediately to apply our knowledge and conduct analyses in finance, procurement and risk management on the project developed by our multicultural team. I now realized that I had gained very strong technical knowledge, as well as strategic thinking, from MIP.
It was now time to put my learning into practice and, following a brief period in the Milan office, I returned to Slovenia and joined the team of developers to work on the general cargo part of the Port Management system. With their assistance, I developed workflows for a series of scenarios and produced the related documentation. Further to this, my tasks included undertaking research on port management performance and devising key performance indicators for the system. It was extremely satisfying to see my ideas taking shape.
The highlight, however, was a trip to Azerbaijan to visit the ports and see the system functioning in situ. Not only did I learn from this chance to experience the real-life situation but it was also beneficial to watch the project manager interacting with the different stakeholders in the project; I gained much useful knowledge from this opportunity.
Overall, there is one month of my internship to go and I am still learning new things. When I arrived, I knew little about port management and had only basic knowledge of agile management, whereas now, after two months, I feel that I am gaining expertise in logistics processes and becoming more prepared to take on the role of project manager. Moreover, I have learned about the different working cultures in Italy, Slovenia and Azerbaijan.
Project management is, then, a lifelong learning process and I am happy that I have started it with MIP. Apart from accumulating strong technical knowledge, I have been constantly immersed in a multicultural environment with students from 25 different countries.
In November I am planning to take PMP certification and now that I am preparing for this, I realize that we have already covered most of the topics at MIP and I really appreciate the knowledge I have gained there.