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Mondays with Rick: Preparing Project Managers for CSRA work

Editor’s Note:
Last week, the Hull College of Business finished teaching its inaugural PMP (Project Management Professionals) Exam prep course to seven students.

For Dr. Rick Franza, the Dean of AU’s Hull College of Business, this is full circle for him. Decades ago, while in the Air Force Rick was a project manager and worked on ballistic missile defense initiatives from his base in Massachusetts. He would often visit with contractors in Massachusetts to Florida, Colorado and California and coordinate their efforts.

Dr. Rick Franza, Dean of AU’s Hull College of Business
ABD: What are employer appetites like for Project Managers in the CSRA?

Rick: During the first year when I arrived I spoke to the business community and they told me work is becoming more project oriented so we required all undergraduate students have a project management course.

Our large density of defense contractors in the Cyber area makes it important for people to learn how to manage projects. It could also be a need for Project Managers in the I.T world or home construction.

ABD: Can students learning about becoming a Project Manager graduate with a good-paying job and career?

Rick:  Yes, there is a big range depending upon the company a PMP works for. A good project manager can earn more than $100,000 in the Augusta area. lists positions up to $79,000 in Augusta. Zip Recruiter is up to $110,000. The average PMP surveyed on reports their salary to be about $90,000 per year.

ABD: Share with our readership a testimonial and future plans from Mosaic Technologies Group.

Rick: We spoke with C. Priest Perry, IV, and director of the NSA Georgia Operations for Mosaic. Here is a direct quote.

Priest:  We are a proud industry partner of the Hull College of Business at AU. We are extremely excited that AU is offering PMI Certified PMP Training and course content to the CSRA, We are pleased to announce that we have plans to send as many as 16 of our employees to this training by the end of Q1 2022. Opportunities like this continue to position MOSAIC Technologies Group to bid on contracts supporting Cyber, Intelligence, Systems & Software, Readiness, and Mission & Program Support.”

ABD: Mr. Perry mentioned 1st Quarter. Is that the next session?

Rick: Another prep course is scheduled for Feb. 1 – 24, 2022. To register, visit course has limited availability and costs $1,495 and meets for a total of (35) hours during the month. We are hoping to expand the program to be three or four times per year.

ABD: What would the difference be between the required courses during the academic year of studies at Hull vs. the PMP exam prep course?

Rick: Soft skills vs. Hard Skills

The prep course test for certification, technical aspects of Project Management including managing for risk and budget. That is also included in the academic course along with managing people, working on teams, collaboration, leadership and followership.

Both courses are usually taught by Roger Duke, PMP®, ACP, and CSM, who has more than 40 years of project management experience, is an agile coach, has more than 10 years of PMP® training experience, and is an approved PMI training instructor.

ABD: Anything else you see in the future with Hull and Project Management?

Rick: Yes, in talking with area contractors there is now a need for Project Managers to manage other Project Managers. The technical term for this executive position is “Portfolio Managers”. The future is bright in the CSRA with all of the growth and need for project managers.

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