Nov 19, 2013
Vancouver, BC - When software and services consultant Riz Rafiq found himself talking to American partners at companies like General Electric, Pfizer, and Valero Energy, he recognized the need to upgrade his skills. “As I started to work with Fortune 500 companies, I realized quickly that I needed to ‘up my game’ to manage multi-million dollar projects. I needed something that would enable me to steer these customers to success.” Riz realized the value of enhancing his project management skills.
At the time, Riz’s company was growing quickly, and he wanted a solid foundation to further his career. After consulting with instructor Rob Clark, Riz determined that Langara’s Continuing Studies Advanced Project Management Certificate program was a good fit. Rob answered his tough questions and provided him with references.
Networking with his cohort turned out to be a key to the program leading Riz to learn of new opportunities. He had always worked for publicly traded companies, but discovered that he could easily transition to private or non-governmental organizations as well. A referral from a classmate led him to an unexpected career move where he could further apply his skills.
“We would bring projects from work directly into the classroom. We were preparing for work experiences before they even happened,” Riz explains. “In the synthesis portion of the program, Rob would throw in real-life risks that we’d have to handle to keep the project sponsor happy. Handling these risks accelerated my learning curve and paid immediate dividends in the real-world.” Within a few months, Riz moved into the role of Director in the Project Management office, followed by a position as a Vice-President.
Now, Riz focuses on Professional Services and continues to rely on his background in project management. “Creating happy customers with long-lasting relationships is part of everything I do. Over the years, many customers have called me their trusted advisor, and I owe it to the foundation gained in Langara’s Project Management program. Rob, the program, and Langara were the catalysts to my moving onwards and upwards in my career.”
Read more about Advanced Project Management graduate Jill Shewfelt here.
Photo: Adam Blasberg