Name: Blake Henry Title: HQ Air Mobility Command Munitions Functional Manager Organization: United States Air Force
1) With what service of the military are/were you affiliated?
United States Air Force
2) How long did you serve?
Currently serving (17 years)
3) How did you hear about and become involved in PMI?
I didn’t hear about PMI until I was well into college trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I jumped around a bit in college from undergrad to undergrad until landing on an International Business degree with a minor in Economics. This is when I took my first Project Management course as it related to the business sector. I fell in love with the idea of PM and switched my entire degree (and school) to Colorado State University who offered a degree in Project Management. Here is where I really learned about PMI, certifications, and what PMI had to offer. After finishing my undergrad in Project Management, I focused my efforts on the PMP in 2018/2019. At this time, my Division at HQ Air Mobility Command offered free seats in a PMP Boot Camp, which I jumped on immediately. A lot of the information was not new, but the study habits, test taking strategies, application assistance, and overall course material was outstanding. After the course, I translated my military experience over the previous years into “project speak” for my application, which was ultimately accepted by PMI, and I was able to sit for the test. Unfortunately, my test was scheduled in the height of COVID, and I took my test virtually through Pearson. After getting test results and a passing score, I then set my sight on getting more involved as a volunteer through the local chapter. I joined the PMIMSL chapter and began looking for a volunteer position and landed on the Military Transition and Certification lead. This position has given me the opportunity to fulfill my passion for assisting transitioning service members and active military in pursuing a career or certification in PM.
4) What advice do you have for current or past military members who want to pursue a career in project management?
Thoroughly research PM and get involved with the PM community! I’ve not met a PMP holder who was not overly excited about sharing his/her experience and offering pointers and mentorship. Find a PM mentor in the sector or industry who can assist you with education, training, the PMI application, and test prep. Explore education and training opportunities that the Military and Veteran communities have to offer – you might be surprised how cheap or free they can be! PMIMSL offers all of this and more. So, in short, my advice would be to check out the PMIMSL Chapter!