Courtney Althoff works at Wellmark and tells us about how she got into project management.


1. Tell us your personal project management story.

I have been in an 'official project management' role for two years in May. Prior to that, I was a Senior Audience Acquisition Manger (fancy name for managing, executing, monitoring and reporting on sweepstakes) for a large corporation and had a team which reported directly to me. I am currently in the process of studying for my PMP as I just finished my last class for my MBA and Management & Leadership certificate at the University of Iowa in January. I am hoping to utilize my new found ‘free-time’ to study and cross the exam off my list this spring/summer.

2. Tell us about project management in your current role.

Project management excites me; I love leading others and watching launched projects meet company our company goals or vision. We apply PMI principles as well as an authoritarian governance process to ensure projects owners are held accountable and projects remain within scope, time and budget. My organization has project managers centralized and our PMO team is located closely next to us. Collaboration is key between all departments.

3. How have you been involved with the PMI Central Iowa Chapter?

I have been privileged my company has allowed and encouraged me to attend PDD the last two years. I hope within the next year, now that I am finished with my Masters, to jump into more PMI Central Iowa Chapter opportunities.

4. If you could tell our readers one thing you’re excited about – in the field of project management, or in how project management applies to your work – what would it be?

My project team(s) excite me. I am very much a people person and love when we succeed as a team (and also witnessing when individuals crush their own goals ). All projects have hardships, ups and downs, but those difficult times are what make the team stronger and closing a project/phase that much sweeter. I am a firm believer of the five stages of group development (forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning (although adjourning is my least favorite stage)) and really take time to make sure my team members know me and each other and all have the same vision or goal in mind.

5. What do you like to do with your free time?

I just finished my MBA & Leadership and Management Certificate at the University of Iowa, so I am new to ‘free time’. I am big into yoga (taught in Des Moines for 3 and a half years) and have recently started an obsession with CrossFit. I live for March Madness basketball and in the summer, you can find me by a pool or on a patio having a few drinks.

6. Anything else I should include?

I love connecting with others in the project management field. Please feel free to connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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