Networking | Project Management (PM) – Social Media Means Professional Networking Opportunities

Asako Suzuki

Asako Suzuki

Asako Suzuki works as a project coordinator at a large commercial real estate brokerage firm, where she assists three top-producing brokers who sell and buy multifamily properties in the Southwestern United States. Before she landed the job she went through SDSU’s Project Management Certificate program and used social media to help network with organizations and hiring managers.

Which social networking sites do you use?
I use Facebook and LinkedIn. I tried other social networking sites, like Twitter, MySpace, FourSquare and Google+, but Facebook and LinkedIn are the only two that I stuck with.

How has social networking been beneficial to you?
LinkedIn helped me communicate with hiring managers. Social media gave me the chance to reconnect with old friends, reinstate some long forgotten relationships and meet new people. I utilize LinkedIn groups a lot for information. I find the message board helpful, and I like to exchange valuable information with other professionals. I learned people want to help others, and communications are almost always honest and sincere. I enjoy human interactions, but how often can you get a good piece of advice from someone you don’t know at all? That’s definitely an advantage of social networking.

Which social networking site do you recommend and why?
I recommend LinkedIn the most. I admit I like Facebook, a lot. However, it’s “too public,” and there are so many unnecessary distractions and unsolicited ideas. Facebook easily consumes my time. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more career- and interest-focused, which provides a lot of useful and reliable information. I learned through my job hunt that LinkedIn is almost always used to screen candidates (and hiring managers, of course!), and it’s a good way to learn about the companies one is interested in.

What did you find interesting about the Project Management program?
In my 15 years in the entertainment industry, I was constantly working on projects. I wanted to get more education on project management. The course work helped me understand why certain things happened (or not) during projects, and I gained a much better understanding of project management. Also, meeting people with different career backgrounds was stimulating – I gained more knowledge about different industries and how they plan and manage projects.

Did you use the PM LinkedIn group and if you did, did it help you network?
I am a member of several project management-related LinkedIn groups. I volunteer at the Project Management Institute, so the PMI LinkedIn group is a good place to get information about upcoming events. I’ve posted a couple things on the SDSU CES PM board about events. So, yes, LinkedIn groups often help me network.

What was a takeaway from the Project Management program?
Better understanding in project management, and most of all, meeting my classmates from different career backgrounds. The program also helped me reassess my future career goals.

What advice would you give to future Project Management students?
If their goal is to take and pass the PMP exam, listen to the instructors. I didn’t take any prep course, but I passed the exam on my first try. Most of the test questions were what we learned in the classes. The instructors are fantastic, and they are there to help you. All the assignments and class projects were challenging, but informative.

What is one unique thing about SDSU’s Project Management Certificate program?
Instructors are outstanding; they are very knowledgeable and attentive. The program provided a top-notch, quality learning environment.