Kimani DeShields-Williams, IPD ’18

DPMI Client Project with FHI 360 over Spring Break, 2017

The DPMI Client Project was a truly insightful experience that provided me the professional experience needed to understand development organizations. Celina Lima and I were assigned to work with FHI 360, an international development organization tackling everything from health to education. The organization currently has a project regarding education in Equatorial Guinea. Our scope of work was to research the different options for project management software and make a recommendation on what is the best fit for the project. Throughout the week, we held meetings with program managers in D.C. and those in the field office in Equatorial Guinea. In addition, we worked with the work plan for 2017 to develop indicators and plan out each activity in order to input all the information on the different software platforms. By the end of the week, we could come up with a solid recommendation to aid the progression of the project. Once we came to a consensus using a weighted system we developed, we presented to 10 staff members across multiple departments.

Overall, the project was a great chance to solidify all the skills I have acquired during my time at MIIS. By being embedded in an organization and applying these tools and prior knowledge to a real project, which inherently cultivated skills we could never get in a classroom. Through having the specific task of evaluating project management software and utilizing the 2017 work plan to test the effectiveness of these platforms, we gained a new sense of project management that will be useful in future client projects for our courses. Personally, I could gain a new sense of the environment I hope to work in and where I feel my talents could be more useful. Before doing the project, I knew I wanted to be involved in strategic planning and operations. After, I now know I want to continue to build the skill set to work in this capacity after graduate. I loved working on the work plan and specifying the resources needed, dependencies and how best to implement both tasks. The DPMI Client Project was a great opportunity to learn about an organization and apply tools learned in the classroom in the real world. I now have more of a sense of what tools I want to develop at MIIS to acquire the job I want to after graduation.

This photo was taken during our daily meeting with Beryl to discuss our progress on our client projects and get new ideas on how to approach different issues we were experiencing. During this particular photo, we were discussing the upcoming presentations and helping the Grameen group work through some of their challenges dealing with how to count beneficiaries.
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