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An interview with Hazel Jell - the youngest ever Chartered Project Professional

Hazel Jell ChPP, MAPM

Business Systems Project Manager
Sir Robert McAlpine

The youngest ever person to achieve Chartered Project Professional status!

We are delighted to talk to Hazel about the ChPP and her experience of it as she was mentored through the process by 20/20.

Click here for info about 20/20's ChPP support package

How did you get into Project Management?  

I joined SRM's Business Systems team as a tester during a Strategy implementation in 2015. The role enabled me to explore the possibilities of other roles in the team, and to begin developing skills in those areas. I took on increasing responsibilities, working closely with the project teams and learning from colleagues in various roles. In 2016, the opportunity arose to become a Trainee PM, and I grabbed it. 
 
Are you please able to provide a short summary of your background and Project Management experience?  

I graduated from Coventry University with a First Class degree in 2015. I then began my journey as a PM in 2016. I have since delivered a range of IT projects including, but not limited to, hardware upgrades, systems implementations, application development, and information security. I have taken a lead role in reviewing department and project processes, provided recommendations, and delivered short and long-term improvements. I have directed a programme involving the adoption of new processes and systems by SRM and our suppliers, collaborated with third parties, and worked with procurement specialists to complete tender processes. 
 
How did you hear about the APM? 

I heard about APM through SRM. We received a presentation from 20/20 & SRM, about APM and the opportunities available.  
 
Why did you decide to take the steps to become a Chartered Project Professional? 

I wanted to pursue ChPP to further develop myself and my learning as a PM, and to demonstrate my progress since starting my journey as a PM in 2016. I wasn’t yet able to meet all of the criteria (in 2018), but by focussing on my goal I was able to broaden my experience where needed. 
 
How relevant to your project experience did you find the support provided during your application? 

The support provided was fantastic.  
 
Which element of the support package did you find the most beneficial? 

It’s difficult to say if one part of the support was more beneficial than another – having an independent review of the written application was extremely important to get a good start on the application process; and the interview practice was invaluable!  
 
How did you find the flexibility of support when your workload increased? 

David’s support was always flexible, happy to meet my needs, either via email or 121 calls at a time that suited. 
 
How did the support package programme fit in with your work schedule?  

David made it easy to fit around my work schedule. The small group agreed a time for a regular call, early in the morning, and David was available in between via email or a call to discuss any comments or questions.  
 
How long did your ChPP application take? On average, how many hours did you spend on it per week?  

I started the application at the end of January and submitted the written application approx. 3 months later. I set aside ½ day to 1 day a week to focus on a project overview, competence or feedback. Once I got the results on the written application, I quickly arranged a practice interview with David and scheduled the real interview for a month later. I set aside up to 2hours at the start of each day to prepare for the interview. In total, within about 5 months the application was complete. 
 
How likely would you be to recommend 20/20’s support package to a colleague/friend? 

I would absolutely recommend it. Having the support, with David’s experience of the process, as an independent reviewer, and with agreed deadlines as a benchmark was extremely beneficial.

Want to chat to a person about the ChPP package? Click here to email Gemma.