How CNM Helped This Grad Upskill to a Career in Project Management

Robert Leming was ready for a change and CNM’s Project Management certificate program was the perfect fit
May 21, 2024

Robert Leming came to PNM’s government relations department with ten years of political experience and campaign experience but quickly realized that better project management skills were ultimately his key to success in the private sector.

“After being in politics for so long, entering the business world was a real eye-opener,” he says. “Many of my colleagues at PNM were project managers, so I decided to enroll in CNM’s project management certificate program, and I couldn’t be happier with that decision.”

The Project Management certificate course at CNM was a perfect fit for Robert. It was local, affordable, and offered entirely online. The program also counts toward the 35 training hours required to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

As he moved through the course Robert discovered that many of the skills he had developed on the campaign trail were directly applicable to project management.

“I had already learned some fundamentals of project management from my first career without knowing it,” he explains. “But the biggest difference is now I can textualize, implement, and explain those processes better because my knowledge is formalized, and that has been one of the biggest benefits of earning this certification.”

Along with the overall structure of the course, Robert is grateful for the financial support he received from CNM. 

“I have a young family, and even though CNM is a very affordable option, paying for my last semester out-of-pocket was going to be tough,” he says. “I applied for 10 scholarships and was awarded three, which was more than enough to cover the cost. Receiving those scholarships was essential to my completing the program, and I want other adult learners to know that there are options available to them outside of the FAFSA.”

Now Robert works as the Director of Programs for the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce, where he oversees community programs for local entrepreneurs, young people, and other traditionally underserved populations throughout the state. 

His project management certification plays a crucial role not only in his daily duties but also in his extensive community work

“We have implemented new systems and project management software platforms at the chamber because of what I learned in the program and it has helped us solve problems more effectively and efficiently,” Robert explains. “I also recommend CNM to the students and community members I work with because of the variety of affordable and relevant program options they offer that can help them achieve their dreams.”

Robert is excited for what his future in project management holds, and wants to encourage others to pursue their dreams while leaving an impact. 

“I chose to study project management because I knew I would continue to work with and for my community, and that’s what makes me happy,” he says. “My best piece of advice to others is to find your internal motivation and then make sure the path you’re taking, whether that’s in project management or something else, matches that internal motivation.”