Skip to main content Community Podcast - How Professional Scrum Master Certification and Google Career Certificates helped my Career featuring Nicholas Otu

February 1, 2023


The Google Project Management Certificate helps people prepare for entry-level jobs in the high-growth field of project management. The certificate dives deep into project management software, tools and templates, with an emphasis on Scrum. collaborated with Google to bring Scrum and Agile expertise to the Google Project Management Certificate and prepare for the Professional Scrum Master I certification. In this podcast series hosted by CEO, Dave West, he interviews Google Career Certificate graduates to learn about their experiences before, during and after the program.

In this episode of the Community Podcast, Dave interviews Nicholas Otu, Project Manager about his career journey and the benefits he experienced through the Google Project Certificate Program and Professional Scrum Master certification.




Lindsay Velecina  0:03  
Welcome to the community podcast, a podcast from the home of Scrum. In this podcast we feature professional scrum trainers and other scrum practitioners sharing their stories and experiences to help learn from the experience of others. We hope you enjoy this episode.

Dave West  0:20  
Hello, and welcome to the community podcast. I'm your host, Dave West CEO And today, I'm very excited because this episode is part of a series where we actually showcase participants in Google's project management certificate program. But has been working with Google on this program for a number of years. So we're really excited that people are now graduating from the program, and we can share some of their journeys with you. And today, I'm very lucky to have with me, Nicholas Otu. Talking to us from cold and snowy New Brunswick, welcome to the podcast, Nicholas. Thank you, Dave. Glad to be here. With you. That's, that's great. And it's awesome to have Nicholas with us because his journey is, is both education or sort of like learning but also geographical as well, you know, so, actually, that I'm sure our listeners are going to really appreciate if you could tell them, you know, how did you get to where you are? And, you know, tell us a little bit about who you are? I think that'd be really great.

Nicholas Otu  1:33  
Thank you, Dave. As you know, my name is Nicholas, Otu, I am Nigerian, I am now a permanent resident in Canada. I emigrated here four months ago. But before then I was the logistic project manager in Nigeria. I still live in Lagos, Nigeria, I took the Google Project Management Certification in May. If I started the program, I started certification in April this year, and I completed it in in May, I took the program because I looked through the program online. And I found out that she had some kind of practical feeling about it. Although PMP PMI PMP certified, or I, I just there was something missing that I needed to get my hands on about the practical aspect of project management or using project management to tools. So the Google Project Management Certification Course, kind of filled that void. Yeah.

Dave West  2:42  
It's really interesting, you sort of emphasize that hands on, you know, your PMP and PMP is a really hard exam and a lot of lot of study, but that you felt you were missing something. And tell me a little bit more about that. What sort of the actual tools, the actual techniques, is that the thing that was missing?

Nicholas Otu  3:05  
Yes. Well, when I talked about PMP, PMP, has studied very hard to pass it. And during my time studying for PMP, I found out that most of the works, there was no practical feel to it. You know, and there was just a bit georgica, especially if you're working in, in a place or in a third world country like Nigeria, where they are not so much of this collaborative tools during your normal daily routine. So I knew I was coming to Canada, and I needed to just brush up on my use of some of the collaborative tools and some of the project management tools and the Google project management application, really, in that regard, because I was able to the assignment were very practical. And I it was the first time I had to actually do or make use of some of these project management or collaborative tools, like the Gantt chart and all that, although I learned that in Project PMP, project management certification itself, Botha that was basically theoretical. In the Google project management course, I actually just did some, you know, I try to work on some of these collaborative tools are there and that's us come to me greatly in Canada, because right now I'm actually making use of these collaborative tools that are that are there. If I had not seen this Google project management, I might be struggling at this moment. But that that came in very, very, very, very handy.

Dave West  4:52  
Yeah, I think that's the that's the whole point of the program, right? And the reason why you selected it, but The point of the program is that it's about practical tools to help you transfer into what Google obviously cares about digital careers and careers that are very digital centric, obviously, they have a little bit of a, an objective there, which is, which is awesome. And that is definitely the future of work, but to use these very practical tools in the application and project management, and that's the reason why is part of that. So you talked a little bit about some of the benefits, the fact that you could take this, and you talked about the Gantt chart, but and apply this, this, these ideas in the program, and then use it in, in, in the actual work that you're doing on a day to day basis, tell me a little bit more about the benefits that you've that you've found from this program, it's really helped you

Nicholas Otu  5:52  
first of all, the benefits are quite numerous, both in my day to day job, the first benefit I found from this program was I, I am able to apply some of the things I have learnt during my entire project management career, you know, in a real world practical sense, you know, and that made me not to struggle with my new work environment here in Canada. And that's that, that has been a blessing. And that's as a result of my taking this Google project management course. Because there were a lot of practical, like I said, a lot of practical rewards, assignments and, and use of the collaborative tools or the project management tools. So

Dave West  6:50  
that body of knowledge that you sort of accumulated, you now can go back and look back at the materials and go, Oh, yeah, we can just use this this particular tool, this technique in your in your day to day work.

Nicholas Otu  7:03  
Exactly, exactly. Yeah. That's, that's been a real blessing. Yes.

Dave West  7:08  
What did you enjoy the most? You know, you obviously started it when you were in Nigeria and then use these skills. What was what was the most you were sitting there in this lovely warm, sunny country? What What kept you inside on your machine? What did you enjoy the most about the whole program?

Nicholas Otu  7:27  
What will enjoy the most about the program? Wise? I was thinking it was I enjoyed the assignments. Yeah. Because they kind of roll your eyes, because I know most of the things already gave me I know most of the things already. But, you know, basically, some of the practical applications were missing. And, you know, there are some kind of jobs Oh, kind of, like, Oh, no moments like, Yeah, I know this thing. Yeah. Oh, this is how to do it. I know that and that. That kept me from one cause to the other from one week to the other. Not that I was I was quite, he was quite interesting. I was fun. It was fun. Yes.

Dave West  8:09  
Assignments can really were not only are you applying the techniques, but they also can make you think a little bit about the places that you don't actually work yourself, you know, whether it's a situation that that you haven't actually seen, which is which is awesome. So, Nicolas, now, I'd love to take you into talking a little bit about Scrum. Obviously, you know, Scrum is we added scrum to this program on the bus on the requirement from from Google and we worked with Google on on trying to integrate scrum into the program. It was this your first experience with Scrum?

Nicholas Otu  8:46  
No, it's not my first experience with Scrum. In my previous job. In Nigeria. I was on the scrum team. And I I I kind of know a little bit platform and you know scrum being being I kind of know a little bit about Scrum and Scrum being gaining ground lately, and a lot of people are just kind of, you know, trying to organize prompting in their workplaces and all that. So it wasn't my first experience with Scrum. I had some kind of experience with Chromebooks.

Dave West  9:25  
But it was your first sort of like formal sort of training and materials on Scrum. Is that right? Yes.

Nicholas Otu  9:30  
It was my first four years training Scrum and yes, it was.

Dave West  9:36  
Did you Did you enjoy that? I enjoyed

Nicholas Otu  9:38  
it. Absolutely. And that's that's one thing about the Google project management education also, I was able to because there was a 40% discount when you pass it goes for you to write the professional scrum exam PSM exam, and I took advantage of that and I wrote for professionals from my Sighs ammunition in September and I passed. And that was, there was a 40% voucher for so I had a hospital lotion in my in my, in my fees examination fee. That was That was awesome.

Dave West  10:15  
Yeah, it was great. I mean, the materials, obviously we provided we're working with Google and then you know, we wanted to give access to the to the exam for as many people as we, as we could and you passed in clicks, which is great, which isn't? Isn't the Yeah. About, we have about a 38% failure rate. So you did really, really well x relations, which is, which is great. So, do you tell me now i'd love to know. All right. So great work on passing all these certification programs and getting to where you are? Tell us the I'm sure our listeners are interested in. Now, what are you what are you doing? Where are you? And what are you up to now taking you've moved to New Brunswick and in lovely Canada. Tell us a little bit about your job now and are you applying these skills.

Nicholas Otu  11:09  
Um, so currently I work at the airport. So I'm going to so my company is a company where we are grant operators for airlines. So my company is a company called the major additions, Services Limited. It's based out of Thunder Bay in Ontario. So about I am decision called coordinator for the company in predicting from the phrase International Airport. So we manage grand operations for clients, airlines. So some of our clients airlines, Porter Airlines, airlines, WestJet. And above that. So basically, any of these airlines flying out of flying in and out of Fredericton, we do manage the operations for them. So that includes Qantas services and our ramp operations. So I am station coordinator for the company and braking.

Dave West  12:08  
Well, that sounds like you're playing both that more traditional project management and agile project management all at the same time. Obviously, no disasters ever happened in airline scheduling does it particularly in a country that's got a lot of snow.

Nicholas Otu  12:24  
Um, trust me, I love scheduling in my job. And like I said to you, I, I am grateful for the Google Project Management Certification. Because basically, I learned a lot of practical skills comes in handy today for my current job. And that's it. There's a lot of scheduling and use of project management tools and collaborative tools and all that. Yeah.

Dave West  12:50  
So for our listeners, if you're flying into Canada, you'll be pleased to know that, that Nicolas is there, making sure that everything's coordinated.

Nicholas Otu  13:00  
Everything's going smoothly.

Dave West  13:04  
I mean, this post COVID world we smooth is not the norm, but it's really good that you're using these skills. So it's good to hear that. So Nicolas, what's what's next? You know, you're in Canada, moving freight and people around using these skills? Where where's your journey gonna take you next in terms of your education and professional development?

Nicholas Otu  13:28  
Okay, well, I'm currently I'm preparing for the PSM two as a professional scrum master examination too. And that's what I'm preparing for my my dream is my dream here in Canada or my dream here in Canada is to to be an agile scrum master. And I am looking forward to that. So my intention is to take the PSM two exam before the arrows out and maybe sometime next year, prepare and couple more Scrum and Agile certifications. Yeah.

Dave West  14:09  
Well, that's, that's awesome to hear. And it's, it's great that you're studying into this program and, and this is a great foundation for that journey. And, and I think increasingly, agile project management and agile skills are going to be more and more valuable across every industry.

Nicholas Otu  14:26  
Yes, it is. It is, you know, companies and workplaces now now recognizing the the vital importance of building small, responsive teams that I did self organizing and just self managing and a lot of companies are beginning to see the importance of these things. And I'm very sure over the coming months and years a lot of more companies are going to gain people organized along the lines. sort of Agile and Scrum?

Dave West  15:04  
Yeah, I mean, we see it every day we see a massive increase because you're right you we're living in a very complex world, right? Things continuously change and building these cross functional teams that are very self managing aligned to outcomes that are empowered to make decisions. That I think is the future. And it'd be great to have you as a scrum master on them, Nicholas,

Nicholas Otu  15:27  
I'm I look forward to it. Excellent.

Dave West  15:29  
Well, thank you for taking the time taken out of your busy day, hopefully, no, no crisis. Is that happening in the airport whilst I've gone through? Yes. I'm really glad to hear that. And I'm sure our listeners are so. So today, we were listening to Nicholas Oh to speaking to us about the Google Project Management Certification Program. Here on the community podcast. Thanks for listening. Thank you for taking the time, Nicholas and thank you. Thank you, everybody. Take care. Thank you.

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