The CUNY IVE Leadership Program hosted its second Fall 2009 Leadership Roundtable on Wednesday October 14, 2009. The roundtable entitled “Project Management: Preparing for Your Leadership Journey” was held at the CUNY Office of Student Affairs. Present at the roundtable were student representatives from 6 CUNY campuses, as well as several CUNY staff members. Facilitator and discussion leader were Christoph Winkler, Director of the IVE Leadership Program, and Marisol DelValle, IVE alumna. The roundtable focused on how to manage projects effectively through the processes of planning and designing, executing the plan, monitoring and controlling progress, and finally completing the project. Students made connections to their current leadership projects and gained useful insights on how to better plan and manage their social entrepreneurial endeavors.
The starting point of any project is planning and design. And, as pointed out by John Aaron, Marketing Director at Kingsborough Community College, “you must have a vision in order to be able to believe in it and sell the idea to yourself, because if you are not sold on the idea you will not be able to sell it to others.” Planning further requires a project leader to brainstorm about the tasks that need to be accomplished and, most importantly, set specific goals with associated completion dates. Winkler added that one of the most important processes in managing a project is monitoring and controlling one’s progress, as well as being able to adjust one’s approach if certain goals are not met.
Arber Ruci, CCNY student and IVE alumnus who created InYourClass.com recalled how the IVE Leadership Program has helped him and his project to gather a team of students with various backgrounds and skills. He also shared with the students how his project has moved from an online dating service to a much broader social network for CUNY students in order to connect students both in- and outside of their college courses.
The roundtable concluded with a discussion about certain challenges that project leaders may face as well as how certain technologies can help to better plan and monitor a successful project completion.