Business Center

Unexpected Experience in Project & Change Management

By: Mary Nordini, Process Improvement Intern

September 20, 2019

Mary Nordini

As soon as I graduated in December of 2018, I was ready to hit the ground running at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in the Office of Process Improvement. Armed with a bachelor's in Business Administration and a certificate in Project Management and was excited to implement my knowledge and skills, but never expected to find myself learning a new approach: Change Management.

Upon starting, I was immersed in the world of ADKAR and change assessments, helping to coordinate all things change management: scheduling courses, planning improvement events, assisting in change management plans, facilitating presentations and webinars, among many other change-related projects. After I felt comfortable and understood how to take a people approach to change, it was time to demonstrate what I had learned and assist CDOT in developing the integration of project management and change management for internal projects as part of the Business Improvement Project Management Program. I was able to challenge myself while creating a standard set of templates that provided all the necessary information to plan a project from both a technical and a people-focused perspective.

Although my time here was invaluable to gain project management experience while continuing my education and developing a comprehensive understanding of change management, I was not limited to project planning. I was given the opportunity to develop my soft skills through article writing and interview processes, I assisted in the coordination of the Live the Values series; marketing the redefined values and how to implement them in your work, and I expanded my network; making both professional and personal connections that I will carry with me as I progress in my career.

My internship at CDOT may be coming to a close, however I am moving into a project coordinator role where I can continue to build upon my project management experience while educating others on the necessity to consider the people side of change in management, with the ultimate goal to test for and obtain my Project Management Professionals (PMP) Certification. With plans to stay in Colorado, I will always enjoy seeing the CDOT logo, knowing that they served at the first step to my professional career and enabled me to have a comprehensive approach to project planning through project and change management.

How Do I Hire Interns?

Learn about how to utilize CDOT’s internship program in your division by referencing the CDOT Collegiate Internship Handbook.