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  • Writer's pictureThe Edition

Savannah Pluzak: GBDA Students Can Stand Out with a CAPM Designation: Why You Shouldn’t Overlook It

Students studying in coffee shop with notebooks & laptops

Let’s face it, the job market is tough.  Landing a great job comes down to having great credentials. Anything a student can do to differentiate themselves can decide who gets the job. We as GBDA students have a unique opportunity; the teaching style and structure of our program along with the group projects and specific project management lectures we take give us the ability to secure a Project Management Institute’s (PMI) designation. For those unaware, PMI is a worldwide project management professional designation institute. Securing a coveted PMI designation is something many employers demand of their employees once ample on-the-job experience has been obtained. Project management is used in every occupation from small companies, non-profits to big corporations; spanning business to government, manufacturing to construction or medicine to research – there isn’t a profession or country on the planet that doesn’t use project management.

PMI’s Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM) designation is the initial designation individuals acquire.  Usually it is secured after the first few years of employment.  It requires a post-secondary degree plus 1,500 hours of on-the-job project experience or 23 hours of project management courses.  If your job is not 100% project management, it can take a long time to gain the experience or can cost a lot of money and additional study time to meet all the requirements. As a GBDA graduate that partakes in the project management lectures, you qualify to write the CAPM designation. You have the opportunity to graduate with your degree and this designation before you enter the workforce. This is a huge differentiator! Imagine being ‘qualified’ to fulfill a project manager position coming right out of university…sign me up! Talk about a great asset to put on your Linked In profile. Additionally, as this perk is globally recognized, studies show it can increase salary by up to 25%!

Personally, I believe project management is such an important skill to have as it translates into all aspects of life and will open doors in industries I haven’t considered. I want to have every door open to me when I graduate. In a time when start-ups are abundant and many teach themselves skills and programs, there is a gap of those who are qualified to unite and guide a team in a productive and successful manner and the CAPM is a great way to help ‘fill that gap.’ Not to mention we have access to GBDA’s affiliation with local start-ups and the Stratford Accelerator Centre located in our building!

As such, I am on track to write my CAPM exam next semester, coincident with graduating as one of the 2018 GBDA cohorts. Now this year’s cohort (those graduating in 2021) is the last year that has this opportunity available to them and time will tell as to whether GBDA should bring it back… my vote is yes! I implore 1st, 2nd and 3rd year GBDA students to look at the CAPM designation seriously, talk to each other and talk to our GBDA Academic Advisor about this opportunity and the benefits it can provide. Consider forming a study group, and even consult Chase Denomme in the Stratford Accelerator Centre! Take advantage of this differentiator and stand out in the job market! Ultimately, I can’t speak from personal experience just yet about all the benefits, but from what I’ve witnessed in my personal and professional life, it is something everyone should at least take time to consider.

For more information about PMI’s Student Bundle for the CAPM click here, or reach out to me - I’d be happy to help where I can.


  • (2017). Project Management Professional Certification | PMP. [online] Available at:

  • (2017). The Professional Advantages of the CAPM Certification. [online] Available at:


Savannah Pluzak, GBDA '18

I am a GBDA Student that is passionate about project management and has a love for attending, organizing, and planning events. GBDA allows me to express my creativity, collaborate with others and strengthen my love and knowledge of business. My adventurous spirit, love of travel and networking

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