So I thought some of you here might be interested. After being turned down for the next level project manager position within my organization’s IT Department 3 times (consecutively actually) I decided to branch out and put in for a higher position within a different department. My company is starting a quasi-PMO (Project Management Office) with no formal authority but with approval/veto power for funding all projects over $200,000 (which is just as good as having formal authority in some cases). Anyhow the unit will be brand new and my responsibility will be to raise project management literacy organization wide. They were looking for a Project Manager Coordinator to act as an organizational SME, internal consultant, coach, teacher and whatever else falls within my scope (which has not been fully defined) and my group will report to a senior executive steering committee consisting of our CIO, CFO, COO and a handful of other VPs (a lot of brass). Anyhow so I put in for this job which although less defined is somewhat senior to the jobs that I had been turned down for in the past 6 months. The part that gets interesting is that my PMP was merely a “check box” (had to have it) and my experience was limited though cross functional. They specifically mentioned that they were impressed with the fact that I had an MBA and viewed this as a deciding factor that “edged (me) ahead of the other applicants” and they feel this will better equip me to deal with all levels of the organization and a variety of cross functional units. The job is a 10% bump in pay (initially) with a much, much higher ceiling and median than I currently make and before taking the job I negotiated working from home 1 day a week (guaranteed as a condition of acceptance). My soon to be former employer offered me the promotion I was turned down 3 times in the last 6 months for if I would agree to stay to which I politely declined (they would match the initial money but the ceiling and median were about $10K annually lower). Even though I regret that I have to leave IT (again) I am excited about the potential that building a new unit and “inventing” a new job would bring. Now here’s the best bit. My soon to be new senior manager already told me they want to “send (me) to school” and asked me to start picking advanced project management training and resources. I’m salivating at the possibilities. They questioned my MIS graduate degree (of which I am half way complete) and asked me if I were planning on completing it to which I said “yes” however truth be told, if they would pay for a Boston U. MS in PM I’d do that in a heartbeat and complete the Bellevue program whenever I get around to it on my own dime, but for now I’m eyeballing Boston U. and for certificate programs at Stanford and e-Cornell. They were up front with being willing to spend money and basically said that the advanced training would not only make me better at what I do but would lend credence to my SME status among the organization’s project managers and increase buy in which they feel is essential to success (and I agree). So the lesson learned here is…the MBA at Ashford was rough and sometimes the schools credibility due to their profit status may be questioned on forums like this, but in my case it’s the investment that continues to pay dividends. I do not regret earning it for one second and even though it was the totality of my qualifications that got me the job, the MBA was a key component. Not bad for an Ashford grad.