April Brotherson, PMI-PBATo certify or not to certify is always a big question for business analysts and project managers. The best way to understand the challenges and benefits of earning a professional certification is to ask someone who has been through the experience! Previously, I have talked with and shared certification stories from a couple of PMPs and a CBAP. Recently, I caught up with April Brotherson, a newly certified PMI-PBA, to get some thoughts about her certification journey. April is a Watermark PMI-PBA Certification Bootcamp student who successfully turned her business analysis experience into getting certified as a PMI-PBA®, the fastest growing certification from Project Management Institute.


Andrea: What kind of BA are you?  Hybrid, pure…?

April: I would say a hybrid. It kind of depends on the initiative. If it’s big enough, then we have a PM. If it’s smaller, then I do both.

Andrea: What inspired you to pursue your PBA?

April: I had been thinking about doing my CBAP but was looking long term more about doing PM so, when this came along, it seemed to fit better with where I wanted to go.

Andrea: How much time did you spend preparing?

April: After the Watermark PMI-PBA Boot Camp, I spent 1 week of study per Knowledge Area and ended with 2 weeks of general study using the Watermark PMI-PBA Online Practice Exams.

Andrea: What did you learn through the process?

April: It helped identify gaps in what I was doing and identified opportunities for ways I could do things differently. It also helped me feel confident about what I was already doing well.

Andrea: Are there many PBAs in your organization?

April: No, BA certs are not supported consistently. I’ve gotten acknowledgement from my peers since getting certified and it’s been an eye opener for some people, so hopefully there will be more people pursuing it and support within the organization to the value it brings.

Andrea: How are things different for you now?

April: I am more confident now that what I’m doing is the right thing.

Andrea: Anything else?

April: It helps make you more marketable.

Andrea: Would you do it again?

April: Absolutely!

Andrea: Where do you go from here? What’s next for you for professional development?

April: I’ve started dabbling in the ACP and CAPM.

Andrea: What’s been the most positive thing about your PBA journey?

April: I think that knowledge is power. The knowledge I’ve gained through the process has given me the reassurance that I can do it and that I have the knowledge and confidence to do it well.


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