Taking a View of the Forest, Not the Trees

Anthony Adona career-switches from IT analyst to IT project manager

Trees: Working as an IT analyst at NetApp, Ubisoft and Infoblox, Anthony Adona supported the project management tools that enabled the company’s project managers to do their jobs.

Forest: Almost 10 years into this work, Anthony wanted to be the project manager he was initially supporting.


"My interest in project management grew after seeing how the project managers used Microsoft Project Server as a scheduling tool that ensures team alignment and that tasks are completed," Anthony explains. "I wanted to learn more about project management beyond the scheduling aspect."


Enter our Certificate Program in Project Management, which Anthony completed in just two years. Today, Anthony is fully invested in project management, working as an IT project manager at Agilent Technologies. There, he leads IT project teams to implement solutions that increase the efficiency of managing all end-user devices and unified communication solutions globally. Through technical, project management, communication and vendor-management skill sets, Anthony keeps projects on track from request to implementation, as well as bearing responsibility for processes, budgets and resources related to various other projects.

"Being able to put UC Berkeley Extension on my résumé as well as the PMP credential helped me to move to a new company that matched my career goals," Anthony enthuses.

Photo of Anthony Adona

Anthony walks down memory lane with us to describe his experience transitioning from IT analyst to IT project manager.

I wanted to receive formal project management training to fill in any gaps that I had and to eventually become PMP certified [which he currently is]. I found Extension's project management certificate to align with my goals of receiving knowledge that can be applied to my work while also ensuring that the knowledge that I received aligned with the PMP exam.

I heard about the certificate through a co-worker who is currently an IT project manager. She said that the certificate prepared and equipped her to be a project manager.

Being able to put UC Berkeley Extension on my résumé as well as the PMP credential helped me to move to a new company that matched my career goals,


On working in teams for course work:
Almost all of the classes (especially those that matched the PMBOK knowledge areas) included a team project where we would meet virtually over the week and after working hours to divide the tasks. These group projects would then be presented during the last class. Despite my busy schedule with a full-time job, I found these group projects to be very helpful in learning the subject matter that was presented in the class.

A project that comes to mind is the final project for Project Schedule and Risk Management. We identified the scope and schedule for the implementation of a Content Management Server (CMS) application. It was actually quite ironic that the project that we chose aligned perfectly with my role as an IT project manager: I was able to use these tools and techniques to implement other enterprise applications at my work.

Other lessons that I was able to apply to work was creating a project charter, leading dynamic cross-functional teams, managing stakeholder expectations and ensuring that the project is continuously monitored and controlled.

On advice to a future student:
I would say that these classes do require hard work, but in my experience any student would definitely get the most out of the class based on what they put into them. With hard work, it definitely pays off in the end, both literally (in terms of compensation) and to be equipped professionally.