Jeremy Wilson uses project management to develop ‘cruise ships on land’
“I am in real estate development and construction, [so] being able to customize this curriculum was one of the biggest reasons why I chose to attend this program,” said Jeremy Wilson, an Ohio University student in the Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) program.
Ohio University’s online MSPM is uniquely adaptable, allowing students to customize their coursework to suit their careers. The program is delivered in a series of seven-week courses and students can finish the program in as few as 18 months. When selecting a graduate program, it was this flexibility that appealed to Wilson most.
As the full-time director of construction at Omni Smart Living, a company that specializes in developing and constructing senior living communities, Wilson has had to blend his academic and professional life.
In his professional life, Wilson works to bring to life what residents often call ‘cruise ships on land’ because of the all-inclusive resort-style living his company offers. They offer onsite amenities such as a full restaurant, theaters, demonstration kitchens, dog parks, salons and pickleball courts, as well as a host of additional services that their staff provides for activities and wellness. His career often demands his time throughout the week, which limits the time he can dedicate to coursework.
“On a typical day, we collaborate with architects, engineers, numerous contractors, and I see it as part of my responsibility to help provide my team with the leadership and support they need to be successful with our projects,” Wilson said.
The MSPM has allowed him to balance his career and his education, which in many ways has turned into a project of its own. Wilson has always adopted a project management mindset and the program has taught him tangible project management strategies to apply to his career and personal life.
“While I was using some of these strategies before the program, what I've learned is that I had many gaps in my knowledge and skills that this program helped me fill in. It has certainly allowed me to ‘sharpen my saw,’ so to speak,” Wilson said.
On a regular basis, he manages challenges with labor, building materials, waste reduction and timelines. His greatest challenge in his career arose during the coronavirus pandemic when he navigated many unknowns, including variable shipping dates, supply chain shortages and labor scarcity.
“We were facing numerous challenges but with the collaborative efforts of our project team members, we successfully completed the construction on time in exactly 18 months. This success was absolutely a team effort, and of one I can say I was a proud member,” Wilson said.
In the MSPM, Wilson has been able to combine his previous experiences in project management with the knowledge he developed in the program to strengthen his skills in stakeholder management, scope and time management, risk mitigation, procurement and cost management, and communication. His highlight of the program, however, was when he was able to attend the Leadership Development Conference (LDC) on OHIO’s main campus.
“This has been an incredible experience overall; however, the in-person experience was phenomenal. Getting to meet and share the experience with other professional students like me, was an awesome experience. The conference offered many insights and the speakers all conveyed powerful messages about leadership and their personal successes,” Wilson said.
As he finishes the MSPM program, Wilson will continue to develop invaluable project management skills in the classroom to apply to his career and life overall. Between work and education, Wilson has even found time to get away for a long weekend with his wife to explore the world on a hike, boat or even a motorcycle.