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Episode 311: PMP® Exam Preparation Lessons Learned (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Jonathan Hebert, PMP

Did you know that The PM Podcast started out as (and still is) a precious hobby of mine and that I took what I learned about podcasting from this show here and created a video podcast that helps you prepare for the PMP Exam?

Of course you do! Because I talk about it all the time.

And so today we are doing a bit of a crossover between those two podcasts with this interview that features Jonathan Hebert ( Jonathan is not only a PMP exam student of mine, he was also the senior project manager of updating my PMP prep podcast to the most recent version.

And in this “lessons learned” interview you are going to hear him talk about his journey to becoming PMP certified from start to finish.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #311. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at and I'm Cornelius Fichtner. Thank you for stopping by.

Did you know that The Project Management Podcast™ here started out as and still is a precious hobby of mine and that I then took what I learned about podcasting from this very show here and created a video podcast that helps you prepare for the PMP® exam? Of course you do because I keep talking about it all the time. And so today, we are going to do a bit of a crossover between those two podcasts with this interview here that features Jonathan Hebert.

Jonathan is not only a PMP® exam student of mine who has successfully passed the exam, but he is also the Senior Project Manager of updating my PMP® exam Prep Podcast to the most recent version. And in this lessons learned interview, you are going to hear him talk about his journey to becoming PMP® Certified from start to finish.

And so, let's start the journey. Enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Jonathan Hebert, Senior Project Manager and PMP.

Cornelius Fichtner:Hello and welcome to The Project Management PrepCast™. I am instructor, Cornelius Fichtner. You can find us at and our growing list of more free PMP® exam resources is at

Right now, we have another lessons learned interview for you allowing you to learn from someone else's PMP® exam experience and that someone else is Jonathan Hebert who is sitting here with me. Hello, Jonathan!

Jonathan Hebert:Hey, Cornelius! How are you doing?

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright, alright! Now before we get started, let me first remind everyone else of the fact that the rules of the PMP® exam are such that we are not allowed to discuss any specific questions that come from the exam. But we will discuss your overall experience, your general thoughts on the process and of course also your recommendations to our listeners.

But we also have to put in a big disclaimer here because your experience Jonathan has a special twist. You were part of the project team that helped update the Project Management PrepCast™ to the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition. So we had all these Fourth Edition slides and they need it to be updated to the fifth edition. I think you were the only non-PMP on the team and I put you in charge of that team. How was that for you as exam prep?

Jonathan Hebert: Yeah, I was questioning your sanity there. It was an excellent exam prep. A little intimidating at first but I had confidence in my abilities to lead the team and they had a wealth of knowledge and also, I learned many things from the team. It was a very good experience.

Cornelius Fichtner: And you pretty much had access to all the materials before and after and you went through the whole review process.

Jonathan Hebert: Yes, I was in the driver seat. I have no excuses. I had an inside look for sure.

Cornelius Fichtner: It was definitely a different experience. So congratulations!

Jonathan Hebert: Well, thank you very much.

Cornelius Fichtner: For passing your PMP® exam. When exactly did you pass?

Jonathan Hebert: I passed just about a week and a half ago, Thursday, November 14th.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah! I can still see that glow of success in your eyes there, right? First things first, if you had to do this all over again, what would you do differently?

Jonathan Hebert: I've given that a little thought and I would probably have taken the test when I worked for Pfizer a number of years ago. I think about 8 years ago. I'd spent 5 years working in project management. We actually had some in-house PMI training that one of the other project managers brought in and several of the project managers took the PMP after that. I regret not following in their footsteps and also I had another opportunity when I was working at Advanced Medical Optics. So the first point is I think I would have taken it earlier if I had it to do over again in my career.

Secondly, I think I would have mapped out more definitive plan and adhere to that plan, and in the end not set such an aggressive deadline because after I finished the things that were delaying me in my own foot dragging, I set a really aggressive deadline and stuck to that pretty much.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay. Why did you choose to become a PMP?

Jonathan Hebert: I chose to become a PMP for a couple of reasons. One, because in this day and age, it has moved from a nice to have to almost a requirement in most of the better PMP or project management positions that are open.

Secondly, I think it signifies something like most credentials do that you absorb the material, that you learn the material. That material is going to make you a better project manager. It's something that proves that you're a project manager. I think a lot of people are "project managers" and they don’t really have the background or training necessary.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, the accidental project manager. Many of us started that way.

Jonathan Hebert: Yeah, exactly.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, yeah. So you said you had an aggressive schedule towards the end. Let's go to the very beginning. From the first day when you said "Okay, I'm going to do this." until last Thursday, how long did that actually take?

Jonathan Hebert: I got to be honest. It took a couple of years.

Cornelius Fichtner: Oh my! Why did it take you so long? Was it just because you didn’t have a firm plan?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete PDF transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Episodes About PMP, PMP Lessons Learned

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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