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New Post 1/4/2012 9:13 PM
User is offline Vegasis
3 posts
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What makes a good portfolio? Too many certs? 

I’m pretty new here. Many readers post their situation or desire to migrate from their current position to an exclusive BA position. Im one of those - currently a “financial” business analyst (budget, forecast, report and some business process modeling and optimization). Its a very unprofessional environment, no formal PM pr BA, im on my own. As so my members here im making efforts towards a BA position.

I read that for interview its a good idea to have an artifact portfolio.

    • What (contents) makes a good artifact portfolio?
      • I’m brainstorming what I can use from my current tool set but what else could I use or generate on my own time? Im willing to do homework or mock use cases for ex..
    • What would be good to have present in a portfolio from anyone’s experience here?
    • Also, should there be a concern of too many certificates? A year or so ago I started taking classes for a PM certificate from UC Extension, currently I want to undertake the BA equivalent certificate program? Should I dump the PM program in pursuit of the BA program?  Would having both certs present on a resume be too much?
Thank you in advance.

 
New Post 1/5/2012 6:49 PM
User is offline Kimbo
438 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: What makes a good portfolio? Too many certs? 

 Hi Vegasis,

Most important thing is your work experience and the projects you've worked on and delivered. Certifications are nice but not that important IMHO. I've worked with highly certified people who were pretty bad at what they did (and vice-versa of course).

I'm about to assist in recruiting some BAs where I work. My plan is to do an initial cull of CVs/resumes based on work experience and then to set a test at the interview for those shortlisted. Hopefully that will find the type of BA I'm looking for. Also will look at someone who is clearly well skilled but lacks one of the techniques we're using. In that case I'll train them up myself.

Never heard of this 'portfolio' idea you're speaking of. Expect it will breach copyright and intellectual property laws if you show work you've done at one employer to another. Be very cautious with that.

Kimbo

 
New Post 1/6/2012 1:03 AM
User is offline Donald Garlick
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Re: What makes a good portfolio? Too many certs? 
Modified By Donald Garlick  on 1/6/2012 3:03:56 AM)

I've found that its my experience and skills that get me interviews (and therefore more work), and the certifications take second-place.  While I can certainly recall times when someone has said "oh, you've studied XYZ", the XYZ doesnt normally clinch the deal.  But, with that said, I'm always looking to keep my skills fresh, with or without a formal certification.

I dont think you should be too concerned about too many certificates, but it is important to bring the studies to completion.  You mention a PM certificate but it sounds like you havent finished it yet; perhaps you wrap that up before embarking on the BA certificate, otherwise all the work is for naught if you dont conclude.  If you read the recent article on this Modern Analyst website (Top 10 Key BA Trends for 2012), you will see that a trend for last year and this year (2012) is to be multi-skilled, therefore, having both BA & PM should serve you well.

Donald

 
New Post 1/6/2012 1:40 PM
User is offline Vegasis
3 posts
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Re: What makes a good portfolio? Too many certs? 

 

Kimbo –
I appreciate the advice, very practical. I had an in person interview 2 weeks ago for BA position after passing a phone interview, I feel my experience got me this far. There was some nomenclature used in the interview that I was clueless to (nor could I think of an answer to the question “what software do you dislike the most? since my essentials are MS apps and nothing else”), but all in all I felt the interviewer was responsive to me and I’m just satisfied I got the interview.
Your comment on certification resonates, I have no formality in my current job/position, I’m finding the PM classes are a glimpse in to the “real world” of PM, the theory and framework that I otherwise would never be exposed to, I bump shoulders with PM’s from aerospace and pharmaceuticals out here in Ventura County who do this day in and day out and I feel behind. So, Ill use this for better awareness and add to my theory, but draw upon my experience for the interview.
 
 
New Post 1/6/2012 1:42 PM
User is offline Vegasis
3 posts
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Re: What makes a good portfolio? Too many certs? 
Modified By Vegasis  on 1/6/2012 3:49:34 PM)

Donald,
Yes, im finding that with a family and life, it can be challenging to bring certifications to a close, but this is important to me as I yearn for the formalities, for the theory and just as a lot of it can be dry (I was warned about the PMBOK!!!),  a lot of it is equally intriguing to me.
 

I did read the article that you mentioned and yes, that trend was thought- provoking to myself considering my situation it contributed to the thought that the challenge may just be worth it. I somehow find security in employers seeking multifaceted/multi-skilled candidates.
 
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