When project management and information technology mix, a world of job opportunities opens. As a student, Blake Bieber recognized that and changed his academic path from Business Management to Information Technology. During his senior year, Bieber was also working for a local IT consulting firm in addition to obtaining his certification in Project Management from the Project Management Institute. When he graduated in 2007, his combination of education and skills helped him find a job in no time with Newell Rubbermaid.
Eight years later, Bieber is a Senior Manager of the Project Management Office with Newell Rubbermaid. In his role, he focuses on IT Project Management (PM) process improvement, IT Communications, IT Budgeting/Forecasting and managing the IT Project Portfolio.
“There is a theme in this line of work, that ‘You need to become comfortable, being uncomfortable’,” shared Bieber. “There is a lot of complexity with multiple teams involved in each initiative, coupled with aggressive timelines and many unplanned conflicts that will inevitably arise. That type of environment will naturally make you uncomfortable at times, which requires you to be very agile and adapt quickly.”
The fast-paced environment lends itself to an ever changing day-to-day routine. The multi-hat project manager can be found developing reporting, analyses and presentations for the senior leadership or managing and developing project timelines, ongoing tracking, issue resolution, and resource management.
During his tenure with Newell Rubbermaid, Bieber has moved through multiple positions in the Project Management department, allowing him to see the process from multiple viewpoints. In the PM department, he oversees the development process of methodologies and he helped create in his earlier years at Newell Rubbermaid. The IT Project Portfolio is a running list of unapproved or not yet started project requests from the IT department and Newell’s business partners. Bieber works alongside project stakeholders to complete ROI analysis ensure alignment to the company and/or IT Strategy, then develops materials to obtain approval and procurement of funds.
At the end of the day, the fast-paced environment at Newell Rubbermaid has kept Bieber a busy, inspired worker. His education gave him the start at Newell Rubbermaid and his ambition helped him grow. Find out more about the Information Technology program in the School of Information and the Project Management Institute.