From Timelines to Deadlines, Our Project Managers Always Had What It Takes


We know how the saying goes -- Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. As project managers, we were obviously all born great – but how many of us told our parents this is what we wanted to be when we grew up?

Project Managers sit in a fun middle ground, where many softer skills are equally as important as our technical marketing know-how, and many of us have been practicing those skills from an early age. In honor of International Project Management Day, some Nebo project managers compiled cherished childhood memories that, in retrospect, outline how our career paths began from an early age.

Erin Elijah, Senior Interactive Project Manager

Early Signs: Task Manager, Prepared  

I’ve been delegating since I can remember. I delegated my laundry chores to my twin sister for all of middle and high school. My parents found out when I went to college and finally had to learn how to do it on my own.
I’m the world’s worst (or best...) backseat driver.

Jarno Oostingh, Marketing Project Manager 

Early Signs: Tenacious

I organized a fundraiser at my school for UNICEF when I was 10-years-old, by auctioning off Christmas tree ornaments that I forced asked my classmates to make. Pretty sure I just wanted to organize something, philanthropy wasn’t my motivation.

Sarah Christiansen, Senior Vice President, Client Experience

Early Signs: Dedicated, Systematic 

I used to sort, organize and take inventory of all of my Halloween candy before I would start eating it. During my teen years, my dad would regularly pay me to organize his home office for him. 

Amanda Gladstone, Marketing Project Manager

Early Signs: Industrious 

As a child, I would literally create and present PowerPoint presentations outlining why I should do/have something. Like a whole presentation about why I should attend a summer camp and what benefits I would receive. This was completely unprompted by my parents and something I would just do. If you were wondering, yes it worked every time. 

Alyssa Babcock, Senior Marketing Project Manager

Early Signs: Punctual, Stalwart 

Before I was able to drive, my mom would drop me off at swim practice late - a lot (Not saying that's bad - she was busy and, as an adult, I now understand how hard taxiing your kids around can be with everything else going on in life!) Once I was able to drive, I started arriving early - if not first, before the doors were even open - to every practice. Forever and always the one to organize a plan and delegate assignments for group projects…and then do it myself when someone slacked off.

Damon Borozny, Senior Director, Project Management

Early Signs: Punctual 

I’m sure I’ve been late. I’m sure my memory isn’t that good, but I’m pretty sure I was never late to kindergarten. Or to say it another way, I have a sixth sense when it comes to time. What’s my bonus superpower? I also keep track of what all you people are doing and if you’re late or not. I’m not being judgy, but like the way the sun just comes up every day, I know what you should be doing. Thank the gods there is a job where this is useful or else I’d just be an asshole. 

Annie Martin, Marketing Project Manager 

Early Signs: Diligent 

One summer while I was in elementary school, I got the grand idea to organize a talent show during a family vacation. I made sure that all 11 people in my family were prepared, practicing their acts and participating all while perfecting my own act and determining the ideal location for our performance. 

Christy Laurent, Director, Marketing Project Management

Early Signs: Organized and Vicarious

I ran for school president in 5th grade (and won!). I mapped out an entire plan for my campaign: built a timeline for creating my posters, wrote a speech, and did a lot of delegating to my Mom, Dad, and little sister on how they could help me create all of my marketing collateral. I’m sure they loved being told what to do by a 10-year-old.

We’re not all the same, but there are through-lines. I found myself nodding in understanding for almost all of these stories. If you have similar childhood memories that you remember fondly, maybe project management is for you too? 

Written by Annie Martin on November 4, 2021


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Annie Martin