Steven Lefkowitz owes his job as an IT project manager at Partners HealthCare to his 75-pound golden retriever. In 2013 he struck up a conversation with the woman who was going to care for the dog while Lefkowitz and his wife were on vacation. "She knew I was in job search mode," he recalls, and she told him to send her his resume. (Although she didn't work at Partners, she knew someone who worked there.)
"The next thing I knew I was talking to the corporate director of community hospitals" at Partners HealthCare, he says. There was no position for him there, but Lefkowitz was referred to the project management group at Partners. His background included IT-related project management positions at Fidelity Investments and Bank of America and, although he didn't have any experience working in healthcare, his "strong project management skill set" got him in the door as a contractor. Lefkowitz became a full-time employee at Partners in January 2014.
Project management is a position many people segue into from other jobs within IT, such as business analyst, systems analyst or software developer, as opposed to being hired for the job at the outset of their careers, industry observers say.
IT disciplines tend to be more project-centric than other business units, and the nature of the work often requires people to come together and formulate ideas around a request from another department, says Raj Kapur, president of the Center for Project Management, a consultancy that also offers preparatory services for industry certification.
IT staffers are "high performers and very good at what they do and they have skill sets around managing projects successfully," says Kapur.
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