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What Does a Project Manager Trainee Do?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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A project manager trainee typically works under a project manager or senior staffer, handling aspects of project initiatives in that person’s absence. These junior members of a project management department are often in training for higher-level jobs as project managers. Many of their job duties and responsibilities are the same, but they may have a lower general level of responsibility, since their mentors will often be involved in higher-level observation or monitoring of projects.

One aspect of a project manager trainee job might involve certain key areas of logistics. This includes overseeing shipping schedules or greater transportation programs for an employer. Another major area is purchasing, where a trainee might be involved in setting up purchasing arrangements for raw materials or anything else that the business needs.

Another major component of what many project manager trainee professionals do in their training to become full project managers is supervision. These individuals may work with either employees or outside contractors for a company, individually or as groups. They may actually get involved in dealing with payroll issues or topics of company policy compliance, or they may be more generally involved in monitoring work groups from a distance. All of this workforce observation and human resources work is an important part of what many project managers and their trainees provide to a company.

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In the course of their work, many trainees for project manager jobs may need to become familiar with a range of software applications that the business uses regularly. This might include many forms of decision support software. Decision support software helps humans to make tactical decisions for an employer. Since one of the core parts of a project manager’s job is to make these high-level decisions, companies might ask these individuals to use and get accustomed to certain software applications. It’s important to note that decision support software is not the only sort of IT resource that one of these professionals might use to handle aspects of project management; presentation software or other tools may also be involved.

A project manager trainee may be a liaison or messenger between different departments in a company. This person might spend time in high-level meetings to determine how to go forward with a project. They might also compile detailed reports for upper level management to keep top executives apprised of what’s going on with various business project phases. The trainee in project management may need to conquer a considerable learning curve involving setting up and tracking detailed timelines for individual phases of complex projects.

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