Capital One is an enormous company, ranked 11th on the list of largest banks in the United States and employing close to 50,000 people. For Ryan Vesey, a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Capital One hire, the challenge was to find his way forward in such a large and complex organization. He turned to UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies for assistance. “Completing the graduate Certificate in Project Management
gave me the trajectory I was looking for,” Vesey says.
Vesey began at Capital One as a technical coordinator, assigned to a variety of entry-level tasks, but he was determined not to stay there long. The company encourages its employees to pursue professional development opportunities, and Vesey decided that project management would be the next logical step forward. “I liked that UVA offered an online program that I could fit into my schedule,” he said. “And I thought that a credential from the University of Virginia would be particularly meaningful.”
In addition to covering such technical aspects of project management as project risk management, the program incorporates the kind of collaboration and communication challenges that project managers regularly encounter on the job. Vesey cites the many group projects that required him and his classmates to jointly establish goals, create a timetable, and organize productive meetings as being particularly valuable. He also benefited from being required to make a series of presentations. “Having that experience has moved me forward by leaps and bounds,” he said. “It really helped my confidence.”
Today, Vesey is a project manager working with teammates to identify and implement improvements to the verification systems Capital One uses to authenticate retail bank consumers. “It is part of our continuous effort to deter fraud and minimize risk,” Vesey says. “As a project manager, helping to secure the security of our customers’ information is very satisfying.”