Master of Project Management (2017)
Altangerel is a Project Director for Mongolia: Enhancing Resource Management through Institutional Transformation (MERIT) project (the MERIT project). Before taking on this role, she was the Deputy Director and Project Officer for the MERIT project, and overall, currently has four years’ experience working in project management. Altangerel also has extensive experience in information and communications technology (ICT), working for the Government of Mongolia in various ICT roles.
Throughout her career, she has developed expertise in implementing community development projects and formulating policies that assist with the government’s development goals.
Altangerel completed a Master of Project Management at ANU in 2017, which gave her the skills to grow further in the MERIT project-management space.
5 December 2022
What attracted you to studying in Australia and why did you choose ANU?
I was really attracted to the quality of living in Australia, including it being environmentally friendly and having beautiful green gardens. Canberra especially is a good place to live with family. I went there with my two teenage boys and didn’t worry about their safety. The main reason I chose ANU was its high rank among Australian universities, including the quality of the programs, professors and facilities.
Can you tell us about your career path and what led you to the role you’re in today?
After completing my Masters, I returned to Mongolia in 2017. I worked in the position of Senior Officer at the Communications Information Technology Authority (CITA), the regulatory agency of the Government of Mongolia. Based on my professional growth in managing the MERIT project, I decided to change my career path to contribute to Mongolia’s economic development more broadly.
I started to work as a Project Officer for the project in September 2018. The MERIT project is implemented through a partnership between two Canadian non-profit organisations: Canadian Executive Service Organization and World University Service of Canada. This eight-year project began in 2016 and is funded by Global Affairs Canada. As a result of my experience with the MERIT project, my public sector knowledge, and professional knowledge, I was promoted to the position of Deputy Director in April 2019, and Project Director in 2022. The development project I’m working on is to stimulate sustainable economic and social development in Mongolia by strengthening the capacity of public institutions to effectively manage the extractive sector. My main responsibility is to oversee the strategic and operational implementation of the MERIT initiative, and to also manage relationships with key stakeholders. These stakeholders include the Cabinet Secretariat, Minerals Resource Authority, Ministry of Mining and Heavy industry, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, just to name a few.
What skills did you gain from your Master of Project Management and how are you utilising them in your current role?
The skills and knowledge I gained from my Masters greatly improved my ability to plan, implement and monitor a project. In particular, I learned an advanced level of risk and issue management, and stakeholder engagement, to plan and oversee projects. My soft skills also grew a lot, and I improved in communication, leadership, teamwork and internationalism. The improvement in my soft skills helped me be more flexible working with different team members and organisations, debating and negotiating, demonstrating reliability, participating effectively, sharing openly, and working with a diverse team through group work.
Without the combination of my learned skills and my experience at ANU, I would not have reached my current career success, and may not have been accepted to manage this international project. The MERIT project has multi-partners and brings international best practices, and it’s challenging to manage the different cultures and experiences of different stakeholders of developed and developing countries. I use project-management approaches and tools daily to engage with multi-partners and mitigate the risks to achieve the MERIT project's outcomes at its end in 2024.
What advice would you give to international students while they are studying, and how they can maximise their experience at ANU?
- Be an active student and team member. This is your golden time to learn. If you can be an engaged student in class and an active team member during group work, you will understand more, and your knowledge will improve quickly.
- Professional networking. You will learn plenty of academic knowledge during your study, but you should also spend time improving your networking with your professors, peers, and experts in different sectors, through attending workshops, conferences, and other activities.
- Community engagement. I personally did not manage my time to prioritise engaging with the local community and Aussie people. If I have a chance to study at ANU again, I will engage more with the local community and First Nations people to learn about their culture. This could help you work at an international development organisation after graduation.
- Building friendships. I had many colleagues at ANU but we were not such close friends, because of my busy scheduled time. I was a student mum with kids. I advise you to make close friends and keep in touch with them when you are studying. You can learn a lot from your peers and it will help you in effective learning.