With the possible exception of improv comedy and animal shelter management, practically everything Stephen Major has done so far in his remarkably diverse career can be explained within the framework of project management.
In fact, give him a few seconds—about the time an audience allows you to come up with an improv script—and he could probably make a case for those two activities as well.
“In every job I’ve held, I’ve been responsible for delivering on projects,” said Major, a 2017 graduate of Georgetown’s Project Management program. “Understanding how to navigate limitations, overcome obstacles, and achieve your goals is what project management is all about.”
More on comedy and animal rescue later. Major’s main job for more than two years has been speechwriting for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. He said a speech, like any project, has an objective, a framework, and a set of goals that must be met.
A talented writer and public speaker, Major said he pursued project management not just to help him in his current job, but to prepare him for future opportunities in the civil service.
“I knew that these skills were transferable up and down the career ladder,” he said.
Originally from New York City, Major has a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production and worked for a time in the Los Angeles film industry. That’s where he also worked with an animal rescue group, taught English as a Second Language, and worked in nonprofit development. Here in Washington, D.C., along with his other duties, he organized a film festival for the Museum of Science Fiction.
And improv comedy? He and his wife perform at comedy theaters around the city under the fitting moniker: “Mr. and Mrs. Major.” It might not have a lot to do with project management, but just about everything else in Major’s kaleidoscopic career does.
“It’s all project management,” he said, “even if we don’t call it ‘project management.’”