Lifelong learning and professional success go hand-in-hand for Project Management graduate

Shawn Belling

It’s no secret that Shawn Belling is a professional in his prime.

With over 25 years in technology and project leadership experience, Belling has performed a variety of roles for businesses, universities and professional organizations across the globe—sharing his vast expertise through a mixture of teaching, consulting, and professional speaking. Over such time Belling has worked to establish himself even more, accruing multiple certifications from the Project Management Institute © and a Master of Science in Project Management degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Yet even with these accomplishments, Belling shows no signs of stopping. Outside of his consulting and speaking engagements, Belling works as the Chief Information Officer at Madison College—situated in Madison, WI—where he and his staff provide technology services to over 35, 000 students. It’s a position that is not without its own set of challenges, but Belling is more than up for the responsibility.

“We have an interesting and special mission at Madison College,” said Belling. “Like all institutions of higher education, we are working with constraints in funding and resources, facing unprecedented cybersecurity challenges, and working in a time of rapid change. It is not so much about overcoming challenges as embracing them as a team. We have made some key changes in the Technology Services department that have helped us understand how to better serve our students through better collaboration.”

Belling’s passion for education extends to other institutions as well. Since 2008 he has taught several project management classes at UW-Platteville as an adjunct faculty member; a position he also shares with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Southern California. This unique setup allows Belling to interact with a diverse cast of students—a detail he quite enjoys.

 “I enjoy the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and organizations around the country and the world,” said Belling. “Our students come in with varying levels of experience – some with many years of experience and some project management training, others totally new to project management. Sharing and learning from these cohorts each semester is rewarding.”

Belling’s personal development doesn’t stop at learning from his students, however, as in many ways he can still be considered a student himself. Outside of his current pursuit of an online doctorate degree in leadership, Belling studies several interests within his own industry—such as agile methods and practices for better processes and an increased emphasis on prioritizing—which he continuously incorporates into his work.  

Looking at these examples, it becomes clear Belling is one who takes his education as seriously as he does his career—an observation that illustrates just how powerful the two can be when closely intertwined.

Belling’s only regret? Wishing he had started his doctorate degree sooner.

“If you are considering an online degree – start now!” said Belling. “I delayed my doctorate for nine years due to various circumstances, and while I am glad I am now working on it, I wish that I had been able to complete it earlier. So, if you have the opportunity to start an online degree program, go for it and do your best to stick with it.”