Kim Bailey completed our Postgraduate Diploma in Career Education, Information and Guidance in July. Here she shares her learning journey with CLL…
I decided to embark on my Postgraduate Certificate in 2014 when my manager recommended it would be a useful course, which many of my peers had undertaken. I decided to study the course at the University of Warwick for a number of reasons, firstly it was regarded by peers as a high quality course and is very popular across Higher Education Careers Services. By undertaking further study I knew that it would help me progress in my career, as at the time part of my role involved delivering applications and CV advice for students, but I knew that I wanted to progress to delivering guidance, which requires a higher level of skill. Indeed in many Careers Services in the UK it is either an essential or desirable criteria to have a postgraduate qualification in careers guidance or similar when applying for jobs.
I have enjoyed the flexibility of module options, and ability to balance physical attendance at 1-3 day courses for some modules, with online only delivery for others. I also liked that I could choose modules which interested me, so once I had covered the core requirements of the course and my employer regarding guidance skills, I could choose options which gave me a broader breadth of knowledge such as marketing and e-learning. The tutors on the course are leaders in the field, and have been nothing but helpful, supportive and have constructively challenged my work throughout. This has meant I have been comfortable to ask questions and gain feedback during every modules, improving my confidence and grades.
One of the best things about the course for me was the flexibility in learning over time, I studied my Postgraduate Certificate 2014-2016, and then changed jobs, still in Higher Education but not in careers work, because I wanted to relocate. I then returned to Careers work, which included delivering guidance late in 2016, but for various reasons including access to funding I wasn’t able to restart my Postgraduate Diploma until 2018. Although it was a complicated journey of starting, stopping and restarting it never posed any issues for the amazing tutors and admin support at the University of Warwick who seamlessly helped me transition onto the Diploma.
Although I was successful at interview for my Careers Consultant role in 2016 having just the PG Cert, I knew I always wanted to complete the Dip as a matter of professional pride, ensuring I was highly skilled to best support my students, and shoring up the qualifications on my CV to remain competitive in the job market. Last year, I went on secondment to our Alumni Relations team and in the interview I was able to talk about my coaching skills and experience developed from the course, as a selling point for why I would be an effective manager (having never managed a team before), so the investment in the course is already paying dividends for my career. Now I’ve finished my role in Alumni Relations and have returned to my Careers Consultant post, having the PG Dip under my belt provides me with confidence that I can quickly return to delivering guidance and coaching as the lessons I learnt are truly lifelong.