Carly Emsley-Jones recently completed our PG Certificate in Careers Education, Information and Guidance and achieved a distinction overall! Here she reflects on her time as a student with CLL…
Following graduating with a BSc (Hons), MA and PGCE I told myself “never again” and knew deep down it was time to give up the student discount. Little did I know I would be returning as a student six years later but this time, at Warwick University. Having worked in Higher Education for several years, I always had a personal interest surrounding employability so when a job was advertised at Cardiff Metropolitan University as a Careers Consultant, I was excited at the prospect of working in Careers and in turn submitted my application. I was successful and appointed in February 2019!
As part of accepting the role, I was asked to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education within a two-year period. This was something I welcomed, but most definitely a challenge to balance alongside a full-time job and various other roles including being a Lecturer. Undertaking this course during the infancy of my role as a Careers Consultant was invaluable, it complimented my experience as it enabled me to understand the theoretical elements as well as equip me with the practical tools to utilise during my guidance appointments. What was great about this course, was the ability to meet and develop working relationships with other Careers Professionals from across the UK, as well as share best practice (both in person and virtually). The academic staff from Warwick University provided consistent support throughout and the trainers involved from an AGCAS perspective were extremely experienced within the field.
Each of the modules were interesting and contained contemporary content, encouraged interactive group work and discussions which allowed me to gain a more holistic perspective. The assignments were practical based and included aspects such as conducting interviews, analysis and reflection but the theory underpinned each of these assignments which was probably something I underestimated. The Career Coaching (IAG) module was a personal favourite of mine as I walked away with a wealth of knowledge including an appreciation for the working alliance, how to structure an interview based on theoretical models and additional skills, tools and techniques such as the use of ‘scaling questions’. Although, the Challenges of Careers Work in Higher Education was very pertinent given we are working in the middle of a pandemic. This allowed me to reflect on some recent challenges such as adapting our services online and the use of technology enabled learning.
Taking advantage of being in the midst of a pandemic and not being able to go anywhere, I was able to submit my last two assignments early and completed the qualification in 18 months. After this time, 60 credits and 15,000 words later I was elated to be informed that I was awarded a distinction; something I will always be proud of. This qualification wasn’t just a ‘tick-box’ to accepting the role, it was something I immersed myself in and the course challenged me as a professional, enabling me to enhance the service I provide as a Careers Consultant.