Student Feedback – What our courses really look like
Early this year we chatted to one of our students, who did our ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. We wanted to understand how she had found the course, what she liked about it and how she felt it had helped her on her leadership journey.
When starting the course what were your expectations?
Starting the course, I expected to learn a lot about techniques of how to build leadership and management skills, but I really hoped to learn more about myself, my own strengths and abilities, any areas of weakness I have that I could improve on and ultimately how I could become a better leader.
I also wanted to be able to look around my organisation and pick up key skills that others were showing and to gain confidence in being able to take on leadership roles and responsibilities both in my organisation and even in extracurricular activities.
How did you find the online system? Was it easy to navigate?
I really appreciated the modularity of the course. It allowed me to focus on particular topics at time, which in turn allowed me to notice the behaviors others when I was in work, in relation to these topics; great communication skills, abilities to talk to each other, delegation and working in teams, for example.
I appreciated that I could focus on these areas within my assignments, where I could delve deeper into these topics by researching some of my own ideas and then pulling them all together in an assignment for an essay. It was particularly helpful to then be able to talk these through with my mentor and raise some of the questions that I might have from both my experiences and some of my research.
How did you find the combination of online content and mentoring support?
The content of the course was seamlessly integrated into my role. I found it gave me the confidence to take on additional responsibilities for project management and also leadership roles, managing and working with people in my organisation and I could gradually take on more responsibility using the tools and techniques that this course covered.
I looked at what techniques work best when managing different people and it was really exciting to see my own skills developing during this time and also to have someone to talk to about slightly more difficult problems.
Having a mentor at this point was great because I could talk with them through the different issues that arose within my role. For example, if someone had either an HR issue or just if they needed to improve their work slightly and if we had to some of the more difficult conversations.
We aim to demystify leadership through our learning programmes – do you feel that we achieved this in your experience of the course and what you took away from it?
I really enjoyed the online platform. I found it laid out the information very clearly and also made it easy to see how I was progressing through the course. It divided the course into different modules and within those modules there were learning and knowledge sections which included videos which captured very clearly the elements that were needed to learn and often these were followed by a memory exercise or reflection exercise. I really enjoyed the reflection exercises as they helped me to think about how the information in the course fit into what I was working on at the time in my real life. This then allowed me to reflect on the course content and bring it into the rest of the world. I also liked memory exercises. They gave me a quick test on what I’d learnt during the session with not too much pressure or revision required. Uploading the assignments was very easy, as was requesting a session from my mentor. It was great to be able to request a mentoring session after I uploaded an assignment.
Did you find the content relatable to you at the start of your career?
It was brilliant to have a course that combined both online modules, self-reflection, personal research and mentoring. To be able to watch the videos, get the introduction into the content that we were looking at for that particular module, but then be able to go away and research it myself, integrating that knowledge and practice some of the tools and techniques in my work was wonderful.
It was then even better to be able to combine that with a mentoring session where I could pose any questions, observations and talk them through. I learned during the course that I am a practical learner, but I like to put things into place straight away. I also like to externally process things from my learning and that’s why talking them through with both colleagues, friends and especially my mentor really helped them come alive and help me learn more from these tools and techniques.
What did you like about the course?
Lots of the time when we talk about leadership and management, these can be quite nebulous concepts and things that you know that other people know how to do and that perhaps you as an individual don’t. Going on this course really helped demystify some of these areas for me because it gave me a breakdown of clear techniques, tools and steps on how to take on leadership roles myself. Being able to breakdown these concepts into building blocks that I can gradually practice in my day-to-day work allowed me to then build upon my leadership skills and techniques. It was great to be able to then practice these skills with colleagues and friends.
What were three main things you took away from the course that you have been able to implement in your own career and leadership journey so far?
One of the key things I took away from from this course was the ability to tailor my leadership management style to different situations, individuals and projects. This meant that I could delegate to some people or talk things through with others about how they would like to approach things.
Another key thing I took from this course was just a greater sense of confidence, being more confident in my voice and my ability to examine the situation and be able to take a decision from it with the evidence that other people gave. This really helped me bring all of the information together from different sources and make confident and clear decisions with the teams I was working with.
Lastly, I took from the course that it is possible to be a leader without being a manager or leader of a certain project. You can take on aspects of leadership and use these tools even if you are not in the exact position of power, delegation, and the person who’s in charge of everything. You can also use leadership techniques throughout your work and no matter what you’re up to.
If you would like to find out more for yourself, get in touch.