Apprentice, Shareen Hanson , was on
the most recent
Level 5 Operations Manager Programme.
and gained a Level 5 CMI Diploma
Being on the Operations Manager Level 5 Apprenticeship has led Shareen to being a better, more confident manager.
What has the experience been like?
It has honestly been the best course I have ever been on. I really enjoyed every part of it, and throughout the 24 months it never once felt like a chore. For me, the best thing is how it is broken down into manageable chunks. The assignments were based around my work and helped me to think more strategically which enhanced my working practices. The assignments were tricky to fit in with full-time work. Structure of this programme , I never felt like I was doing an assignment. You answer the modular questions and the learning platform pulls it together for you. At times, my workload was particularly heavy with large tenders yet I never fell far behind.
How was the support of your personal coach?
Sue was absolutely fantastic. She was always there to guide me and, importantly, push me. She was able to flex the programme to suit my particular situation; coaching me through identifying new opportunities to apply and evidence my learning. For example, when doing the budget module, she helped me realise that although I don’t hold a budget, I do spend money in my role and that the course content could be adapted to help me get better at budgeting through the lens of my role.
Sue helped me realise that I had ambitions for more responsibility in a new role. The seed was sown at the start of the course when we did a Personal SWOT. I completed it and showed it to Sue. She challenged me to think more deeply about the real opportunities. That’s when it became apparent that I was ready to start developing my career. I looked at what I needed to get where I wanted to be, and made sure that was built into developmental discussions with my manager.
You’ve completed the programme during the pandemic. How was that?
Of course there was a lot of uncertainty at the time and the course kept me going during a difficult time; it kept me alert and engaged and I passed with a Distinction.
What are some of the tools and approaches that you have embedded in your everyday work?
I got so much out of the module on Emotional Intelligence. I always needed to demonstrate empathy in my Managers role, but I now have a much deeper understanding of myself, my team and the teams I work with. I need to keep a lot of plates spinning and I was approaching burnout due to saying yes to everything. Learning how to properly prioritise and having the confidence to explain to others when I can’t take something on, has freed up so much time. Due to the course, I’m no longer afraid to say no. The result is that I can focus much better on what I have on my plate, with better results.
Any advice for others considering the programme?
I’ve already been telling colleagues about it and It’s energised me and has taken me to new levels of confidence as a leader and an employee. I’m delighted that I did it and that I would recommend the programme to other leaders and highlights its relevance even for experienced managers. “I was absolutely surprised at how much I learned. With the one-to-one support of my coach throughout, I was given guidance and regularly stretched to look at things differently. The course has made me realise the value of mentorship and the benefit of having a network of peers from across the business to challenge and support.”