Even before the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) launched its Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeships Latvian born Jevjenija recognised the value of apprenticeships and being recognised as a professional manager.
Stepping up to the Challenge
Jevjenija Uljanenoka, known as Jane, was offered an apprenticeship by a charity, Break the Cycle, working with people with drug and alcohol dependency issues. It was not long after completing her apprenticeship that Jane was offered a supervisory position managing a small team and being responsible for the day-to-day operations.
Jane said, "I wanted to be able to manage my team to the best of my ability and thought that studying for a qualification would help me to do that. I quickly identified that I needed to personally develop my time management skills, how I planned my work and how I would handle difficult conversations."
Despite shadowing her predecessor for a short while, Jane felt that she wanted not only knowledge of how to do the job but also an understanding of management theory to support the actions she would need to take and the decisions she would need to make. Not wanting to be an ‘accidental manager', Jane decided she needed a professional management qualification.
After discussions with her Line Manager, Jane researched different qualifications and suppliers before choosing Exponential Training. Being busy both at work and outside of work, Jane wanted to be able to study in a flexible way rather than have the more rigid structure of a college or university programme. She chose Exponential Training and quickly found she was able to transfer and apply what she was learning to her job role.
“I decided to study for the CMI Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management (QCF) through the distance learning method as delivered by Exponential Training. I recognised that this would conveniently fit in with my life style. My Line Manager was very supportive and agreed that I could, if convenient with the needs of the business, allocate myself time to study.”
Jane completed the Certificate in 18 weeks and after a short break from her studies decided to progress onto the full CMI Level 3 Diploma in First Line Management (QCF).
“I quickly saw the benefits of developing my knowledge and having enjoyed my learning journey decided that I wanted to learn more. I also liked the one-to-one approach offered by Exponential Training so I presented a business case to my manager and secured further funding to allow me to complete the full Diploma.”
Jane did encounter challenges along the way, not least the fact that she was having to submit her assignments in a language which was not her mother tongue. Jane’s Performance Coach, Anne-Marie Daly, acknowledged this and supplemented the assignments with professional discussions, allowing Jane to discuss and explore different specific topics to demonstrate her knowledge and understanding. Jane completed the CMI Level 3 Diploma in First Line Management (QCF) within approximately seven months.
And Jane’s Impact?
Reflecting on her journey, Jane recognised that she has a more focused approach to her work including core areas such as time management, delegation and handling difficult conversations.
“I now feel so much more confident in my role, I know what I am talking about and can support my actions and decisions with the knowledge I have gained from the First Line Management programme. All in all, I think I am more professional in the way I execute my work.
I appreciated the one-to-one support from Exponential Training and the opportunities to discuss how my practical experience fitted in with the qualification. A great way to learn and I now see how powerful reflection can be."