Jevjenija Uljanenoka, known as Jane, came to the UK from Latvia five years ago. After nine months of being in the UK Jane had secured a one year apprenticeship working in a café within a Drug and Alcohol Centre. The organisation, run as a charity, offered Jane a supervisory position after her apprenticeship, a post she has now held for four years Jane manages a small team of staff that help her to provide a welcome service for her customers.
Jane recognised that her team, made up of one paid member of staff and two volunteers, all had different motivational needs regarding employment. 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.
“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.”
Jane wanted to streamline her work and become more organised. “I knew that if I was organised it would have a positive effect on my team and would help them to keep calm and free from unnecessary panic” explained Jane.
After discussions with her Line Manager Jane had approval to source a qualification that would provide the development she needed. Leading a busy life, juggling personal and work commitments Jane wanted to be able to study in a flexible way rather than have the more rigid structure of a college or university programme.
“I decided to study for the 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 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 Professional Development Coach acknowledged this and supplemented the assignments with professional discussions, allowing Jane to talk around specific topics to demonstrate her knowledge and understanding. Jane completed the Diploma within approximately seven months.
During the reflection process, Jane recognised that she now has a more focused approach to her work. Key areas of Jane’s development include time management, the art of delegation and how to handle 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.”
Jane studies the CMI Level 3 Diploma in First Line Management (QCF).