I work as a Project Leader for a team within Prepress Projects specialising in journal editing and production. Last year I studied for a Professional Certificate in Management with the Open University to help me develop managerial skills that will be useful in my future career.
The training was funded by Prepress Projects as part of its programme of staff development. Several of my colleagues have also studied at the Open University under this programme. As the course is very flexible, I was able to combine my studies with my full-time job.
Following the exam in September 2015, I found out that I had won the Professional Certificate in Management Student of the Year award. This was a huge, and unexpected, honour and I am very proud to have received this award.
I started the course in October 2014 and, although time taken to complete the course can be extended, I chose to complete the course in 1 year. There are three modules. The first two modules involve mainly online work, i.e. distance learning, including online tutorials and written assessments. The third module included a 3-day residential course, where I was able to meet other students face to face. As well as providing a way to meet others on the course, the residential school allowed us to implement the themes learned in mock cases and situations and helped us to prepare for the exam which, for me, was only the following month. Overall, the Open University allowed me to work flexibly around my career and also my personal life, meaning I could organise my time as needed.
After being notified that I had received the Student of the Year award, I was invited to attend the awards ceremony in June 2016 at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes, which was larger than I had expected. All award winners were taken on a short tour before enjoying a sit-down lunch and the ceremony itself.
Each award winner gave a short acceptance speech as they collected their certificate and were also interviewed and filmed. Here is my video:
The knowledge gained from the Professional Certificate in Management will allow me to better manage and understand teams and the people within them, improving communication, co-operation and efficiency. Furthermore, I feel more able to respond to different types of situations depending on the needs of the company and the client. Studying for the Professional Certificate in Management has been a valuable experience and I am delighted to have been awarded Student of the Year.