- So today we have Nonye. Nonye is one of our current students. Nonye, would you like to introduce yourself?
NONYE OTUONYE: Yeah. Hello, everyone. My name is Nonye Otuonye. I am currently studying with this wonderful university doing my MA in social policy. And I look forward to answering your questions and kind of sharing my experience with you moving forward. Thank you.
- Great. Thank you, Nonye. We also have our course leader for the Human Resources Management masters Claire. Claire, would you like to introduce yourself?
CLAIRE ASHWORTH: Yeah. Good evening, everyone. My name is Claire Ashworth. As Elvira has mentioned, I am the course leader for the Human Resource Management program. Again, like Nonye, I'll be here to answer questions and give you a bit more information about the course. And thank you to the team for inviting me.
NONYE OTUONYE: Once again thank you very much for the opportunity. My name is Nonye Otuonye. I happen to be a leadership and management training consultant. I work with one of the biggest training providers in the United Kingdom. And that's what I've been doing. I then kind of moved into thinking about, you know, doing my masters.
And the reason why I chose social policy is because I actually deliver classes with my mature learners on various things like legislation, welfare policy, the Mental Capacity Act, how housing is affecting our people, community, society at large. And I just felt that this would be a really good opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge and so that I can go into the classroom and be at par with the learners. My learners are very experienced, and some are very, very, very well-educated up to PhD level, so I just thought it would be a good opportunity for me to boost my knowledge, boost my skills moving forward.
And so yeah, I've been given this wonderful opportunity. I actually saw it online, and that was probably during the lockdown. And that was, of course, when a lot of people were thinking of what to do. And I tried one or two or three other universities, and this one just spoke to me, if I may use that word, you know, the social policy relating to what actually do at the moment in my career moving forward. Yeah, so thank you very much.
DANIEL SHOESMITH: Great. Thank you so much, Nonye. And I actually worked with Nonye when she started applying, which was almost about a year ago now I think. So yeah, time flies.
- Yeah, I have to say that you were very helpful.
DANIEL SHOESMITH: [LAUGHS] It was very interesting application process and the heat back then as well, much like it was here. But yeah, prime time lockdown. But thank you, Nonye, yeah. And Claire, yeah, we'd love to hear a little bit about your background as well. It'd be great.
CLAIRE ASHWORTH: Yeah, OK. Ooh, where shall I start? So I have a background in human resource management. I started my career many years ago, probably too many to-- too many years to count now. But I've worked in HR and human resource management and human resource development actually for about 15 years prior to studying.
To further my career, I had to take the next step up and work towards the advanced CIPD award, which we will talk about later, I'm sure. And I needed that to sort of go into the next senior role of my career. So that's what I did. Fast forward a few years, I was invited to teach at the university perhaps because of my subject knowledge. I don't know. But I am very passionate about learning and people development.
So 10 years on, I'm here now still teaching, still learning. I offer a very fun and playful approach to learning. If any of you can see the background, apologies. It's messy. It's colorful. But that's the way I approach life. And human resource management is just another extension of life. There's no organization without a human in yet. So yeah, that's where I am. That's where I come from really.
NONYE OTUONYE: Thank you very much. Yeah, I just wanted to do something online. I have tried going into classes before. It didn't kind of work. So I was really looking for, you know, a class, a course where I can go in online, you know, study with other people online instead of traveling. And then there were so many.
But I think with UCLan, they tend to have this really very, if I may use the word, powerful presence online. You know, the social medias, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. And with various courses, you know, not just the Social Policy. We've also got the one on Human Resources, Nursing, and quite a few like that. And it just kind of shows that they actually have something structured in place for them to be out in that way. And so that's why I chose UCLan.
I just think, considering all the other ones, they tend to have these kind of really structured programs in place for online learning, which isn't easy, you know? A lot of universities did it around the lockdown period. Then they went back to face-to-face afterwards. But UCLan seems to be surviving the business. They've stayed. They've stayed. And that was what I found attractive. Thank you.
DANIEL SHOESMITH: That's brilliant. Thank you so much, Nonye. That's amazing.
ELVIRA HERNANDO NAVARRO: Great. Great. I think like one of the other things that is also good information to all of you about UCLan is that we've just been named this June number four for supporting mental health and well-being, which I think, after especially after the pandemic, is a huge thing, which means that you're going to have all that support. All that support in anything you need.
We have careers as well, support in careers to even to help you to do your own CV. If you don't know how to start, don't you worry. There will be team members that will be able to help you and also your tutors, which are almost, I would say 24 hours 7 available. Almost.
DANIEL SHOESMITH: Sure thing.
CLAIRE ASHWORTH: Shall I go first
DANIEL SHOESMITH: Go on, Claire. Yeah, go for it. That's great.
CLAIRE ASHWORTH: OK. So obviously the MSc in HRM, first of all you're getting a master's qualification, which is great anyway. And I think any master's level qualifications is great for your future career. But also attached to this award is the advanced CIPD. So CIPD is the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. It's the regulated body of human resource management, if you wish. And you get the level seven, which is the advanced award, which is amazing. It took me 15 years to get mine. I was slow back then.
But what that means is you will leave with two qualifications. So it's two for the price of one if we want to be blunt. But from your career point of view, what you'll get is you'll leave, once you've qualified-- once you've completed, with an associate member level of membership to the CIPD. So that's good anyway to have because it shows that you have an understanding of people management, strategic thinking, all those sort of things in particular, but with relevant experience.
So if you're already working in people management or managing people or HRM, you could already build up your experience. If you're studying while working, it will be a quicker process. But even if you're not, once you go into working in HR, you can apply to be upgraded to a chartered member, so you'll have MCIPD after your name.
Now, that in terms of advancing your career in the HR world is massive. I needed to do it to progress many years ago, and it's still the award that is recognized. It's the industry award. Businesses know what it means in terms of that. So it can really elevate your career as well as open other doors to other careers.
So I know people that have done the award and actually didn't go into HRM but they've gone into a strategic management role. And so there's other areas. So that's what I would say in terms of this course will really do as well as being able to network with lots of different people to gain valuable networking links.
DANIEL SHOESMITH: Brilliant. Thank you so much.
NONYE OTUONYE: That was very good. I really enjoyed listening to that. I really enjoyed listening to that. Thank you very much. Like I said before, I'm a leadership and management training consultant. My background is health and social care. I worked my way up very, very quickly from volunteer to senior management level. And of course, I should have done all this then.
I try to [INAUDIBLE], and so I found myself in the field again where we studied social welfare research, which is a huge one, and social policy itself. And I'm kind of looking at other-- I'm looking forward to reading other subjects as we complete the course.
How it will help me is at the moment in my company, there's a lot of opportunities to move up in various departments. And I'm looking forward to eventually moving into policy. And of course, you know, this course will help me immensely to be able to support the organization in looking at social policy that affects young people, mature people, work learning, and the other things that, especially in the health and social care clinical leads, regional managers, and just looking at how the policies, the legislation is affecting the business and looking at ways to continue to lend voice to that.
So it's just moving away from what I'm actually doing now and moving into something different. I also hope to maybe one day look into moving up from there to maybe a PhD and do more research with time. So yeah, it's going to be huge. I'm very excited. My colleagues are very excited for me. My line manager, my grandparent line manager, and the whole organization, they're really looking forward to me sharing this knowledge with them moving forward. So yeah, that's me.
Yeah, I mean, from what Elvira said and Danny, you have to be disciplined. You have to put together your own timetable. You have to manage your own time. What I normally do is I go on to Canvas quite often. I take part in the challenges. So I have a time when I have to go into Canvas to look at the reading list, the challenges, which are every week, and the other articles that come with it. And of course, you have to attend the sessions.
They do give assignments-- you know, quite big ones. And so what I would suggest is that you start from-- you know, once you see the question, begin to map it. Begin to meet with the lecturer and discuss it. And also attend the lectures. So you just have to put in the time. I invested in notebooks. I invested in time.
So what I do is I work-- I have a very flexible work schedule, so it's not like I have to do these hours. I manage my own time. But I try to look at, OK, this evening I will put in about three hours just to work on the assignments. Make sure you're reading every week. You know, don't leave it for long.
And if you are going out over the weekends, that's fine if you've got a very busy weekend life. And then the weekends that you're not going out, use that time to study. So it's all about managing your time. You know, commit the time into going on to Canvas every week. Manage your time every week. And look at it that way.
Try not to get overwhelmed. Try to let your line manager know that you are studying. And try to also put into your calendar time for study. So you know the less busy times in your diary, and you just put that time, be it half a day or anything like that. So yeah, it is doable. It is doable. Thank you. If I could do it.
ELVIRA HERNANDO NAVARRO: [LAUGHS] We actually have a very good questions that actually if you can share with us like how do you feel that the course has helped you in regards of personal and professional development?
NONYE OTUONYE: Yeah, I find myself taking part in discussions more now, especially when it comes to research. You know, I find myself, especially in what we call-- we call these meetings standardization meetings, and so that's where the training consultants come together and share knowledge really. And there is lots that comes through that. You know, we talk about various papers that have been written by the voices out there, if I may use the word. You know, policy drivers, emerging trends.
And I find myself always talking about what I've learned, you know, things I wouldn't really talk about before, but I'm finding myself talking about them. I share the experience. We've got-- you know, the class is made up of people from around the world, so they share their knowledge. So there's that atmosphere of richness there.
And you know, like they say, it rubs off. It just does, you know, without even knowing it. And so I go in and I'm really bold now, you know? And I'm beginning to take on responsibilities-- not too many-- in my workplace. And in fact, my AM and my grandparent line manager I've kind of seen the changes, you know? I'm more bold. I'm contributing more as a result of it. I'm sharing more of what I've studied also. And yeah, they're trying to build on it.
So it's really done me a whole world of good that I'm more confident, more bold, and sharing knowledge more. And it's a very interesting topic anyway. So I'm taking more knowledge in when I-- you know, taking more interest in what I listen on the news, especially when it's something to do with what we studied, say for instance food poverty, housing. Of course, the elections are coming up. What policies are there, you know? And then we come into the class and discuss it. And then I can also talk about with my tribe. That's my friends, my family. So it's really boosted my confidence, if I may use that.
Yeah, I have to say the lectures are very, very helpful. They actually understand what online learning is, and they understand the makeup of the class. So we have a reading list. We have Canvas. Canvas is this portal where you go on. There are lots of articles. There are challenges that you have to do every week, which is actually learning. It stretches you. It makes you read other articles.
And then they've also got the assignments. So they give you the assignments right at the start so there's no excuses. So you begin to, you know, prepare yourself, begin to map for it. So I would say, yeah, you get-- we also get books from their library but online. And so the lecturer will take you through how to have access to that. We had one of our classmates who's actually-- he lives in the area of the university and we were all jealous, you know? Because we are all far away, but he has that.
But yeah, there are lots of resources on campus. And if you need anything, just speak to the lecturers. They're very, very understanding. You've got things that you could not just use for your assignment but also you can go on to use for future sharing of knowledge. So yeah, loads of resources.
CLAIRE ASHWORTH: What I would say is be curious. Be hungry for answers. You know, we want-- at master's level we're looking for you to find your own answers as well as-- it's not like an undergrad where you're sort of almost sort of just presenting the work of others. This is your knowledge, so be hungry for information. You know, want to find out things.
I always describe it to students like it's your itch and you need to scratch it. And you need to keep looking. And sometimes you might need to get a back-scratcher to help you scratch. And sometimes it's difficult and you may not find the answers. And I think-- sorry, if that makes sense at all, but it does to me. It's sort of we want you to really sort of dive into it.
Yes, it's going to be difficult so you need to be resilient as well. And sometimes studying, whether you're on campus or online, can be a very lonely place, especially if it's a topic that doesn't really float your boat. And I can speak from my own experience. There are some topics within HRM I really prefer not to study, but we have to.
So that resilience, that personal determination. And if you keep in touch, if you engage in your program and your studies and you can reach out to your tutors and your community-- your student community for support, you're never alone. And as Elvira mentioned, things like our being well-being services, there's lots of things. But keep in touch. So just curiosity and resilience and be present. That's what I would say.
If you are easily distracted, like I am, I would say remove those distractions when you're studying. So turn your phone off. Even remove it. Put it in a different room. You know, take away all those distractions. If possible, try and study in a place where there's not other people blaring, you know, TVs and stuff.
Because it is online, you want to listen and give yourself that sort of space. And I think Nonye mentioned, have a notebook or find some way to keep your notes, whether you keep it online on a digital platform or sort of paper notes. They are really important, especially when you're going back looking over an assessment. You're thinking, where did I see that? Keep some notes or however you want to do that. So in addition to the others.
NONYE OTUONYE: No, nothing. I think it was more about maybe getting to know how to access more of the resources, especially the reading list from the library-- the university library. Probably doing that beforehand so I could be a bit more used to reading. Just like what Daniel said, most of us haven't studied in a while. And then walking into a very big library, be it physical or virtual, it can be a huge experience. So yeah, looking at that would be- oh, you know what, maybe I should even visit the place or something like that. But apart from that, I wouldn't do anything differently.
- And that's it. If you need anything, you know where we are. So it was absolutely lovely having you all here. So thank you very much.
DANIEL SHOESMITH: Brilliant. Yeah, thank you so much. Yeah, thank you, Nonye. Thank you, Claire. Fantastic as always. Always, always good to catch up with you and speak to you guys. You guys are incredible. So yeah, thank you so much. And thank you everyone who attended today. It's been excellent. And yeah, like Elvira said, let us know if there's anything else we can help with.