As well as Elin as a co-ordinator, another friend that will be keeping me company over the two years is the CMI Level 7 qualification in Leadership and Management provided by the Management Centre at Bangor University. The qualification is recognized in the field of Leadership and Management around the world and is equivalent to a master’s degree.
As a trainee, the qualification and placements are equal with one feeding the other. Experiences within the departments will help with the qualification assignments, and the qualification offers theories and strategies to help us develop within the settings. Two months into the scheme, and we have started the first two CMI modules.
Each module consists of two days face-to-face training with an experienced trainer at the Management Centre in Bangor, followed by a six week period to complete an assignment. The assignment is marked, and then you move on to the next module. The dates are fairly consistent throughout the two years, offering time to develop and learn between each module.
As well as learning a lot and having quick answers to questions, another advantage of traveling to Bangor is the opportunity to meet other individuals who are also completing the qualification within a variety of organizations. It reminds us of the great world that exists outside the comfortable walls of the Council.
Looking back at my first days in Bangor, remembering my nervousness and enthusiasm that was a big mix in my stomach, it would be easy, now, to call my ideas quite ‘naive’. I knew what kind of manager I wanted to be, and how I thought I would deal with situations, but I had not gained the experience of acting in the real world yet. I recall the admiration of the group as I offered answers and advice outlining how to deal with different problems and individuals, turning into pity, and sniggering, as they realized that I was trainee describing imaginative situations. I was an idealist with little experience of the ‘real world’.
But these two days were a valuable experience. The pity fired an urge to ‘show them’. Already, I’ve learned about many different models, and can measure myself on different scales to see how I deal with situations, and start to think are there better answers? The qualification is not easy, but at master level, it is not expected to be. It forces us to look for experiences, encourages us to question and learn, and every experience, failure or success is a step closer to defining who I am, and what kind of leader I might be. I’m enjoying researching, and applying theories into practice, and I am looking forward to completing my new assignments.