In October 2018, Elvie-Jo Shergold joined Capital City College Group as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Despite having worked in management roles in Further Education for 11 years, Elvie-Jo is always looking to improve her understanding, knowledge, and skills. And in 2018, she embarked on a very unusual bit of personal and career development, when she started a Level 5 Institute of Leadership and Management apprenticeship course.
Here is what Elvie-Jo had to say about being an apprentice:
How long is the course?
“The course is quite flexible it depends on the speed of the group. My group is a group of 4 and we all have high pressured, high-intensity jobs so although we have the option to come together once a month we can’t always make it.
“When we do come together we learn a lot, but because of our jobs we do a lot of long distance and individual learning and our tutor is always there for us.
“We started just over a year ago, our ambitious aim was to complete the course within 18 months; however, it is looking more like two years because of the number of assignments.”
When do you study?
“It’s not exam based but it’s a mixture of coursework, assignments, and assessment. You learn the theory then you complete assignments with the theory you learn.
“You also have to evidence that theory through what you do in the workplace that may be via coursework or a professional conversation.
“Not having strict deadlines has helped get things in on time and keep things moving.”
How do you think it has helped you professionally?
“I think for me it is about understanding the management theory. I am not new to this profession or new to leadership and management, however, I have learnt through doing it rather than through theory.
“I think this course has allowed me to understand the theory behind why people do what they do and especially working in the busy FE sector has helped me plan a little better.”
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship at this stage of your career?
“I think it is about continued learning and professional development. I have always had an insecurity about my education because I was one of those kids when I was younger who lost interest then went from one thing to another. Despite having two successful careers, I have never had that self-validation, I suppose this is why I decided to go back and study.
“I chose to study a CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) course a few years ago and then since that point, I saw that continuous learning and building my qualifications helped make me feel ‘legitimate’.
“This has given me complete self-confidence to take on more and more as well as broadening my capacity to take on more and more.”
What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?
“There are several, it’s difficult to say just one. I suppose it has given me more confidence. When you go into a practical career, learning as you go, you can sometimes have a little bit of self-doubt that says ‘ooh am I qualified to do this?’ so to finally be able to say ‘Yes I am absolutely qualified to do this’ without that little nagging doubt, I think that’s been the best thing about it. Confidence.”
Find out more about our Manager: Operations/Departmental – Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship