Employee blog | Supporting our colleagues to learn
With support from Progress Housing Group, Mandy, our Digital Services Director, embarked on a Master's qualification via the apprenticeship route just under three years ago.
This is the story of Mandy's learning journey.
"I first looked into the Senior Leader's Master's Degree Apprenticeship (a bit of a mouthful, I know!) in March 2020.
"I was apprehensive and excited at the same time. I was apprehensive as I kept telling myself that at 52, I was too old to do something like this and excited as I wanted to take on this challenge and have an opportunity to learn and develop at this level.
"Our HR and OD Team was brilliant in supporting me through the initial stages of signing up for the course, putting me in contact with the course leaders so I could make sure this was right for me and doing all the paperwork to get me started.
"My manager also gave me the support and confidence I needed and encouraged me to take the plunge – so I did.
"I started the Master's in September 2020 at the height of the pandemic. This had its drawbacks in that all the learning was online through Teams which hindered forming strong personal relationships with others on the course. However one of the benefits was that due to lockdown restrictions at that time, there was nothing else you could do, no going to the pub or going out for dinner. Hence, putting time aside for assignments was easier and I definitely did not suffer from FOMO!
"I found the learning difficult at first (mainly because it was all online) but after the first semester, we all got used to it.
"I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed every topic I studied. It was all work-related; Risk, Finance, Leadership - so I have put my learning to good practical use within my role, and I have a deeper understanding of these topics, which has given me more confidence.
"I graduated (I love saying that!) in December 2022, a day I will never forget. I felt enormously proud and shared the day with my children and family.
"I was nervous at the beginning of this journey, and, as I said previously, I was concerned I was too old for this level of learning, but I was wrong. You're never too old!
"I am so grateful to the Group for supporting me throughout the past two years, especially my team and manager.
"I would encourage anyone looking into further learning just to do it. It is extremely rewarding, and we are a Group that supports and encourages our colleagues to learn and develop no matter how old they are."
Careers in Progress
As one team, we work together and empower and support each other to ensure we do everything we can to make a positive difference.
Our learning and development offer to our employees includes continuous personal and professional development, support to develop achievable career plans and the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship – from level 2-7 relevant to your role and specialist area in order to develop you further.