I initially wasn’t going to apply for the scholarship as I wasn’t sure I would get much out of it. I thought I had a pretty rounded view of marketing having worked both agency and client side and I’d attended numerous training courses in the past. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The scholarship has had a bigger impact on me than anything I’ve done before.
I’ve got so much out of every single aspect of the scholarship. A big part of it is the people; I’ve been fortunate to meet some of the great industry leaders and I’ve made great friends with my fellow scholars (who no doubt will be the future leaders of the industry).
One of the highlights for me was The Living Leader course that I was lucky enough to do with Penny Ferguson. The course had a huge impact on me both personally and professionally. I became much more aware of the impact I was having or potentially could have on other people. Simple things like really listening, appreciating others and allowing people to think for themselves have transformed my leadership style. After doing the course myself I went through it again with the marketing leadership team at British Gas and it has transformed the way the department works, with people feeling empowered, more motivated and generally happier!
Another highlight for me has been the mentoring. The mentors I saw really helped me to understand my values and what’s important to me in a role. As I then knew exactly what I wanted, I was able to articulate this to my managers and as a result I found the perfect role for me that ticks all the boxes – and I love it!
I was also even further encouraged by the different stories and leadership styles of the mentors I’ve met. It became clear to me that you don’t have to be a certain type of person to make it to the top. It really gave me the belief that I can do it by just being me.
Finally, the coaching has been a great support to me. My coach has given me practical advice and techniques to help with the challenges that I’ve faced in my new role.
All in all, being part of the scholarship was without doubt the highlight of 2013 for me and I’m excited about what’s still to come in 2014. I am convinced it will have a huge impact on my career and the decisions I make in future.
So, please do give it some thought and nominate your colleagues or apply yourself, even if, like me, you don’t initially think it’s for you.
For more details on The Marketing Academy Scholarship Programme and how to become a Scholar please click this link.