Tell us a bit about you, your role and why you wanted to enrol on the programme.
My name is Ricky Botham, I am the International Student Support Officer for the Lincoln International Business School in the University of Lincoln. I have worked at the University for over 4 years, working in the education sector for over 11 years now. My role involves working with senior management to implement strategic enhancements to our international provision and student support, I work with international students to support them, run events with them and work on several projects to enhance cultural exchange and engagement.
What do you think you will do differently as a result of this training?
With everything I do, I think back to my module and try to apply the learning. I feel that when I start a task I think more strategically about it, I start planning it out more thoroughly looking at elements such as, is it in my circle of influence or concern, do I need to bring people on board, and if so, how will I manage that team and identify and utilise their skills.
How do you think the course will help advance your career?
Once complete I will hold my first university-level degree, I do have other qualifications and years’ worth of experience, however most job roles within the University require either a degree qualification, or if not, you have to demonstrate that you meet the criteria. Also, by studying at the University, I am experiencing the systems, processes and interactions first hand that our international students are experiencing and so, am using this insider knowledge and experience to help support them more by giving them tips, advice and discussions.
How would you describe the programme in three words?
Challenging, worthwhile, insightful.
Have your colleagues noticed any difference to your working?
I have already started to implement strategy to what I do. I have set up areas in SharePoint where I am writing out processes and improvements to be made and explaining the reason for these, along with the steps I am taking help us work more efficiently and strategically. I wrote an assignment based on finance recently and the team learned a lot relating to my budget and the whole process that goes with this and some excellent ideas such as forecasting expenditure in excel.
What advice would you give to someone considering the course?
I would advise that, while there is a lot of work involved, it is also one of the best things you can do. When I first started, I had not written large assignments before, also there were topics that I did not know much about. I was not expecting to get good scores on some of these, however I actually did a lot better on these than modules that I had lots of experience in. I think its easier to write about something that you learn as it is new to you. When you know it well you seem to forget what you do know as it’s second nature, so then you don’t think to write this down as you expect everyone to know about it.