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Human Resources Student Stories:
CIPD Student Stories: Rona Joiner | CIPD Level 5 Review

Rona Joiner

CIPD Level 5

Rona started a brand new career in HR by studying a CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management after some soul searching. Here's her story. 

Hi, I’m Rona, and my current job role is store manager for a well known retailer. I have just completed ICS learn’s CIPD level 5.

Although I’d always been interested in the HR and people side of my role, it always felt like a bit of a pipe dream.

I got into operations, first as a wine advisor and then made my way up to store manager, and there never seemed to be time to step back and think about whether what I was doing was right for me.

A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed as coeliac and was quite unwell, and in the way that such things do, it made me take a look at my life and re evaluate whether or not I was doing what really made me happy. When I spent time thinking about it, I realised that the areas of my role that I loved were all about the people side of things.

I started looking for a course that I could study and distance learn with while continuing to work.

I chose ICS for a few reasons. The reviews online were excellent, the timescale seemed very reasonable, and the demand on my technical equipment seemed low: I was able to log into Webex for seminars on my iPad, which suited the way in which I needed to work.

The other major reason was that the tutors all seemed to be well respected in their fields, which is key for me when I’m studying.

When I rang up, I spoke to a very helpful guy who talked me through costs and timescales in more detail: I was a bit concerned because it was my first online course, and I wasn’t sure how I’d take to the online environment. However, it seemed to make sense, so I committed to doing the course.

Initially, I did find it quite hard to focus and to get back in the habit of more academic style of writing. What really helped me was taking out a membership of my local library, and then I’d spend a day a week working there.

After completing a couple of modules I was back in the swing of studying, and I was able to concentrate anywhere, but that really helped to start me off.

I found the course materials excellent, and the suggested reading was really helpful. It was also made very clear what I was being marked on for each module, and feedback and support from the tutors was extremely helpful and timely. I had a couple of queries for student services over the course, and they were also very helpful and prompt.

I would absolutely recommend ICS learn, and I would certainly use them again if I wanted to study anything else. I really enjoyed the course, and it was a terrific sense of achievement when I completed it within the time.

Part of the course is around your own personal development, so I have come out of this with a really clear direction for my onward career journey into HR, and a renewed sense of self belief and confidence in achieving a role in this fascinating industry.

Inspired by Rona's story? Get your free CIPD course guide here and start your journey to a new career today.