Name: Dawn Fish

Lives in: Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Studied: CIPD Level 3 Diploma in Human Resource Practice

Why ICS? The flexibility of the course and the affordable tuition fee.

Having worked in recruitment for many years, Dawn had often thought of earning a CIPD qualification, but always had a reason for putting it off. After being made redundant, however, she found it difficult to even apply for many HR jobs without one.

Despite having a lot of experience, it seemed employers were increasingly looking for candidates with a professional qualification from the CIPD. So, in October 2013, she took the plunge and signed up for a CIPD Level 3 course in Human Resources Practice.

“I realised that it was possible for me to still achieve my goals"

Dawn chose to study with ICS after coming across the website on an Internet search. The flexibility and affordability of distance learning appealed to her.

“At the time I was a working single parent with two young children and didn't have much family support, so the option of attending college on an evening was not possible due to childcare issues. But after reading about ICS, I realised that it was possible for me to still achieve my goals.

I chose to start studying the CIPD Level 3 Diploma in HR Practice with ICS mainly because of the flexibility they could offer, but also because they were offering the course at a discounted price and I was able to spread the payments over the support period of 18 months, which made it even more appealing and affordable.”

“The first assignment was challenging”

For Dawn, like many distance learning students, the most difficult part of the course was getting started. Its common to feel overwhelmed when the course materials first arrive.

“The most challenging part was right at the very start when you get your folders and books sent through the post and trying to get to grips initially with what was required and expected of you.

“I felt the first assignment was challenging, realising it was probably because it was the first one. It did take me a while, especially trying to keep within the word count whilst trying to say everything I needed to say.”

“Yes, I can do this"

As time went on, the coursework got easier for Dawn and she began to enjoy it. She would study in the evening when her children went to bed, her work ethic and self-determination propelling her from one assignment to the next.   

“I was really focussed and determined, and the fact that I really enjoyed it helped too. It also gave me a sense of achievement when I submitted an assignment and got it back saying I had passed! It gave the motivation to keep going and I thought, yes, I can do this.

I also really enjoyed the workshops, as it was a chance to meet and talk to other students who are going through the same experiences as myself.”

“It has given me more confidence”

Now that she’s successfully completed the course, Dawn has a firm grasp of the role HR plays in an organisation, as well as the role within HR that she would like to have some day. Her goal is to eventually take on more hours at work and become more involved in HR projects beyond recruiting.

“As well as feeling very proud of what I have achieved, it has given me more confidence and a much better understanding of how HR impact an organisation’s overall effectiveness.

I really enjoy dealing with people and building relationships, as it gives me a sense of achievement knowing I now have the knowledge and confidence, which also gains their trust. Hopefully when my youngest son starts school next year, I can get more involved in HR projects.”

She also recognises the value of having a professional qualification, and that it’s more than just an additional line for your CV.

“Before I had completed the course I didn’t think it was absolutely necessary, because I felt I had the experience, so why did I need to have the paperwork? But after having done the course, it definitely gives you a lot more understanding of HR overall that I didn’t have previously, so now understand why its important.”

“I would definitely sign up with ICS again”

When asked what advice she would give other students who’ve just enrolled on a distance learning course, Dawn says simply to trust that you’ve made the right decision.

“You have made a good choice of training provider, especially if you are looking for the flexibility and support they offer. If I decide to study further, I would definitely sign up with ICS again.”

Watch out for more ‘ICS Real Stories' right here on our blog. In the meantime, find out more about the CIPD Level 3 Diploma course that helped Dawn progress in her career