Name: Cerys Duke

Lives in: London

Currently studying: CIPD Level 3 Diploma in Human Resource Practice

Why ICS? The ability to study without the pressure of scheduled classes.

A couple of years ago, Cerys started working for a charity that supports vulnerable people across London. In her role as a personal assistant to one of the charity’s directors, she worked closely with the HR department and became more interested in learning about human resources.

After a year with the organisation, an HR Training Assistant position became available. Cerys jumped at the opportunity.

“I was eager to apply. Knowing that my colleagues were on the panel was a daunting thought, but I really enjoyed the interview and was happy to hear that I had been offered the position,” she tells us.

“ICS was a fantastic opportunity”

After a few months in her new role, one of Cerys’ colleagues told her about an ICS assignment she was working on. Her colleague explained how ICS works and shared her experience earning the CIPD Level 3 Diploma in HR via distance learning.

Cerys decided to give it a go herself.  

“I conducted my own research on the ICS website and felt that ICS was a fantastic opportunity to be able to develop my own skills and to progress with a career in HR.”

“It takes away the pressure”

Like many ICS students, Cerys was tasked with squeezing her studies around a full-time job. This challenge made distance learning all the more appealing.

“The main reason I chose to study through ICS is that it takes away the pressure of having to commit to a designated day to study, and therefore has allowed more flexibility in my personal life,” she says.

“I usually read articles on my commute to work and then go through the exercises and assignments on the weekends.”

It also helps that her employer encourages employees to earn professional qualifications and has a special fund set aside for career development.

“From the beginning my employer has been very supportive, and I’m fortunate to have been given funding toward the cost of the course, as well as five additional study days, through our internal Professional Development Fund.”

“The feedback I received from the tutors was really helpful”

Although Cerys has found much of her coursework enjoyable, she’s also encountered moments of confusion and uncertainty. Being able to reach out to her course tutors for help has been invaluable.

“I’ve found the reading material enjoyable, especially where the authors have discussed their own experiences. I’ve not yet attended a workshop, however I am looking forward to meeting other HR professionals and sharing experiences.

“What I’ve found the most challenging is fully understanding the requirements of the assignment. Although, for those assignments that I didn’t pass first time, the feedback I received from the tutors was really helpful, allowing me to pass on the second submission.”

“I’m motivated to develop my own skills”

Part of what motivates Cerys, despite having a busy schedule, is the fact that she genuinely enjoys the subject matter. She appreciates how varied her workdays are and hopes to take on an even more challenging position one day.

“I enjoy the problem solving aspect of everyday queries and working together to improve procedures and practices,” she tells us.

“Although I enjoy my current job, I am motivated to learn and develop my own skills, which can be gained through the CIPD qualification, so that I am able to progress into a more senior role.”

“It’s important for HR professionals to hold a CIPD qualification”

Cerys’ long-term career ambition is to become an HR manager within the charity sector. She believes a CIPD qualification will get her step closer to achieving that goal.

“I think it is important for HR professionals to hold a CIPD qualification in order for them to have key employability skills, and for development opportunities.

“Throughout the course I’ve continuously felt that I’ve been able to put what I have learnt into practice, and I feel I’ll be able to continue to do so throughout my career.”

When asked what advice she would give to other students who have just enroled on the same distance learning course, Cerys had one simple suggestion:

“Plan your time wisely!”


Inspired by Cerys's story? Find out more about the CIPD Level 3 course that Cerys is enrolled on.

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