Name: Eleni Kokkinos

Lives in: Evesham, Worcestershire

Studied: CIPD Level 3 Certificate in HR Practice

Why ICS? We provided all the information she needed to make a case for and get funding from her employer.

Eleni was working in a finance-based admin role when she realised that human resources was better suited to her interests and ambitions. A self-described ‘people person’, she was attracted to the relationship-building aspect of HR and the variety that each day brings.

With her admin role already overlapping into aspects of HR and an opportunity to progress into management on the horizon, she was inspired to take a more dynamic role in her career progression. This decision led her to ICS Learn.

“Everyone I spoke to was very helpful"

Having decided that she wanted to progress in her HR career, Eleni knew she needed to gain a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). She has degree in business, but says a CIPD qualification is now vital for anyone hoping to climb the HR ladder. 

“Being an Associate Member of the CIPD is crucial for any HR role and progression for any HR career,” she explains. “The only way this was possible for me with a full time job was through distance learning.”

“Even in my initial research, before I signed up to ICS Learn, everyone I spoke to was very helpful. They provided me with all the information to make an informed decision, allowing me to put a case forward in my own company and receive funding.”

“My dedicated ICS adviser was an absolute star”

For Eleni, like many distance learning students, the most difficult part of the process was getting back into ‘student mode’ several years after graduating. It can take a couple weeks to settle into a pace and routine that works.

“At first I did struggle slightly with managing my time, having not studied for some time. However, when asking the mentors for advice, they provided me with my own individual plan to help guide me through the months and each of my assignments and workshops.

“My dedicated ICS Learn mentor Benjamin was an absolute star. The lecturers as well replied very quickly to comments and emails, and feedback on assignments was also very prompt. I got excited and nervous when an email notification popped up with feedback.”

“The workshop scheduling was fantastic”

As part of her course, Eleni was required to attend two workshops with other CIPD students. These proved to be one of the most valuable parts of her distance learning experience.  

“The workshop scheduling was fantastic,” she tells us. “Having two workshops combined with distance learning was great, as you get to meet new people, gain new contacts and learn from each other’s experiences.”

“I feel more valued as an individual”

In addition to the skills and knowledge she gained during the course, Eleni says it boosted her confidence and earned her more respect from her colleagues.

“I have learnt so much from the Level 3 course. I am now much better equipped in my role and to progress to Level 5. I’m able to put theory into practice and answer people’s queries, rather than relying on others with more experience and knowledge. I also know where to look for HR information and updates.

“I feel more valued as an individual and also more confident in my contributions.”

“Plan your time”

With a CIPD qualification under her belt and more on the way, Eleni is one step further along the path to her dream job - an HR Director for a fashion or travel company. When asked what advice she would give to other distance learning students, she suggests dividing the work into smaller, more manageable chunks.

“Plan your time. Easier said than done - but try setting a deadline per assignment. Breaking it up into chunks is easier than looking at the whole course and feeling overwhelmed by all of the work to be completed.”

Watch out for more ‘ICS Real Stories' right here on our blog. In the meantime, find out more about the CIPD courses that are helping Eleni progress in her HR career.