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ICS Real Stories: Meet Laura | Online CIPD Level 5 Review

Laura Evans

CIPD Level 5

Our fantastic student Laura Evans reviews her journey to getting CIPD qualified with our online CIPD Level 5 Diploma in Human Resource Management.

I am currently working towards my Level 5 Diploma in Human Resource Management with ICS Learn, and I only have positive things to say about my experience so far.

Rewind two and a half years: I had just finished my English degree at Bournemouth University and was embarking on my transfer into the ‘real world’ of work.

I had worked for a language school for several years and worked my way up in the roles, so that each summer I had a fun, yet extremely challenging, role of being Centre Director at one of their busy summer schools.The industry is natural pandemonium, but I loved the hustle and bustle involved with managing all the different areas of the daily schedule, including liaising with the staff and students, and the administration involved with keeping it all ticking over.

This was my first real taste of management and how HR (of sorts) was imperative to keeping a business running, especially such a socially-driven one. Sadly, this job came to its seasonal end and I was struck with the idea to move to London (I am originally from a town near Brighton).

The first year and a half here wasn’t how I’d envisioned it to be; a naïve outlook led me into a few roles that really weren’t suited for me or in line with my personal morals and focuses, but being 20-something in London trying to pay your rent can blur your dreams.

I found myself working in retail banking as an advisor, and it was then that I remembered how much I loved the social aspect of work, and had a chance to further consider my skillset and how it could be better utilised. For the first time since leaving university, I sat down and forced myself to have a proper think about what I wanted, not what would simply pay the rent.

That’s when I started to consider HR, and realised that my skillset and endeavours closely matched what is required to be successful in this field.

I was working for a big corporate at the time and noticed countless things that I felt could be improved with respect to the way that employees were being treated and the overall management structure at work. (I’ll give you a hint…it needed to be bulldozed and started again!)

I left my job in banking just over ten months ago now and was extremely fortunate to join a small startup as their Administrator. For the first time in years I am extremely pleased to say that I absolutely love my job!

I suddenly found myself building the HR structure for a SME business, and between running the day-to-day administration, bookkeeping, social media and countless organisational tasks.

I realised that having an actual qualification in HR would greatly benefit the company and enhance my contribution to its growth and development.

Deciding to embark on distance learning was a huge decision for me; I had been out of education for two years and wasn’t sure if I was ready to delve into it again. I held all the nervous preconceptions that you’d expect: how would I fund it, the anxiety of juggling my full-time job, another part-time job AND this, and also wondering if I’d even be able to train my brain to learn again?

I decided to go with ICS Learn because they addressed each of these concerns in detail.

The payment structure is tailored to meet your individual preference, so I pay it in monthly instalments that don’t disrupt my day-to-day living.

Learning to balance working two jobs plus studying is never going to be simple, but it can be made easier by planning ahead and being realistic about what you can physically get done. I have a very flexible period of time to study, and submitting assignments is at my own pace, so ICS Learn are very understanding towards this.

Lastly, the support really is there when I need it; training your brain to absorb information and write academically again is a challenge for anyone who has been out of it for a while, but ICS Learn provides you with the tools, the patience and the support you need to grow in confidence.

I am so pleased I took this leap, as I’ve already learned a great deal more about what I’m interested in, and with each passing month I feel more focused on pursuing my career in HR. I’ve implemented much of what the course has taught me into the company I work for, and my directors have already noticed the positive effects these are having on the development of our workforce.

Thank you to the ICS Learn team for being so fantastic. Such a likeable, accessible company and I’m so pleased I chose ICS Learn!

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