Sharon Munnings is Head of Operations for a registered charity and graduated from the LHF sponsored post graduate certificate in housing and homelessness at London South Bank University in the summer of 2021. We asked her about the course.
Where did you hear about the course?
A friend of mine did the course a few years ago and recommended it, but at that time I wasn’t sufficiently motivated and didn’t apply. Then I applied for a job at a higher level in the same organisation I was with which I didn’t get it so thought a course would be helpful. I wanted to do something different, to get out of my comfort zone and do something constructive rather than just let my disappointment take over.
What were your most positive elements?
Meeting others on the course, tutors and students, was extremely positive. I got a real sense of perspective and enjoyed sharing ideas with people I don’t usually get a chance to mix with. Different personalities, interesting views and no employee/manager/peer relationships, so it was a very open blank canvas for good communication.
The tutors are phenomenal, fabulous, helpful and really good to get to know.
The people-based subjects were particularly useful for me. Coaching and leadership styles, change management – all very helpful. These got me engaged. The thought of doing role play was hideous at the time but throwing myself into it did help and stretch me beyond my comfort zone which I had to remind myself was one of the reasons why I wanted to do the course!.
Were there difficulties?
I was a bit overwhelmed with the newness of it all at the start. My knowledge did expand in time, which I hope will benefit me in my career.
Covid made it difficult. We only had one session in person, right at the start, but we were all distanced, with masks on. The rest of the course was online which we all had to get used to, and did, in time. We set up our own communication group which helped- like our own online community where we could exchange ideas and resources.
Group motivation and asking for 1:1 time with tutors was useful, as we all need reassurance sometimes, especially if feeling overwhelmed and/or confused. Imposter syndrome is normal and it was helpful to talk about it.
I found the finance elements very challenging, as well as some other aspects of the course. But I can’t have been that bad as I got a distinction in the end!
Who would best benefit from the course?
People in middle management who have a bit of ambition and need a final push. The course is quite advanced and it is about making sure it is useful for your career. I think people considering a career change will benefit. In fact four or five people on the course got new jobs either during, or after the course.
The tutors are excellent, each of them respond so quickly and were very responsive. They are very good when you reach out to them. You genuinely feel they are championing you, generous with their time and knowledge, all very gifted. I’d quite like to do the course again!
For more information about the course and the professional development programme, click here.