Ahead of the February start of the 2015 Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Communications Management, a six month course which combines detailed insight into digital communications practice alongside pragmatic leadership training, we caught up with members of the 2014 cohort. They gave us their thoughts on how the course – created by Prolific North and Manchester Metropolitan University – has improved their knowledge and understanding of working in digital comms and how the course has helped them progress their careers.
Put simply, the course offers an unrivalled opportunity for ambitious professionals looking to advance their careers in management and digital communication roles.
“Twelve months ago I was looking to make the move into a project or accounts management role in the digital sector” explained Wilson Cooke’s Mike Wiggins, “I’d been in the industry for over ten years in business development, but the lack of experience outside of that role hindered me.”
“The digital communications strand of the course enabled me to become better and more knowledgeable about areas such as SEO, development and social. It’s given me a way of thinking strategically about the value of digital in a business context, too. And the leadership strand has given me the knowledge and confidence to move into project management.”
“The teaching has been really great,” added Pamela Holstein, communications and digital Inclusion officer at West Lancashire Borough Council, “Throughout, the lectures have really sparked my interest, and I think this is because they’re so relevant to the skills you need in a digital communications role.
“I’ve been on other courses that don’t have that same level of relevancy, particularly on the digital side” she added.
Learning from the digital communications professionals within the group itself gave delegates the chance to apply what they were learning to real scenarios, as Pamela observed, “We’d all experienced situations in the workplace, we just didn’t know they were common issues, nor did we have the models and structures in place to get around them. I learnt things that I wish I’d learnt years ago.”
“All of us on the course arrived with different views and experiences,” added Ailin Martinez Thery, who was digital and campaigns officer at South Yorkshire Housing Association but has now moved to London to take up a new job since completing the course. “I think we’ve all learnt much from each other as we share perspectives on the course itself and about the impact of the digital world on all of our working lives.”
“The modules included speakers such as Tony Foggett (Code Computerlove), Nicky Unsworth (BJL) and Ben Hatton (Rippleffect) – world class leaders in their own right – their involvement gave the course real clout” said Mike Wiggins.
The guest lecturers’ personal insights provide something unique, as Ailin added, “They offered plenty of varied and valuable real-life case studies into companies, as they shared their usually very frank assessments of what had worked and hadn’t for their companies.
“It was fascinating to hear about and learn from so many different types of communications companies, from TV and research companies to PR and digital agencies. That was something very few people get the chance to access on such an intimate basis.”
All three were full of praise about the course and its impact.
For Ailin, it had provided a chance to step away from the day-to-day of her role, “I really liked the opportunity to be able to take some time out to reflect on my job, as I see how the fast-changing nature of modern communications impacts upon my job. I would highly recommend the course.”
Pamela has achieved so much from the course that she has since progressed into an entirely new job. The knowledge gained through it has helped her gain a promotion to a digital communications role with her employer. “It was the best option for me, I’m using what I’ve learnt through the course as I plan the next twelve months in my new role.”
Having recently commenced in a new project management role at Wilson Cooke, which he directly attributes to the course, Mike Wiggins offered, “When I saw the course I knew it was geared to me. Not to do it, to leave it another 12 months, wasn’t an option. I’d say to anyone looking to progress themselves in the digital sector ‘do it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.’”
Further information on the Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Communications Management course can be found here. Prolific North and MMU will be holding two Open Evening events where interested parties can discuss the course with the team behind it.
The two open evenings will be held on Thurs 4 Dec 2014 and Thurs 15 Jan 2015: both run from from 5.30pm to 7pm..