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Laura Sturges

What was your role before starting your course? What did it involve?

Before starting the course I was a Senior HR Officer, which involved line managing a team of HR Assistants and Officers; overseeing delivery of a first point of contact professional HR advice and technical and administrative support service to employees and managers at Medway Council.

What did you learn on the course?

On the course I furthered my knowledge of HR management areas, both which apply to my own role and organisation and through sharing experiences with others. There was a lot of focus on contemporary issues and I developed my research and analytical skills through emphasis on HR cases and their implications, and study of the Using HR Information unit. 

How did the course help you with your role/career?

Through gathering evidence of HR Consultant and Partner knowledge, skills and behaviours, and developing professional practise, and my knowledge of areas such as HR in the business context, employment law and employee engagement, I gained confidence and expertise in dealing with a broader range of more complex issues, and the research skills necessary in doing so.

During the course, I changed roles to HR Adviser, where I was able to apply my learning in managing casework and supporting with new HR areas such as organisational change. I am now due to move to the area of HR Systems Development, and the learnings I have gained from the course will continue to be extremely relevant in my work with providing data and information to provide insights and inform decisions, and to develop systems and processes that best support HR and the business.

Why did you choose to return to education? How did it fit in with your home and work commitments?

I was very keen to gain further knowledge and skills in the HR area to ensure I was fulfilling my role to the best of my ability and build my confidence in giving well informed advice, and to ready me for career progression opportunities. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity of undertaking the course as an apprenticeship offered through work, which meant I was given a day a week during work time to attend College and complete the work.

What was your tutor like?

Carl was incredibly knowledgeable across a broad range of areas, and encouraging of understanding and awareness of contemporary issues, and of applying learning to experiences, so its practical relevance was understood. He was skilled at engaging all his students, and the classes were very interactive and enjoyable.

Why did you choose MidKent College? 

MidKent College has an excellent reputation for delivery of CIPD within my organisation. Many of my colleagues had successfully obtained their qualifications there and strongly recommended it.

Can you tell us a little bit about your company and how your role fits into this?

Medway Council is a unitary local authority providing all local government services to those who live, work, learn in and visit Medway, so there is a very broad range of areas and objecitves within each. In my role as a HR Adviser, I promote fairness and consistency for its employees. I support managers in following legislation and procedures and to ensure this, and optimise performance to fulfil the Council’s aims.