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After a quick scramble, the career boost begins

Who could have ever imagined that so much would shift in the world.

Who could have ever imagined that so much would shift in the world, and in my world, in a few short, but oh so long months.

After a night before deadline decision to apply for the Women in Media Queensland scholarship, I attended an interview in late February and was delighted to be announced as the winner at the International Women’s Day event in early March.

I was due to start my Enterprise Leadership Program at the Queensland University of Technology in early April but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the course was postponed.

After a quick scramble and redesign, the first module “Leading Strategic Initiatives” was moved online and started in early May.

The module consisted of online study, two Zoom workshops, followed by more online learning and the development of a presentation piece based on a workplace strategic initiative.

While a lot of the course content seemed to me to be common sense, it became apparent during my discussions with other participants (a mix of public and private sector employees) that that was not always the case in their organisations.

During the first workshop, I found myself madly scribbling down acronyms for things that others seemed familiar with, only to discover after some googling that they were fancy business ways to describe normal things.

I have collated a useful list of terms and feel much better informed to walk into a boardroom knowing what is being discussed.

The assessment led to some excellent personal reflection and interactions in the workplace. I spoke with a colleague who generously gave of their time and expertise in the area of strategic initiatives, which was useful both professionally and personally. The exchange also led me to better understand my personal leadership style and qualities, and thanks to a great book recommendation helped me recognise how I operate differently to others and why that is important.

The second module “Managing Stakeholder Relationships” started in late June and is still underway.

The things I’ve learnt so far because of the generosity and support of the Women in Media Queensland Career Boost Scholarship include:

PROFESSIONALLY

  • How to prepare an Investment Logic Map and Business Model Canvas
  • How to strategically align a project within an organisation’s broader strategic plan
  • How to effectively manage stakeholder relationships and why that is important in project planning

PERSONALLY

  • How to balance full-time work, home schooling and study during a global pandemic (some days better than others!)
  • That I think and approach things in a different way which brings an important, alternative perspective to discussions and project

Journalist Meg Purtell is the inaugural recipient of the Women in Media Queensland $5000 Career Boost Scholarship in 2019.

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