Craig's Story

"Hi, I am Craig Wilkes, and I am a Project Manager at Stonbury.

Last year, Stonbury, gave me the opportunity to study for a professional qualification and I am delighted to say I recently passed my final assessment and achieved Level 3 accreditation from the Institute of Leadership and Management."

What were the challenges of juggling work and study?

Early in the process, it became apparent that, at times, prioritising coursework over free time was the only way that I was going to be able to complete the programme. That said, time management techniques were covered in the early self-management focused modules of the course, which served me well in prioritising tasks and knowing when to defer, delegate and drop. Mastery of effective time management is invaluable in being a good project manager, and undoubtably this knowledge served me well as I progressed through the course.

How did the course assist with your development into a Project Management role?

The tools I have learnt to self-assess, build relationships, lead individuals, teams and the business have been a boon to me in my role as project manager. I am more adept at providing constructive criticism, in aiding individual and team development and I am more confident in resolving conflicts when they arise, be it within the team, with clients, suppliers or other stakeholders.

The greatest takeaway from the course is a desire to continually work to improve my EQ, or emotional intelligence. The ability to empathise, communicate effectively and manage one’s emotions is key to having a positive impact on those around you, with obvious benefits to oneself, your peers, clients, other stakeholders, and those in your personal life.

How do you think you will use your acquired knowledge in the future?

Whether consciously or not, I apply the lessons I have learnt in the course in my role on a daily basis. I would recommend the Leadership and Management programme to anyone seeking to develop as an effective and conscientious manager and leader, with the proviso that they are willing and able to put in the time required to get the most out of the course.

How do you think you have added value to the business because of your studies? 

The importance of diversity, equality, and inclusion was covered in detail during the course - a topic I am passionate about. I enjoyed delving into the benefits of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, considering what employers can do to create a culture of inclusivity alongside analysing the policies in place and culture present within Stonbury. Covering this important subject reinforced my conviction to encourage a culture of diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace and to always challenge undesirable behaviours.