Our Course Advisors are the first people most of our students speak to when enquiring about a qualification, guiding people through their options and enrolling them on their course when they’re ready. So we thought we’d give you a chance to get to know one of them: Helen Gibson! Check out the interview below to find out what Helen thinks of AVADO and her job, as well as what her advice would be to potential students.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
I think it’s knowing that we’re helping students progress and fundamentally develop their skillset; either in an area they’re in at the moment or that they’re looking at transitioning into. So definitely helping people within their careers, whether that means earning more money, developing into sectors that they’ve not worked in previously, or doing something they might be doing already but progressing at a faster rate. It’s great speaking to students I’ve helped a year or two later and seeing how they’ve progressed and what their qualification has actually done for them.
Do you have a favourite student story?
I’ve got quite a few! I think one of the nicest stories was when we first launched our Learning & Development courses. That was really exciting; there was a massive buzz in the office because we already had a really close partnership with the CIPD, but it was just HR qualifications that we’d done before. So when we finally got this fantastic course launched and got our first student on, it was amazing! I was one of the people who got to speak to that very first student who enrolled onto the course. Then, a few months ago, we finished the first L&D Intermediate Diploma course and I spoke to that student directly. She was telling me how she’d progressed and developed so much within her own career, how grateful she was to AVADO and how fantastic the course was. So hearing stories like that definitely motivates you to keep going and hopefully keep getting more students through the courses!
What’s your favourite thing about working for AVADO?
If you ask anybody here I think they’ll say it’s the people, 100%. It’s amazing. I don’t know what it is that attracts people with the same sort of aspirations and enthusiasm to do well in their career to AVADO. They’re so motivated and up for a challenge, even though sometimes you look at what’s in front of you and think “gosh I’m never going to get that done!” But actually we do get it done, as we saw with the L&D launch and also when we started our ACCA qualifications. If we didn’t have the kinds of people we work with it wouldn’t be the same organisation.
What do you think AVADO does differently to other companies?
I think we invest heavily in the people that work within the organisation, and we realise that the Course Advisors are at the forefront of the business: we are the people who speak directly to the individuals who will be doing the courses. And I think we’re all motivated towards the same goal; whether we work in IT, marketing, finance… We all want everybody to pass that accreditation and go on to further develop their skillset in an area that they want to be in. I think that’s what everyone has in common in the business.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
Weirdly enough, in April last year I started rowing. The office is based in Hammersmith, really close to the Thames, so a few of us from across different teams all decided we were going to take up rowing. Almost a year later and I’m the only one who actually continued with it! We’ve got our next race on Sunday, which will be quite exciting. I think it’s very important to have something that separates yourself from working and allows you to concentrate on something else, and also lets you be with other likeminded people. I’m not enjoying it so much now it’s freezing though! But I’m still standing, so let’s see how long I last!
If you could say one thing to people considering studying with AVADO, what would it be?
I’d say “just do it”! One of the things I hear the most when I speak to students is “should I do it? Is it going to benefit me?” They’ve had an interest in studying, but they mull over things for so long… I speak to them a few months after they have the place secured later or once they’ve graduated and they all say the same thing: “I wish I had done it sooner.” So get started! The support’s there, we’ll help you get through it, we’ll do everything we can make sure you pass, but you’ve got to get going! I think we’re all susceptible to holding things off, but the sooner you get started the faster you can develop your skillset and hopefully get that career you want!
If you’d like to speak to one of our Course Advisors, give us a call on 020 8080 6530. Who knows? You might just get through to Helen!