Author: Iain Forster-Smith, Director of Administration, Faculty of Engineering & Design
As a member of the professional services team your main focus is always those you need to support. Ensuring you do your upmost to provide everyone with what they need, from the staff you manage to colleagues and students both internal and external.
Finding time to reflect on your own professional development and achievements can sometimes be left on the back burner for another day. One day my boss, Gary Hawley (Dean, Faculty of Engineering & Design), told me to have a reflective day and spend a bit of time on things I needed to do.
So I did, I reopened the work I had started well over a year ago on the AUA Members site to finally submit my Fellowship application. The members site has a fantastic tool that enables you to easily capture all your personal development activity as well providing you with tools to support your own personal development plan.
For me applying for this Fellowship cements a number of key areas. My dedication to the Higher Education sector, there are many other types of fellowships I could have applied for, the AUA Fellowship signifies my work within the sector and has an amazing personal achievement for me. I believe firmly that your own and team development is vital to keeping ahead of the game and ensures we are all preparing for the future. Being a Fellow of the AUA, recognises that I have developed my own skills and knowledge, as well as showing that I have worked with others on their own personal development, and I have positively been able to influence others.
The process may seem an effort at first glance, but to be honest the effort is very little compared to the satisfaction you gain when successful in your application.
My tips to anyone who is considering applying to become either an Accredited Member of Fellow of the AUA would be to, keep up to date your personal development record on the AUA, reflect positively on your achievements and use the AUA CPD Framework to help you focus on what is needed. Everyone should have a critical friend who can read through your statement and provide you useful insight on your achievements. Finally, think wisely about your references, the people chosen must know how you commit yourself to both your own development and supporting the development others (depending on your role). Don’t put it off, with the Christmas break ahead it’s a perfect time to begin reflecting – so get cracking.
If you are interested in knowing more I will be setting up an interactive workshop in early 2017 for members to come along and start working through advancing their membership – so watch this space!