“Hi, my name is Diane Ellison and I am the Programme Leader for the MSc Professional Practice and I have the sort of background that I feel is ideal to be one of your coaches.
I have made a couple of radical career changes over the years; having trained as a nurse in the NHS and worked as a ward sister before moving into general hospital management where I was the director of corporate development; responsible for the hospital’s strategy, negotiating contracts, marketing, public relations as well as managing various departments.
Then, with the arrival of my daughter I gave it all up and started teaching!! I matched my hours to fit in with her schooling until finally I could work full-time again. I have worked in Further Education Colleges and Universities whilst running my own training and management coaching company.
Five years ago, I added another sessional job into my portfolio, working for QA teaching strategy on the Masters in Project Management and in 2016 I made another career change moving to a permanent role with QA teaching mainly on the BSc Business and Management and MBA courses. Earlier this year I was asked to help develop a brand-new MSc Professional Practice course. The result is this programme of which I am very proud and I trust you will agree with me. Over the years I have completed a few qualifications including a MBA, MA in Applied Research, Postgraduate Diplomas in Marketing and Teaching all of which are rather misnomers as I do not have a first degree and I would never describe myself as an academic but have had to work it out for myself. It is this experience of developing academic skills that I will bring to our coaching sessions as well as extensive knowledge and experience of management; in particular strategy and project management.
The similarities between nursing and teaching are extensive as both involve supporting and helping others whilst encouraging personal independence and autonomy. I completed a coaching course a few years ago but I feel it is my approach that is even more useful. I am a strong advocate of personalised learning and feel that the ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work in education and particularly not at this level. For me the glass is always half full!!
I would have jumped at the MSc Professional Practice course had it been around 20 years ago. We have tried hard to base it on you; your own skills and experiences and supporting you to achieve your ambitions. The teaching and coaching team have been chosen for their skills, experience and their approachability. This is about working together to achieve this Masters level qualification which, from my experience will open a myriad of opportunities for you.
I wish you well on this course; remember to work hard, ask for help as often as you need to and most importantly enjoy it.”