From education to employment

George McDonagh – Turning Career Experience into Professional Recognition at South Eastern Regional College

George McDonagh, Customer Services Assistant, at South Eastern Regional College

Congratulations to George McDonagh, Customer Services Assistant, at South Eastern Regional College who has been awarded a Level 6 Graduateship City & Guilds Professional Recognition Award.

George, who left school with no formal qualifications, embarked on career in public service which spanned 30 years and took him around the world. 

George said, “My career in public service offered plenty of opportunities for professional development, with in-house training, which allowed me to go for promotion and progress through the organisation’s management structure. However, after availing of the opportunity for an early retirement, I quickly realised that I did not have any recognised qualifications that could get me into employment. I came to one of the SERC’s open days and following discussions with course lecturers, I opted for the Level 3 Business Administration Diploma and essential skills courses, which would equip me with a qualification and would help me gain employment.

“Even though this allowed me to gain employment I knew that I could achieve more, and I started looking at ways to advance my own personal development. I enrolled on the Level 3 Human Resource Management course, which I completed in June 2019, with a view to progressing to the Level 5 CIPD. Before enrolling on the programme, I was made aware of a course that recognised experience in the workplace – plenty of which I had gained over many years. I spoke to the College’s Careers Service to find out more and that’s when I discovered the City & Guilds Professional Recognition Award offered through Business Services at the Colleg

“This course is ideal for anyone who has worked in a particular area of employment and who has gained a wealth of knowledge, experience and received promotion over the years but does not have the academic qualifications to back up that knowledge experience. It offers recognition at several levels and is evidence based and, depending on the individual, the qualification can be achieved quite quickly.

“Given my vast experience and on the job promotions over the years, I pitched myself at the Level 6 Graduateship. To gain the qualification, I had to gather evidence of my experience over six standards. It was quite a bit of work going back over what I had achieved but within 3 months, I was ready to submit my portfolio for internal verification. Following external verification, I was delighted to be awarded the City & Guilds Professional Recognition Award at Level 6 Graduateship.

“Ruth Annett from the Careers Service helped me pull together my personal statements, ensuring I didn’t undersell myself and Paul Henry from our Business Services team was my mentor for any questions or queries about the course. Altogether they were very supportive in helping me reach my goal. For anyone in a similar position, I couldn’t recommend this course highly enough. It is perfect for anyone like me who has a career under their belt but no qualifications to show for it. I now have evidence of what I have achieved.

George concluded, “I found out a lot about myself while completing the modules – my abilities, strengths and skills – and most importantly, that the only thing standing in your way is yourself.”

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