Blog post

My experience: Volunteering for the Chartered Management Institute

By Danielle Keeling - 3 August 2018

Why I chose to study at Derby

It all started when I was in the process of deciding which universities to apply for, with a view to studying business management. As this course is offered at almost every university in the UK I was determined to find one that could help me stand out from the hundreds of thousands of other graduates. When I found that the course at the University of Derby included a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, this definitely helped me to narrow down my options.

How I got involved with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The BA (Hons) Business Management course at Derby is accredited by the CMI. One of the benefits of this is access to a range of regional and national CMI events. The first CMI event I attended was the Midland’s Conference in March 2016 which was held at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest in Nottingham. I was surrounded by over 100 successful leaders and managers from the Midlands and it was then that I realised just how valuable this accreditation was.

This realisation inspired me to want to get more involved with the organisation, so when the time came I began to network and I was subsequently introduced to a number of both East and West Midlands CMI Regional Board members. I immediately expressed an interest in becoming more involved so we exchanged contact details and I made sure to follow up.

How I have helped other students

I was invited to a ‘volunteer’s event’ in Birmingham by the West Midlands Regional Board and meetings were arranged with East Midlands Regional Board members to discuss the different ways that I could get more involved with the organisation. Whilst attending the volunteer’s event I was involved in brainstorming ideas on how to grow and improve regional CMI activities which is when it occurred to me that there was not a significant amount of engagement with students – an audience that make up a large percentage of the CMI’s membership. This ultimately led to me becoming The University of Derby’s first CMI Student Ambassador, and the founding of the Derby CMI Student Board in early 2017, which is designed to encourage student engagement with the CMI.

As a CMI Student Ambassador I was invited along to an East Midlands Regional Board meeting and it soon became clear just how valuable a student’s perspective could be on topics such as: events, social media engagement, the introduction of CMI accredited courses, and the regional growth of the ambassador scheme – to name just a few. I was soon invited to become an East Midland Regional Board Member which I proudly accepted. As a result of the success of the Derby CMI Student Board I have consequently been asked to speak at various regional and national CMI events including the 2017 Midland’s Conference at the ICC in Birmingham, the 2017 HE Conference in London and various East Midlands Universities.

Trips and visits

Whilst attending the Annual President’s Dinner I was introduced to a gentleman who happened to be the Managing Director of The Sony UK Technology Centre based in South Wales. One of my fellow ambassadors who had attended the 2017 HE Conference in my absence had met Mr Dalton there, and as a result of these encounters myself and a few of my peers were invited to attend their facility in South Wales – a visit that took place in April 2018 supported by The University of Derby College of Business.

The trip was invaluable to us as future managers and leaders as it gave us a real insight in to the successful running of a modern business. We were provided with a detailed presentation delivered by the Director of Professional Services, touching on topics relevant to our studies such as continuous improvement, employee engagement and more. We were then offered a full-access guided tour around their pioneering manufacturing facility which was extremely eye-opening. This trip was definitely a highlight of both my involvement with the Chartered Management Institute and my time at university.

Looking to the future

My involvement with the Chartered Management Institute has played a substantial role in my personal and professional development. As recognition for my contribution to the Chartered Management Institute I have received two rewards, the first being an invitation to the Chartered Management Institute’s Annual Presidential Dinner in London, and the second, a personalised award presented to me by the Chair of the East Midlands Regional Board in March 2018.

I have significantly developed my confidence through public speaking and networking opportunities, and it has also allowed me to develop some of the key employability skills required as a future leader such as; communication, problem solving, project management, strategic thinking, time management and more. Had I not chosen to enrol on a CMI accredited course or become more involved with the CMI Student Ambassador Scheme, I would not be who I am today personally or professionally, and I look forward to continuing my involvement with the organisation throughout my future endeavours.

About the author

Danielle Keeling
BA (Hons) Business Management Student

BA (Hons) Business Management Student, Chartered Management Institute (CMI) East Midlands Regional Board Member, Founder of CMI Student Board at The University of Derby and Self-Employed Bespoke Marketing, Business Development and Management Consultant.