Case study

Graduate Danielle joins the CMI board

Danielle Keeling chose our Business Management course because it was accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). It proved to be an inspired choice as she is now on CMI East Midlands Regional Board.

Deciding factor

The chance to gain a degree accredited by the CMI was a major deciding factor for Danielle when she chose the BA (Hons) Business Management at Derby. She says: “I wanted to stand out from the hundreds of thousands of other UK business graduates and this course offered me an extra CMI qualification – the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management – on top of my degree."

Her strong engagement with the CMI has led to an influential role in helping the institute develop relationships with students even further afield. Having been appointed as the University’s CMI Student Ambassador, Danielle went on to launch and chair a CMI Student Board and joined the CMI East Midlands Regional Board. She has since supported other institutions to launch their own ambassador schemes and has addressed 400-strong audiences at CMI conferences.

Networking opportunities  

Throughout her studies, Danielle has also made the most of networking opportunities. She says: “One of the best decisions I made was to attend as many relevant events as possible. I not only built up a network of local business contacts but also improved my employability and communication skills.”

Such has been the impact that Danielle has been able to work on a self-employed basis alongside her course, offering marketing, business development and management consulting services to small businesses. She has also undertaken short placements with organisations such as The Prince’s Trust.

Danielle Keeling at the Network of Entrepreneurs event
Danielle at the Network of Entrepreneurs event

Future career plans

Her involvement with the CMI has played a substantial role in her personal and professional development. As recognition for her contribution to the CMI she received two rewards, the first being an invitation to the CMI’s Annual Presidential Dinner in London and the second being a personalised award presented to her by the Chair of the East Midlands Regional Board in March 2018.

“It is hard to put into words how incredible that experience was – and it may never have happened if it wasn’t for the University of Derby,” she says. “It is a great example of how the University engages with local businesses for the benefit of both the company and students.”

After completing her final year assignments in July 2018, Danielle achieved a First Class Honours result. Shortly after she was recommended for a CMI research project by a member of the CMI central team. Within a few weeks of this opportunity Danielle was offered a permanent position with Ernst & Young in Birmingham, who were very impressed by her CMI experience.

"There is no doubt that my involvement with the CMI ambassador scheme helped me to secure my dream role within just a few weeks of finishing university." I am very proud of what I have achieved whilst being a CMI Student Ambassador and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experiences in an effort to support both new and existing ambassadors throughout the Midlands and the rest of the country."

Danielle is still working with the West Midlands CMI Regional Board and she looks forward to continuing her involvement with the Chartered Management Institute for years to come as a fully certified Associate member.