After deferring for a year, in January 2013 I began the University of Dundee long distance learning CPD module Strategic Management for Information Professionals at the University of Dundee. I chose this particular course because I felt it could equip me with the professional knowledge to deal with challenges encountered in my future career.
Having previously worked as Project Officer for the Museums Galleries Scotland funded Enhancing Access project meant that I already had experience of project management, but the chance to learn more advanced frameworks represented a fantastic opportunity to gain key skills which will further my career. Recent experience of completing my MSc in Information Management and Preservation (Digital) at the University of Glasgow allowed me to build on what I had already learnt using the virtual learning environment at Dundee.
Strategic management is the process of determining your mission, vision and objectives and deciding how to acquire and use your resources to achieve your aims. I studied seven units in all which covered a broad variety of subjects. From managing people and money, to projects and change, all units provided an excellent overview of the types of challenges which information professionals have to deal with. By the end of the module I was familiar with the key theoretical frameworks that will enable me to plan and lead change.
The breadth of subjects covered presented different challenges compared to my previous studies. The chance to learn these skills while working allowed me to apply this knowledge to very practical scenarios. For instance, in my current role as Digital Curator and Assistant Records Manager for Northumberland Estates I am currently leading the implementation of a Digital Preservation Strategy and Electronic Document Records Management System (EDRMS). Part of this process involved researching and writing strategic reports for the organisation and the skills learnt on this course proved invaluable.
I am grateful for the Scottish Council on Archives awarding me this bursary which has allowed me to further my career development. By the end of the course I had learnt the concepts and terminology associated with strategic planning and management, which has allowed me to select the appropriate tool or model and apply the professional theory to my own workplace. In today’s contemporary professional environment it is vital to acquire the management skills necessary to oversee projects of all shapes and sizes. I thank the Scottish Council on Archives for awarding me the Patrick Cadell Bursary and look forward to using the skills learnt in my current and future career.