"I completed my CIPD HR qualification, now I'm loving my new role!"

By Holly Maunders on 14-Dec-2018 09:24:55

Sarah Shanks-Pell chose to study her CIPD Level 5 qualification to get back into HR. Discover how starting her CIPD course with AVADO opened the door to her next career move! One month into the new role, Sarah reflects on her experience...

What did you look for in a provider?

Sarah  Shanks-Pell

AVADO's close partnership with CIPD was the main deciding factor to choose them as a provider. Based on this, I figured that the content was probably the most up-to-date - and it was!

I was also looking for a study mode which would enable me to continue working without compromising my personal life too much.

The quality of the course was great. When you think in terms of the benefits you can gain, it was actually a real steal. I certainly wish I’d done it sooner!

What was support like during your studies?

I really enjoyed speaking with my tutor, Grant. He always seemed to find the right words to allow me to go away from the computer feeling like it would all be so easy! If there was ever a time when I needed help, Grant would always come back to me quickly and we’d have a chat over the phone. He just seemed to have a knack of understanding and crucially making what could seem like complex issues, simple.  

The Facebook group which my cohort set up was also invaluable. Keeping in touch with other course members helped to keep my motivation levels up when coursework deadlines loomed!

What have you achieved since studying with AVADO?

Since completing my qualification, I’ve applied for quite a few jobs. As I’ve been out of HR for some time, it wasn’t as easy for me getting back into it. However, starting my studies definitely helped to open that door.

Initially, I didn't expect to be considered, so was absolutely delighted when I secured an interview and very quickly got the job! I’m now almost a month in and loving my new role.  I have a lot to learn but am confident as I have the most up-to-date professional HR knowledge from my CIPD qualification.

Any words of wisdom for anyone looking to start their CIPD qualification?

I thought long and hard about doing the course. If you’re serious about moving forward, organise yourself and make sure you set yourself goals well in advance. This will allow you to work well ahead and schedule in time to catch up with everyone around you.

Final piece of advice: don’t procrastinate! When you think you can’t go on, tell yourself: "nonsense" and "carry on!". Investing the time and money certainly paid off for me.


At AVADO, we’re as much about learning as we are about people and making the experience as valuable as possible for our students. To find out more about our CIPD courses, click here and fill in the form to receive more information on our courses.

Holly Maunders

Written by Holly Maunders

Holly Maunders is a Marketing Manager for AVADO. Having joined the company back in 2014, Holly’s worked in many customer-facing roles for the digital side of the business. Since then, her proudest moments have included leading client management for AVADO's first bespoke cohort with the Dentsu Aegis Network, setting up and managing the first Student Success Team for digital products, and completing 3 of AVADO's courses including CIPD L&D Level 5.

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