In his first blog for the CII, Oliver Swinburn reveals how days out at the football and the support of your employer can provide a boost to your studies.
First and foremost, let me say a huge thank you to Florence Dennis for her blogs during the past year. Hopefully, I can build on her insights and share with you my experiences so far of studying with the CII and how it has benefited me and the development of my career so far.
I am currently working towards my Advanced Diploma, after having finished my Diploma. I have recently moved onto my second module, which is marketing insurance products and services; this is not something that currently relates to my role but the change is something I find incredibly motivating and really useful for offering well rounded knowledge of the profession.
Throughout my studies, I have found that planning carefully around social activities and hobbies has helped me keep focused and keep to a schedule of work. Also, I find it really fulfilling to use these things as a reward for completing work. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, it was a Sunday evening and I was sat in front of my laptop trying to add to my first assignment, knowing that the following week I had not one but two trips to Anfield football ground organised to see the mighty Liverpool play in two cup games. So in my mind, that is time I know I am not going to be able to study, therefore planning ahead means I can organise myself to get through some studying before I can then relax and enjoy myself. Unfortunately for me, the football did not go to plan! But despite Liverpool's lacklustre performance I could still be satisfied I had successfully completed another assignment.
Managing deadlines is tremendously important. It is always hard when you initially sign up to a new module and it can seem a huge and daunting prospect. You have a whole textbook to read through and then continuous assessment, assignments or maybe even an exam to plan for. The planner that we have access to is RevsionMate, which I have found a fantastic tool for breaking down deadlines, either chapter by chapter, or with different questions of your assignment to make your work manageable. I would also encourage you to approach colleagues or others you know that are studying, as just discussing topics can make them clearer in your mind -- and you can pick up valuable knowledge and opinions.
I am lucky to work for a company that fully supports the CII and the insurance exams and it has given me help to ensure I have time to spend planning and studying, which allows me to put the most into my studies, for which I am really grateful. Thanks for taking the time out to read my first blog, and I wish good luck to those taking their exams in April and those writing those ongoing assignments.
THREE THINGS TO TAKE AWAY
MIX IT UP: Try to choose varied modules to balance your development and build knowledge in new areas.
PLAN TO SUCCEED: RevisionMate is a superb tool for breaking down studies into manageable amounts.
REWARD HARD WORK: Having social occasions or treats to look forward to helps motivate you to study.