My training career - Joanna Howard

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As part of our feature on trainer development, we asked TrainingZONE members to tell us a bit about how they came to be involved in the training profession, and offer some thoughts on what it means to be a trainer today. We received a fantastic selection of responses, which will be published throughout the month. Here, Joanna Howard, a freelance Management Consultant and trainer gives her response.

  1. What's your current job role?

    Freelance management consultant and trainer.

  2. What did you do before this job?

    Assistant Director at Roffey Park Management Institute.

  3. Describe your route into training

    I started as a Science Teacher (PGCE), then taught teenagers who were ought of school for various reasons in “Disruptive Units” as they were called, and Intermediate Treatment Centres (terrible names!). From there I moved to the Poly to work with student teachers who were to have placements in these kind of settings, and developed other areas of work there. From there after five years I was recruited to Roffey Park management Institute, where I worked for 8 years, and then went freelance.

  4. Did you always want to work in training and development?

    No, I started off with a medical degree.

  5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?

    Hard to say – moving to Roffey, probably, and learning much more about student-centred interactive training, although that had always been my preference. Writing “Managing More with Less” (1998)? Getting on the Internet?

  6. How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career?

    It’s become less didactic, I think, but also more controlled.

  7. What single thing would improve your working life?

    Nothing, it’s fine.

  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site?

    The discussions.

  9. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training?

    Learn about yourself, and how to stay connected to participants and yet objective.

  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today?

    Keeping pace with political and social changes, and the way individuals engage with learning; (technology, online learning both formal and informal).

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