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IoIC Fellows
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In 2019, Kirsty Bowen, senior manager for internal comms at Coventry Building Society, joined an elite group of IC professionals when she received her Fellowship from IoIC. 


Here, she shares why she chose a career in internal comms, and why a commitment to personal development is the key to success. 

What does it mean to you to be an IoIC Fellow?
 
It makes me feel proud! Getting my Fellowship was important to me – it gives me the confidence to share my knowledge to help other people develop in the profession. 
 
I think internal comms is so important as a profession, and I’ve worked and contributed to it for so many years. Our work can really make people feel good, and that’s what spurs me on. 
 
 
How long have you been in the industry, and why have you chosen to stay for that long?
 
I’ve worked in IC since 2007, so about 13 years. What got me interested in the profession and what has kept me here is that there are so many opportunities where I can get involved. In my current role, one minute I can find myself organising a Cluedo competition, and the next I’ll be advising senior leaders on how to communicate big organisational change. 
 
I love making a difference to people’s lives. A connected organisational culture makes people feel happy to come to work, and it also makes them feel engaged and involved in the organisation.
 
I also like that the role isn’t just limited to comms matters. We get time with senior leaders and we’re at important meetings, which means we’re able to influence conversations and have our say in the direction of important business decisions.
 
 
What has your biggest achievement been in regard to your professional development (outside of becoming a Fellow)? 
 
Growing my confidence. Through internal comms, I have had the chance to take part in conferences and workshops and organise hub events, and it has really helped to push me forward in my career – and push myself up. 
 
Getting in front of crowds is invaluable as it teaches you how to put yourself across in the right way for you, and I’ve become more comfortable doing it talking about a subject I love – IC!
 
 
What does IoIC need to do to support IC professionals through future challenges, and how would you like to get involved?
 
IoIC has loads of great courses and mentoring opportunities, so it’s doing a good job in supporting professionals. I think we need to continue to see more of that support, and ensure it is covering people at all different levels – whether they’re new to IC or are seasoned experts. 
 
I think it also needs to do more to get out and about and promote the industry, in order to help business leaders understand what IC can do for them. 
 
I would like to play my part by continuing to work with the Central region in helping to run hub events. I’ve done this for quite a long time and seen first-hand how much people value opportunities to network. 
 
Once lockdown restrictions permit us to meet face to face again, it would be great to bring people back together physically and organise more events. 
 
 
Why is a commitment to continuous personal development so important?
 
If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that you never know what new situations are going to arise. 
 
Nobody can ever say they’ve finished learning or growing, because it’s not true. No matter what you do, it’s important to remain open to new learning opportunities. There is so much great stuff on offer to help us develop, so think about what gaps you have in your knowledge or skills, and also what you’re interested in, and find a way to develop it using a method that suits you. 
 
All development is positive as it inspires us. 
 

‘A connected organisational culture makes people feel happy to come to work’

 
 
 
 
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