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The 2016 ICon Awards saw John Stasi being named Highest Achiever for the Advanced Diploma. Here, he tells us about his experience of studying for the qualification.

Tell us about your role at the time of stuyding for the diploma.

I am part of the HMRC's Internal Change Communications team as a Communication Business Partner to the Chief Finance Officer. I was fairly new to the role and I was looking for something to give me a new perspective.

Why did you sign up for the Advanced Diploma?

I had heard good things about the IoIC and the course from other colleagues. I liked the approach it took, which suited my lifestyle at the time.

What did you find particularly useful?

I found it useful to meet other IC professionals as well as academic experts. Working and collaborating with others and being challenged to apply the theory to the workplace was a big help.
What challenged you the most?

Thinking about my own strengths and weaknesses. Who isn't challenged with that?! But the IoIC provide a good support network to help with that part of the project.

What did you do for your collaborative project?

I wanted to explore how IC could make a difference to an organisation's bottom line. Through what I had read there was a lot of theory linking engagement and increased performance. I focused on IC's role in making sure employees were engaged with the organisation they worked for.

How did you find the self-study element of the diploma?

I found it suited my style. I was able to do it when I could. It takes discipline but the IoIC support made sure I stayed on track!

How has the Advanced Diploma helped you in your career?

It has given me new insights into the role IC can play in an organisation. It's helped me to reflect on my own skills and development areas and given me access to some really useful material.

What has changed for you as a result of the Advanced Diploma?

I understand the role I can play and I've been reminded of the importance of reflective learning. It's also helped and encouraged me to build my networks.

What would you say to anyone who was thinking about undertaking the Advanced Diploma?

Speak to others who have done it, and consider whether you will have the time to commit to it. It's a really good course for anybody wishing to reflect on their own role in IC, learn from others and discover new ideas through the IoIC network.

Final thoughts come from Stephen Hardwick, the Director of Corporate Communications at HMRC. Stephen says, ' An organisation as huge and diverse as HMRC needs excellent internal communications and expert internal communicators to help engage with our 65,000 colleagues. We invest heavily in professional communications development, so I'm delighted that John has been recognised for his superb achievement, which is a credit to him and a reflection of the importance that we place on internal communications in HMRC.'

To find out more about the IoIC Advanced Diploma or to book your place on the next immersion day, running on 17 January, please email Sarah Magee at [email protected]
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