Patrick Sutton- Masters in Internal Communication Management Student Experience

Patrick, Senior Internal Communication Manager at The Alan Turing Institute shares his experience as a student of the Masters in Internal Communication Management

03 Aug 2023
by Patrick Sutton

How would you summarise your overall experience of studying the Masters in Internal Communication Management?

It was a great experience. Taking aside the learning itself, the tutors and my fellow coursemates were supportive and have helped me expand my professional network. It's wonderful that the Master's is offered as to the best of my knowledge it's the only IC-focused Master's in the world, and supports the improvement in professional standards and wider perceptions of internal comms as a discipline. 

What are some of the most valuable skills or knowledge you gained during your studies in the Masters programme?

The two biggest for me:
- Managing change. It's becoming increasingly important as more organisations transform themselves, particularly with developments in AI likely to impact the future of work. It's vitally important that internal communicators get the depth of understanding of change communication that is provided on this course
- Intersections with other disciplines: particularly knowledge management for me. It is something I had not considered before, and I went on to study for my business report. 

What would you say to someone considering the Masters? What advice would you give? 

Make sure that, one way or another, you will have enough time to dedicate to your studies. Those who struggled and suffered from the worst stress tended to lack time - obviously sometimes this is unavoidable. But don't be too rigid with when you study - see what feels right and comes naturally to you, you might be too tired after a long day at the office!

As soon as you find a useful quote or reference, write it down in one consistent location!

I also advise an iteration process. Get your reading done and an initial draft of assignments done early, and get some feedback from your tutor. You'll feel better psychologically for having something ready, even if it's a long way from perfect. You'll then have time to continually improve what you've written. 

In what ways has obtaining the Masters qualification impacted your approach to work?

I gave my business report to senior leaders, and some recommendations have been enacted. It has also helped me provide a detailed and measurable communications plan for a significant transformation programme that we are undertaking. 

Internal comms can sometimes be a lonely discipline, especially in smaller organisations - building my network during this Master's has given me contacts that I can run ideas by and chat/celebrate/moan with!