Nadine Davis from Dyson talks to Nicky Hingston about her CIPS learning experience with APA.
NH - Firstly, congratulations on being shortlisted for the CIPS Excellence in Procurement Awards 2020 – Young Talent! How do you feel about being shortlisted?
ND - Thanks, to be honest I still find it a bit odd to have been shortlisted out of so many people but particularly to be recognised in what was an extremely challenging year in terms of procurement. It has certainly given me more confidence and motivation to drive forward my career.
NH - You have a master’s degree in Product Design and Manufacturing. When did you first become interested in the procurement side of things?
ND - I joined my current organisation as a cost engineer influencing the design of our products to take cost out but during that time I found one of the greatest influences was the relationship we build with suppliers and building on their knowledge and expertise to find collaborative ways of working. It was a natural progression for me to step into a procurement role and to build those direct supplier relationships myself.
NH - How did you become aware of APA Procurement & Supply Training and start your learning on the CIPS program with them?
ND - The organisation that I work for offer CIPS training as a standard training available for any procurement staff which I think is a fantastic thing to offer and already had links with APA.
NH - Your percentage pass rates for all your exams so far are excellent! How have you found studying towards MCIPS?
ND - What works well for me is doing some amount of CIPS studying each week either reading the APA training notes, reading the CIPS books or writing up my own notes and building up each week rather than a mad dash to cram at the end but studying and learning is different for everyone and what might work well for me might not work for someone else due to different learning styles - something I have recently learnt in one of the CIPS modules!
NH - How have you found the support from APA? Do you think a self-study program would have been as effective?
ND - The support from both Anne at level 4 and Ian at level 5 has been tremendous. They really do go above and beyond to help out if you ask them to help clarify anything you are unsure of or give them a mock answer plan or full mock exam answer to mark and give feedback on which is particularly useful to make sure you are on the right track.
For me personally I don’t think I would not get as much from a self-study program. A lot of what I can remember when doing an exam are the conversations that APA facilitate in the classes we have as a group and other people making connections to other theories and experiences that I might not have otherwise thought of. But if someone has the right drive and motivation then a self- study program could be suitable for some learners and I’m sure APA would ensure they have full support even if not class based.
NH - Has your job role progressed since you started your training with APA?
ND - I started my CIPS studying through APA at the same time I started my first role in procurement. It really helped to give me a fundamental understanding of what Procurement is and I have definitely been able to take on more responsibilities and have driven more initiatives personally as a result of my development through training with APA.