Danielle is the former Head of Talent Acquisition & Development at Williams F1. She explains how the MSc in Coaching & Behavioural Change took her on a personal journey and inspired her to become a freelance HR and coaching consultant.
MSc in Coaching & Behavioural Change
Danny, how and why did you choose Henley to study coaching?
‘My role at Williams F1 included working with team members and it became clear that conversations were increasingly being coaching-led. I spoke to the HR Director and she recommended Henley, so I enrolled on the certificate programme (Professional Certificate in Coaching).
‘As much as anything, I felt that I needed more formal coaching knowledge to ensure that I didn’t do any damage. I wanted to be equipped to deal with some pretty deep and meaningful subject matter.‘
So how was the programme, and what impact did it have?
'I expected to be given tools and techniques, but never imagined the extent to which you are forced to understand yourself. It was a great personal journey, and it gave me a taste for learning about coaching, so I immediately moved on to the masters programme, and that took things to a whole new level!
'The MSc was a revelation to me. The privilege of working with leading edge experts in such a safe environment was a real gift. I developed a new-found hunger for learning and lapped up the academic side of the programme and the analysis of literature. But it was the people I spent those three years with that had the most profound impact.'
Tell us about some of the changes it made to you, both personally and professionally.
‘I’ve spent three years with people who started as strangers and are now the most valued friends, and they know more about me than my family does! I’ve made connections that I know I’ll have for the rest of my life, and I’ve learned so much from them.
‘Personally, I’ve changed the way I see the world and the people in it. I’m much less inclined to pre-judge people and situations in the way I used to. It genuinely has made me a better human being. I’ve even stopped being late for appointments, so I’ve realised that even my relationship with time has changed!
‘As a result, I’ve made some major changes in my own life, including becoming a freelance HR and coaching consultant. There’s a growing apathy in the corporate world towards one-directional training, and I’m in a strong position to show board level people what coaching can achieve.
‘Financially, I’m much more successful, and I’m already thinking about doing a DBA, but don’t tell my family...!'
So what is it about Henley that makes it different and special?
‘Somehow, Henley managed to maintain a balance between highly academic, world-class research and making everything so applicable. At no point did I ever feel that I couldn’t apply my learning in my own work situation, and I regularly did.
‘Greenlands has an aura about it. Everything is done to make you feel like a prince or princess from the moment you arrive! The food, the building, the views, the staff – even the coffee! I think of it as an academic spa!
‘So if you really want to have an enriching experience, go to Henley. And strap yourself in for an amazing roller coaster ride that will change you forever.‘