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Mark Smith

MSc in Coaching for Behavioural Change

Mark, how did you first come across Henley?

'I’d already done an MBA at Henley, so I knew what a great learning environment it was. Just after I graduated I received a flyer promoting the MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change but straight after the MBA it was apparent that signing up might jeopardise my marriage! However, the seeds were sown and a chance meeting with another parent at my daughter’s swimming club who had just signed up was all the prompting I needed to enrol.'

So what did you hope to get from the programme?

'My MBA helped me transition from being a lawyer into a commercial strategy role. I could see how a deeper understanding of behavioural change would help me in this role both within my own organisation, but also working with our customers. I’d been fortunate enough to receive some basic coaching training through internal coaching programmes and had always enjoyed working in that way. I thought the programme would enhance my skill in this area and of course indulge my lifelong love of learning and development.

'When I was on the course the teaching was of such a consistently high standard it was an absolute delight. I really enjoyed my MBA, but the practical nature of the MSc and the reflective nature of the assignments made it even more enjoyable. Whilst it was undoubtedly hard work, somehow it didn’t feel like it. The one big similarity with the MBA was the fantastic peer group – hugely rich and bringing a real diversity of experience, they added a huge amount to my learning.'

So what has changed since you completed the programme?

'During the course I was asked to be the executive sponsor of an internal coaching programme at LexisNexis. Over the last four years we’ve trained around 60 coaches and they have made a fantastic contribution to the company. I also completed the Henley Professional Certificate in Supervision and now supervise the coaches which is hugely enjoyable and rewarding. I’m also now working one day a week as an independent executive coach and definitely see this as a key part of my career going forward.

'As a person, getting a deeper understanding of myself and others improved my interaction with people. I thought I was a reasonably good listener before, but the MSc proved I had (and undoubtedly still have!) much to learn.'

So what advice would you give to anyone considering the Henley MSc programme?

'In my view, there are very few areas of executive education that can be as transformative as coaching, and this programme in particular. The location at Greenlands, the buildings and the facilities all align with the nature of the programme itself to create an extraordinary learning experience. It has been an investment in terms of money, time and effort that has proven to be well worth it. If you have the opportunity to join the MSc, grab it with both hands.'

Find out more about the MSc in Coaching for Behavioural Change