Bunzl UK & Ireland
James Jennings’ story is one of achievement in the face of adversity. He was well into his 30’s when he started an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) – Team Leadership/Supervision Programme with Bunzl UK & Ireland (BUKI), so it is possibly pushing the boundaries to categorise him as ‘young’.
However, in terms of his learning journey, James is certainly youthful. He explains, ‘I didn’t enjoy my time at school and left as early as I possibly could with no qualifications. For many years I worked in jobs with no real prospects – just doing enough to get by. Bunzl has changed all that. It has given me aspirations for the future.
Initially, when James was approached by his manager to enrol on the ILM programme, he was very reluctant. ‘My instinct was that it was way out of my comfort zone, but people in Bunzl had faith in me and eventually I embraced it.’
James makes no secret on how hard it was for him. Academic study on curriculum areas such as performance management, communications and emotional intelligence were alien to him and he almost quit several times. However, unerring support from BUKI colleagues, programme delegates and trainers plus a never-say-die attitude saw James graduate in July this year.
‘It feels very special. I hope to use the programme as a building block and undertake further study to advance my career with Bunzl. What have I gained from this experience? There have been so many benefits, but confidence, both professionally and personally, sits at the top of the list. It’s an oft-used phrase, but in my case, it has been life changing.’