School’s Out For Summer

Simon Quarendon | August 28, 2020


The virtual desks have been cleared away and the college tutors are taking a well-deserved rest. Those students who passed have now received their certificates and Selbey Anderson’s Online College has now closed. It has proved to be a great success.

We set up the College during the lockdown to head off any potential feelings of isolation amongst our staff and, more importantly, to demonstrate to them that we could take a positive out of the lockdown. The time not spent commuting or queuing up for coffees and sandwiches could be spent acquiring new skills or brushing up on existing ones.

To give the College some academic rigour we retained two Coaches – David Preston and Richard John from Realise – to help the students maintain a ‘reflective journal’ (in essence a diary) and to help the students stay on track.

That they did so successfully is a credit to both the Coaches and the students. Out of a total staff complement or fifty four, thirty two students enrolled in the course at the start with twenty one still studying at the end of the three months.

Of those six students have been awarded an Online College ‘Certificate of Achievement’ and seven a ‘Certificate of Attendance’. Numerous students attained externally-recognised certificates. One student, Dan Allen from Orckid, was voted the ‘star student’ based on his submitted video which provided, in a rather clever way, a report on the two areas he was studying; French and the Agile project management methodology.

It was gratifying to see that five MDs enrolled in the College; proof that you’re never too old to learn.

The range of subjects studied was very wide. In the non-work-related category this ranged from acrylic painting to sign language and in the work-related category, subjects included creative writing, social media and growth hacking.

Feedback from the students at the end of the course suggested that the time spent attending the College was time well spent. One student concluded “My greatest achievement was that I developed my self-discipline more (with the commitment to the learning hours and weekly assignments)”.

The College, then, has achieved several objectives. It reminded people that learning can be fun. It gave several people a chance to study something they’d never had the time to explore before. And it has helped kick-start a project that will see us introduce a learning and development strategy across the Group in the Autumn.

Oh, and for several people it meant they were better understood whilst on holiday in France.

Simon Quarendon

Simon Quarendon is a veteran marketer and communicator with a career spanning nearly 40 years. He has bought, built, sold, rescued, led and mentored just about every kind of creative communications agency in existence and run global accounts for the best in the world. Today, Simon runs the business end of Selbey Anderson, working across the group to make sure clients get the best and the agencies all prosper.