Student Stories

Student Story: Ivona Funaru

10 February

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Student Story: Ivona Funaru

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your career to date?

I have more than 18 years of experience in learning and development and I work as a freelancer as an external partner for different companies. I really enjoy it as it gives me the opportunity to work with a significant number and variety of different organisations here in Romania like regional corporate and public institutions so it has given me a very diverse experience. 

My main duties are understanding customer needs, developing programmes and implementing them. It is quite challenging because working as a freelancer as an external partner for different companies every day is different. Working with different companies means I have to adapt to different needs, different requests and different kinds of projects so no routine.

I really enjoy the sustainability part after each programme has ended. I keep in touch with our partners, our beneficiaries, our customers, and our participants as I find it very rewarding to see how people are getting on after I finish my work. 

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Can you tell me a bit about the role in a company you are working with now?

I am responsible for developing training and development programmes that cover individual needs, the team needs and organisational needs. So this means that I am in very close connection to my customers, different kinds of companies from different industries of different sizes.

I discuss usually with L&D departments or professionals but also with some sponsors in the business from different departments that are real beneficiaries of the programmes, and I’m doing a business case for a training programme.

What projects were you delivering before you started your diploma with the digital learning institute and have they changed since?

My interest in developing this digital part is based on the fact that our customer needs have changed. Before the pandemic basically, 99% of our training was face-to-face in classrooms. Once the pandemic came all their interest moved to the virtual world. 

I tried to adapt by self-learning. However, it was not enough because their needs became much more diverse, and my experience in the market was only face-to-face. 

So once their needs changed, I had to change. 

What do you think the impact of doing the diploma and working with the Digital Learning Institute has been on your current role?

Greater value added to the customer, to the programmes. I started thinking much more about the profile of my participants, much more than I’ve done before.

I realised that somehow there is a way to adapt the content and the format of the training experience to their needs. So I think that their experience is better now because I know how to look at them differently. 

How do you expect that to help over the next 12 months?

Having even better feedback from the participants will open the doors for some new projects. By spreading the word in the organisation that a learning and development journey was such a great experience and so customised to their needs should raise not only the awareness that they need some more training but also the interest to discover what can be done differently or more enhanced for them.  

Why did you choose the Digital Learning Institute in the first place?

I researched providers before making my decision. What made the difference was the topic list, I found the diploma programme very interesting. It was a much better fit for my needs. 

Working with a well-known organisation made me confident that I was getting access to the best and most up-to-date knowledge. 

The accreditation from Glasgow Caledonian University is also a great endorsement for this programme because it’s qualified person, certifying the quality of my work as well as the quality of the programme. So having an assignment assessed by a great team of professionals meant a lot to me.

Can you describe your experience of working with the Digital Learning Institute and what areas you think you got the most value from the programme?

I really like the combination of delivering information in the programme and also adding some additional supplementary resources. It was a good opportunity for me to learn by watching the videos and also doing research on external resources that were given throughout. 

I really appreciated the opportunity to work in small groups of 8 to 10 people. It was a good environment for sharing information, sharing questions, and finding answers. This exchange of information between the students was very important for me, I learnt a lot from others’ experiences. 

How likely are you to recommend the diploma from the Digital Learning Institute?

On a scale from 0 – 10, it’s a 10!

It’s a great fit for people at the beginning of their careers because they cover in depth the theory and basic fundamental things we should know as L&D professionals. Still, it is also a great fit for people who have experience because it’s fine-tuning your existing skills. 

It’s will definitely find something that will help you enhance your career, your experience, and your offerings by doing this course.