Studying for a management degree has been a “game changer” for Liam Thompson. Since enrolling on the degree apprenticeship, he has been promoted and has now received an award from the Chartered Management Institute – all before graduating.
Liam, an assistant manager at one of the busiest KFC restaurants in the country, will go forward to the regional heats of the CMI’s annual competition which rewards the UK’s best managers.
He has been studying on the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) which is delivered by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU). As the apprenticeship is accredited by the CMI, all graduates will automatically receive Chartered Manager status on completion.
“I’m actually a bit shocked,” said Liam. “I have never thought of myself as a trailblazer. It’s such a great course, it’s something I‘m so proud of being part of, every day. It’s one of the best decisions I made.”
Liam began studying at DMU when he was 17. He had joined the team at KFC and applied for a place on the degree apprenticeship course.
The degree blends academic skills and theoretical management principles with practical, on-the-job training in a way which encourages participants to apply their learning directly.
Jordan Daison, engagement manager at CMI, Alison Byrne, engagement officer at DMU and Anne Marlow, programme leader for the CMDA, presented Liam with his accolade.
Anne said: “Liam consistently demonstrates professional management behaviours, particularly the ones recognised by the CMI – setting an example to others, being approachable and authentic, and having the drive to succeed.
“He stands out as a role model. He has supported the teaching team proactively in offering support to others and encouraging them to think differently.”
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Jordan said that Liam’s work was exemplary. He added: “Liam is a perfect example of what this award is all about. He’s grabbed this opportunity with both hands and embodied it with his approach and his attitude.”
His employers KFC said of Liam: “He is a strong cultural leader, with a ‘do the right thing’ mindset, consistently demonstrating grit, determination and hard work.”
Liam, 21, who manages a team of 30 team members, said: “I try to live it, so every experience I have I record whether that’s through visual notes, or a video. So if I do something like a team meeting, I’ll reflect on how that went, what I did and how I could do it differently.
“That’s the great thing about this course is that you can adapt it. For me, I’m someone who never thought I would ever be at uni doing business but it’s just perfect, being able to work and study.”
Liam and his cohort which include fellow KFC team members and managers from companies around the UK, are set to graduate in the summer.
Posted on Monday 3rd February 2020