Managing your OTJ / Professional Practice - Harry Davenport
(5 min Read Time)
Hi Harry! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself ?
I’m Harry, I’m a Planning Manager at a media agency called Wavemaker. I work in the government team, strategising and planning media campaigns across a range of government departments. I’ve worked here for 4 years and started an Associate Project Manager Level 4 apprenticeship with Multiverse in November last year.
We know that OTJ can be a tough one for our apprentices, can you explain how you managed your OTJ?
There’s no doubt OTJ can be difficult to keep on top of, but little and often has been the most effective method for me. At the start of the apprenticeship this took the form of attending regular sessions hosted by Multiverse, even just for an hour a week, to keep the content and theory at the top of my mind. This made it easier to apply learnings to my BAU work. At the end of every week I look back at the work I’ve done and note down where I’ve applied my PM skills and log them on the Multiverse portal. Additionally, throughout the apprenticeship I’ve noticed more and more applications of theory in my day-to-day work, so the more you learn the easier it gets to complete OTJ.
As a Project Management apprentice, can you give us examples of how you completed your OTJ in the following categories:
1. Applied Learning
In my role I’ve managed multiple projects using the skills gained from my apprenticeship. Specifically, I’ve worked on innovation projects for Public Health England looking at redesigning their suite of apps. This involved co-ordinating a large team, producing clear project planning documents including a Gantt chart, schedule, risk register, and RACI matrix, and hosting and organising sessions with key stakeholders. This gave me the opportunity to apply learning from the full scope of the course and was essential in reinforcing the theory and content discussed in sessions with my coach.
I’ve built up my OTJ through the community by attending Multiverse events and sessions, including a workshop on engaging presentations by Colorintech, and a session on improving your memory hosted by Jordan Harry. I’ve found these sessions really valuable as they often approach the content of the apprenticeship from a different angle, which allows you to appreciate the different application of PM theory and how it has been effectively applied in different contexts and industries.
3. Personal Development
This was the easiest element of OTJ for me as I’m an avid consumer of media in all its forms. I’m a regular podcast listener and recently have enjoyed episodes of the High Performance podcast after it was recommended by my Multiverse coach. I’ve also read many strategy and planning books for my day-to-day job; a favourite would be Richard Shotton’s The Choice Factory which explores behavioural economics. On top of this, I think it’s especially important to read for pleasure as well as for work so have been working my way through Frank Herbert’s Dune before the new film is released in October.
Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow Project Management apprentices who may be currently struggling to keep on top of their OTJ?
Put time in at the end of each week to reflect on the work you’ve completed over the last 5 days. Identify where you’ve applied your PM knowledge and log it all in one go.