Charlene Cullen, Boardroom Apprentice, Age NI Enterprises
I was made redundant due to Covid, it was daunting at first as a single parent, I realised it was time I did something which I was interested in. I enrolled at the North West Regional College to studying business and I also put myself forward for Boardroom Apprentice.
I have always been interest in being part of a board but like so many I did not know where to start.
Boardroom Apprentice has taught me a vast amount in finance, effective communication and governance within a board. I now have the confidence to ask the questions. ‘How trivial you might think it is, it may be important to someone else’. That is why you are there to ask the questions, as it’s about making a difference.
I can now show my daughter that after being made redundant that I gained so much more and now on a path where I know I can make a difference and Boardroom Apprentice has given me the tools and confidence to do that.
Roisin Kelly, Boardroom Apprentice, Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland
I am a communications and public engagement professional in health and social care. I applied to become a Boardroom Apprentice for a few reasons, I had heard such great feedback about the programme from a number of people, I have been contemplating applying for Board membership and felt that this programme offered the opportunity to expand my knowledge and explore what it is like to sit at Board level and expand my horizons, to network and meet new people and hear new perspectives.
I was lucky to be selected to sit as Boardroom Apprentice on the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland. Through virtual platforms I have been able to gain valuable experience of Board meetings and committees as well as gaining a greater understanding of the Utilities sector. I have had excellent one to one mentoring at Board level and operational briefings from senior leaders. Sitting on the Board has brought to life the insights gained through each of the carefully and expertly chosen learning day topics, with each session providing the opportunity to expand my knowledge base and equip me with the information to identify issues and ask insightful questions.
This experience has fulfilled my expectations and much, much more, I have met some amazing people, honed existing skills and learned new ones. The next step for me is to put this experience to good use and am already seeking opportunities for Board level appointments.