Marie Tavernier is a public speaker, blogger and a recent author of the book ‘From Little Acorns Grow a Forest’. She is also coming to the end of her HR and Business Management degree course. In this blog, she reflects on her journey, how her course has helped to shape her and future plans, and shares some advice with her fellow students.
The last three years have been a long road, filled with new beginnings, challenges, dreams and goals; of which some have been realised and many more are yet to be achieved.
I am a mother first and foremost, a student second and an independent creative mind overall. No challenge too big or too small could deter me from my end goal, and no matter how loud that voice is inside my head, telling me I can’t – the response is always – ‘I’ll show you, I can!’.
As a mother, my goal has always been to show my children that, their current circumstance does not define who they are and what they are capable of. I have always wanted them to know that becoming a parent does not have to mark the end of your goals and dreams. In fact, it should breathe new life into your dreams, as your reason for achieving them is now two-fold.
Becoming a student
My journey with GSM London began in October 2014, it seems like just yesterday that I was walking into my very first lecture, completely ill-prepared, with no idea where this new road could lead. But, in and amongst the fear, ignorance and lack of knowledge, a spark was lit. You see, sometimes ignorance pays off, I took a chance on myself and thought ‘outside the box’ when completing my first assignment. That chance gave me my first 2.1 grade and from there, my mind opened up to the possibility of greater things to come, as long as I applied myself and never gave up.
GSM London has awarded me many insights. Things I thought I knew have been developed and the things I did not know have become ‘food for thought’. I have gained a sense of clarity and confidence to pursue dreams I never knew I had. Who would have thought that completing coursework could open the doors to a blog and a published book? If anyone were to have asked me three years ago where I would have pictured for myself now, it would not have been here.
I study HR and Business Management and thought my only route career wise was to pursue a job in HR management or consulting. However, my journey has come full circle and in pursuing this path, I have been reminded of my passion to teach, encourage and assist in developing others. The irony is I have qualifications in coaching and mentoring and actively participated in personal development seminars. Ten years ago, I had a goal to pursue public speaking but I let my fears get the best of me and convinced myself that, public speaking was for dynamic and fearless people and I had none of those qualities.
In less than three years, I have voluntarily spoken on stage in central London; entered and won speakers competitions; trained professionally with Toastmasters International, and was invited to speak at a well-known motivational seminar. I now stand before my own lecturers fearlessly ready, to speak openly about my accomplishments and present my ideas. Now that I have dropped the fear, I have a book ‘From Little Acorns Grow a Forest’ available on Amazon, a blog, and the potential of writing professionally for other organisations. Most importantly, I am several steps closer to realising my dream of personal development coaching and keynote speaking.
My advice to all students is: start your course with an open mind. Don’t be afraid to challenge your own ideas and utilise the knowledge of those who have gone before you. If you have a business idea, go to the Formation Zone, talk it through with the team and be willing to change or adapt your ideas. Most importantly, never give up on yourself, your course and your end goal beyond graduation. Good luck x