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Jennie Huntley and Rachel Uren share their experience of the Mayvin Masters programme. They talk about how their expectations differed from the reality (in a good way), fitting the programme in around full time work, feeling like they’ve really found their tribe in the other members of the cohort and the impact the programme has had on them both professionally and personally.
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Claire Newell 00:09

In today's episode, we are very grateful to be joined by two more of our current masters cohort, Jennie and Rachel. We asked if they'd be up for sharing their experience of the Mayvin Masters programme with you and they sent us this in this 20 minute conversation. They talk about how their expectations differed from the reality of doing the programme (in a good way), fitting the programme in around full time work, feeling like they've really found their tribe and the other members of the cohort and the impact that the programme has had on them both professionally and personally. Including the Masters being responsible for Jenny securing a new job role. And feeling like a corporate hippie feeling revitalised re energised, hopeful and confident. Without further ado, I'll pass you over. Thanks.


Jennie Huntley 01:42

Yeah, so what what were you know, what were you thinking about when you applied for the Masters? What were your sort of your expectations, or?


Rachel Uren 01:52

I don't know, I was thinking I was casting my band back. And I can't really remember what I was expecting. But in hindsight, I think I was probably expecting something I don't know more like a sort of traditional course where you'd sort of rock up and lead and you'd be taught something and I'm really glad it's not like that. And that it's freer than that, I find it more inspirational, more creative, and more self directed, I suppose. And the cohort's small, which I think has been really helpful in terms of us learning and getting to know each other. And I think we've got a really tight bond, haven't we that I'm not sure that you would get in a more traditional style of learning? I don't know. How about you?


Jennie Huntley 02:46

Well, you know, I had massive impostor syndrome, basically. And I think I really didn't think that I had enough knowledge about OD. And so therefore felt that I had loads to learn, and that this Masters would be academically a real stretch, and it has been, and I'm not saying it hasn't. But I think I thought I'd really have to sort of step up. But what, in reality, I've found that I do no more than I'd given myself credit for. And a lot of that is, you know, intuitive and fairly, in terms of I actually carry a lot of knowledge with me that I just hadn't given myself credit for. And I think this master's has allowed me to tap into that more credit it, you know, it's sort of validated my knowledge and what I instinctively know, you know, yeah, and I think that's, that's been really lovely for me. Yeah. I agree with the size of the group. I think that's really helped. And there's a really diverse group of people on it. It's been lovely. You know, I'm from the NHS, you're from Department of Justice. Is that right? Yeah. Ministry of Justice.


Rachel Uren 04:40

Yeah. This ministry of justice. Yeah.


Jennie Huntley 04:42

And there's lots but there's people from all walks of life and I think that's, that's brought a real right richness, diversity of thinking. Yeah. And yeah, I just think it's been. Yeah, really rich.


Rachel Uren 05:01

Yeah, I totally agree, I totally agree. And there's something about you sort of bring your whole self don't you there's very much tapping into those sort of wider ways of knowing and thinking that perhaps are valued in other spaces that I think are really important. And I think that's probably one of the things that's been most impactful for me. And it's sort of given me more confidence in my own practice my own style of practice, I think and be a bit more sort of courageous and a bit more creative with it. And, and just seeing, seeing how other people show up, I suppose and, and their different way of working and, and really, really valuing that, you know, some of the stuff we've done, particularly around the high lab, I think the collaboration with NTL is really, really excellent, actually. And doing those who did high lab and the intervention strategies didn't weigh in on some of the work we did in that that really adds value to the practice based learning. Yeah, and, you know, I wasn't sure what to make of that, to be honest. So I'd start with a whole what what's this practice based learning all about? You know, What's that even mean? And how am I going to learn from that, that actually that? Because it because you do sort of reflective practice anyway, but really doing it more consciously, I suppose. And really thinking about honing, honing and refining your own practice and your own style? Yeah, I think I've grown quite a lot, actually.


Jennie Huntley 06:54

Yeah. And just going back to your point about, you know, use of self. I think when I was thinking about the Masters, I thought I needed more tools, and models and theories. That's probably was my motivation to reassure myself that I had the knowledge. But what I've really noticed or accepted, is it actually comes back to me, it's all about how I show up.


Rachel Uren 07:34



Jennie Huntley 07:34

and those tools, models etc, are useful. But it is really about how you... what you're bringing, and Rachel, going back to what we just talked about in terms of even bringing our difference, you know, just I just feel like the confidence I've achieved on this course of bringing my own personal difference. And that it's of use, and that it's valuable. And yeah, that's been massive for me. Yeah, massive growth and learning. And, yeah,


Rachel Uren 08:08

I think that's been true for everyone as well. I mean, you know, can't speak for the others, but just, just seeing and being part of everybody else's journey as well, you can just see it, can't you?. It's quite a special thing. It's, it's great.


Jennie Huntley 08:24

So it is academic, isn't it? Yeah. Yes. Lots of reading. feel like there's lots of reading, how have you found it working full time. And juggling the masters?


Rachel Uren 08:46

It is quite a stretch, isn't it? You know, there's a bit. But I've also found that there's been enough freedom to follow... What, what really resonates for you and what you're really interested in, so it hasn't sort of felt like a chore. And you know, it'd be helpful to have a few more hours in the day, but we can all say that can't we? when you've got a busy job and you're studying on top. But it's it you know, it's it's fine. It's manageable. It's doable, and it's an it's a pleasure to do. Yeah, it's a bit tough when you got an assignment due and it's crunch time. Yeah. But you know, that's that's all part of it, isn't it? what about you?


Jennie Huntley 09:30

Yeah, I mean, I think it is. I think juggling is the right word. But I have managed it. I think people with busy lives have just got to prioritise time, you know, I think I do miss I don't know reading, feeling able to read something frivolous. I always feel like I need to be reading something... do you know what I mean? I'm always


Rachel Uren 10:00

I keep my trashy novels going as well. I have a good time reading them as well. Well, that's


Jennie Huntley 10:17

getting back to that, sort of, what was it the.. what's it called? Action Learning? Is that what it's called action learning? practice based learning? Yeah, what I found is that you are doing it all the time. So, you know, I found that every day I'm working, I'm applying, even unconsciously, I'm applying the things that we've talked about the things that I'm reading about, those conversations that have shifted my thinking, Yeah, I'm experimenting and practising almost on a daily basis with some of the things that I've learned or explored on this course.


Rachel Uren 11:06

Yeah, definitely. I find the same and definitely sort of Experimenting a bit more being a bit braver in some of the things that I think, you know, oh, I wouldn't, I'm not sure that was really land, and then just thinking we'll just try it anyway. You know, what's the worst that can happen? It's just, sometimes it's really great. And sometimes, you know, it can really shift something, you know, that you wouldn't have gone that improvisation. Stuff that I cottoned onto. Yeah, you know, that is just so out of my comfort zone, that it's just so not the sort of thing that I would have done before. But yeah, it's great. And it's working really well. And I can use it in different settings. And yeah, that's just one thing. There's loads, loads, things like that all the time that they're, especially especially around that.... for me, especially around sort of self awareness, I think, you know, I've done a lot of work on that before anyway, just from the roles, you know, different work and roles. But just the way we've revisited it in this course, and the work arounds of privilege as well, I found that really impactful. That was something... I've done lots of stuff on diversity and inclusion thing has been not really that same level of work around privilege. And I think that has, yeah, that's been important for me, too.


Jennie Huntley 12:31

Yeah. Yeah. And the Masters faculty have been so lovely, haven't they? you know, from day one, the attention to detail in terms of making us all feel welcome on the course and being accessible. And the support that they've provided I've been quite shocked is probably the right word, just how I haven't felt like I've, I'm on a production line in terms of a Masters being churned out, I felt like, you know, these people have taken the time to really understand. And look at us individually, on a very individual basis. I feel very, and they're all very diverse characters themselves, are the faculty. But I can honestly say that I feel very supported by them in the main Yeah,


Rachel Uren 13:43

yeah, absolutely. You're right, there is a real attention to everyone's individual needs, and a real, a genuine sort of caring and warmth, isn't it? Yeah. It's very, it's also sort of quite an adult learning environment, which is nice. Yeah, isn't it? You know, and everything you're right about sort of attention to detail. And, you know, even just the space, the environment, being outside, encouraging, you know, encouraging different environments, and yeah. Yeah, lots of little things that they didn't don't have to go to the trouble of doing but to which, yeah, make a difference,


Jennie Huntley 14:28

Totally, and it speaks volumes. Also. We're similar age, aren't we? Yeah. And I don't about you, but you know, I just feel like I've had... it's been very revitalising, for me being able to study this Masters where, you know, I'm personally not ready to start.... not growing, I still want to grow, I still feel like I've got lots to learn and grow. And this master's has really set a fantastic platform, really, for me in terms of, like I said, being able to explore areas that I'm personally interested in. And, and I feel really, re-energised. And we feel really hopeful, actually, I feel hopeful for, you know, the last decade or so work that I've got to do whatever that I just feel like I've been re.... revitalised, and yeah, I feel Yeah, massively hopeful for what I can do in my, you know, the latter part of my working life. I feel like I've had, you know, a shot of energy and knowledge and skills and to sort of really make a difference in my latter years at work. Yeah.


Rachel Uren 16:11

Might be more ten though.


Jennie Huntley 16:12

Yeah. Oh, yeah.


Rachel Uren 16:13

You changed your role, as well haven't yet you? Yeah


Jennie Huntley 16:18

Yeah. And I wouldn't have had the confidence to have gone for that actually, without the masters. And it's interesting, though, because when I went for the interview, usually I'd have been quite stressy, hyper hyper prepared, but what I've learned from this masters is actually to take my foot off the pedal a bit more, and to, you know, slow down. trust myself.


Rachel Uren 16:48

Be really present


Jennie Huntley 16:49

be really present, Yeah. And all again, going back in and not needing all of the sorts of paraphernalia that it's that it's sort of inherent that I'm confident that that's what got me my post, because I just let go let go of all that other stuff that didn't really need and I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Love it.


Rachel Uren 17:12

Yeah. And that's such parallel, isn't it to you know, what you're learning about how you practice and what's most important in your practice.


Jennie Huntley 17:21

Yeah, it's quite freeing. It's sort of like a heart. It's like, well, I don't know if they'll like me saying this, but it's sort of fairly I was just gonna say it's a sort of like, a hippie. Probably not but I feel like I've been able to be more of a corporate hippie with this


Rachel Uren 17:46

a corporate hippie? I love that! Maybe just more you Jenny, more you


Jennie Huntley 17:50

Yeah maybe more me, just so you know, we understand we need to deliver but in such a... just a sort of, I don't know... Nicer, kinder way


Rachel Uren 18:00

Authentic way.


Jennie Huntley 18:02

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Hey, so what, you know, what would you say to anybody thinking about doing the programme?


Rachel Uren 18:14

Do it! Do it, you'll be amazed what you'll learn. And it probably won't be what you're expecting to learn.


Jennie Huntley 18:20



Rachel Uren 18:21

But it will be a whole lot more valuable.


Jennie Huntley 18:23

Yeah. Yeah.


Rachel Uren 18:24

I didn't say at the beginning. Actually, one of the things that sort of drew me to this programme, this particular programme, is the fact that you are a lot of them have just gone online, haven't they? And I just do not think you can do this kind of thing online, and it's so important to be together in the room and the connections that you make, and that, you know, it's been like, being an onion hasn't it? It's been peeling back layers and layers and layers and layers. And now we're really down to it. You know, that real fruit? Yeah. Real. The real, you know, our real true selves. Yeah. And I think the course is facilitated and enabled and helped us all do that individually and together as a group, I think. I think what, maybe we're lucky, but I think it's not just luck. It's the way it's been put together.


Jennie Huntley 19:15



Rachel Uren 19:16

you know, we have got that going on in our group.


Jennie Huntley 19:21

Yeah, yeah, definitely. I agree. Yeah, I agree with everything you've said the residential you know, I don't know if you've ever but I said it was almost a bit like even the community days you know, those days where we do do things virtually. I just feel like it's a real I think I called it a mind spa. I feel like it's, it brings me back to why I want why I love doing this work. And I love, you know, I don't want to suggest that we're all bosom pals on the course but I do feel very connected to everybody because everybody's there because they love the work. And they want to challenge themselves. They want to learn more about how to support organisations and people. It feels very, like, I'm with the right tribe, you know, in terms of, they get me, speak my language, you know, get the struggles of working in OD and the joy of the work that we do the privilege of the work that we're doing. Yeah, but the definitely residentials are massive opportunities to just be with people that are, you know, in your tribe, and also disconnect and explore stuff together. I think it's been amazing. Yeah, I really do. And people should just yeah, just go for it. Shouldn't they really if they're thinking about doing the course? It is manageable, isn't it?


Rachel Uren 21:14

Yeah, yeah.


Jennie Huntley 21:17

If you've got family...


Rachel Uren 21:18

yeah. Yeah.


Jennie Huntley 21:19

It's doable, isn't it?


Rachel Uren 21:20

Yep. Yeah. Yeah, you can make the time and, you know, faculty are really helpful and flexible as well, aren't they? And, and people help each other. I can't remember who was saying it actually, someone else in the in the group was saying the other day, they were surprised, had been surprised, somebody that joined a little bit later was surprised at how generous people are in terms of sort of sharing their learning, it might've been Amy mighten it, and you know, just sharing resources, and everyone tries to help each other when you find something good. And you like, try and, you know, you share it with everyone and everyone can learn from it and have a go and yeah, pick up different things. So, yeah, there's always there's always someone else to sort of bounce ideas off as well. And someone that'll have a sort of similar interest to you so, Yeah go for it, you know, you're not going to be on your own. And you're going to, you're going to get out so much more than you put in in the end


Jennie Huntley 22:21

and yeah, I can honestly say I've grown so much as a person and a professional, but on a personal even on a personal basis, I just feel like I'm relaxing into me more, and I never thought I was coming on this course to do that. You know, I had a professional focus. Yeah, but yeah, I'm actually tuning into me more and that's just so. so valuable.


Rachel Uren 22:49

Yeah, that's the Mayvin ethos isn't it? That might be a little bit different from some of the other courses.


Jennie Huntley 22:54

Yeah. Yeah. So definitely do it!


Rachel Uren 23:00

The difference that makes a difference. Yeah.


Jennie Huntley 23:03

Yeah. Yeah. Are we done or is there anything else?


Rachel Uren 23:08

I think so. I think that's yeah,


Jennie Huntley 23:12

I think we're done.


Rachel Uren 23:14

I think so.




Jennie Huntley 23:17

hopefully they can use it.


Rachel Uren 23:18

Hopefully they can draw something out of that. Yeah. Our ramblings the world according to Jennie and Rachel


Claire Newell 23:29

you so much for listening to us today, and we hope to see you next time. Take care. Bye bye.


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