14 October 2013 By Lara Pasquale, Consumer Affairs Victoria

I went into this course as I do with all professional development courses... A little apprehensive. I have been on plenty of courses where I sit like a student, listening to a highly qualified person tell me theoretical things I already know about the job I have been doing for years. And to top it off, in a week where I had to squeeze 5 days' work into 3, there were a few pre-course activities to complete. So late the night before the course (I've always been a crammer), I sat reading the materials provided and thought, 'this better be worth it'. Only one day into the course, it is already clear that it was!

I can see that this program is like no other professional development course I have done. An extremely professional outfit, the staff and facilitators presented as very well organised and on the ball. It is obvious that years running this course and listening to what participants want out of the program has taught them how to deliver on the little things that will be appreciated. 

Only one day into the 5-day program, I have already had a few 'light bulb' moments, brought on by amazing insights from both the speakers and my fellow participants. Today's focus on leadership qualities touched on ideas that encouraged us to think outside the square. I had my very own 'ah ha!' moment when Janenne Willis spoke to us about the importance of focusing and building on our strengths, rather than dwelling on our weaknesses... Something that I have promised myself to start doing!!

Only one day into the program, I already find myself thinking differently about leadership in my day to day work, and it is clear that this program will be of great benefit to my long term personal and professional development.

Lara Pasquale is a Project Manager with Consumer Affairs Victoria and is responsible for facilitating strategic planning and reporting across the organisation.