This is the question that I was pondering 2 weeks ago, the night before my first workshop in Birmingham for the ICA International Diploma in Anti Money Laundering (AML). Just because I work for ICT doesn’t mean I had any inside knowledge…
There are many other new delegates out there in the same position as I was a week ago, so I thought it would be interesting to share my experience and pass on some tips you might find useful if you’re about to attend your first workshop.
The day begins…
After a gentle start of registering and some much-needed caffeine, the day kicked off with a brief introduction. I wasn’t sure what the other delegates might think about an ICT employee attending a workshop but I needn’t have worried! The introductions were a fantastic networking opportunity, enabling us to understand the background of each delegate.
A good portion of the morning was given to the structure of the course. I would really recommend being familiar with the requirements of the course and your assignment. Taking a look at these previously published tips on maximising your workshop experience will be helpful, while being face-to-face with your tutor is a fantastic opportunity to get first-hand answers to your questions.
I found the practical studying tips really useful. It feels quite some time since I left formal education so having practical pointers, such as headings to use for flash cards and mind maps, was really helpful.
Our tutor, Lee Byrne, was able to provide some really valuable insights. Prior to ICT he completed the AML Diploma whilst money laundering reporting officer for a bank. His experience, from both a tutor perspective and as a past student, was invaluable.
A number of the other delegates had previously sat open book exams, so I also happily took note of their lessons learnt.
The nuts and bolts
The day is not a ‘sit and listen’ lecture, it’s highly interactive and allows all students to get involved. Training days are often full-on and the fact that lunch is included (and it was a very nice lunch) had me a little worried about the dreaded post-lunch slump.
The day factored this in perfectly. Straight after lunch, we headed into the laws and regulations section. At first glance, this might sound challenging but the collaborative research session perfectly combatted any effects from lunchtime.
It’s easy to feel a little daunted by the idea of interaction with other students, and presenting ideas to others, but the tutors do a wonderful job at facilitating discussions and inviting everyone to participate, without making students feel as though they have been put on the spot.
Assignments are coming!
The assignment for the AML Diploma is due in June, so this played a major role in our discussions at the workshop.
The day concluded with an overview of the assignment and the questions. Obviously, no one can tell you or recommend what you should write, but it was a fantastic brainstorming session and certainly provided food for thought.
Referencing materials and creating a bibliography is key; remember that all assignments are put through a tool to check for plagiarism. If you are in any doubt about the requirements, you can contact your tutor.
Well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? In all honesty, what I found most surprising about the day was how fast it went.
One final tip: I would really recommend writing down any questions you would like to ask, so they are not forgotten in the excitement of the day. If you do miss out on asking any questions though, it won’t be the end of the world. You can post a question on the learning platform’s questions and answers forum, which is monitored by the course tutors.
I hope that this has provided both students and prospective students with an overview of what they can expect from a workshop. I would also be interested to hear of other students’ experiences and whether they have any advice to share to newcomers.
In my next posts for ICT Views, I’m going to be tackling the important task of referencing assignments and how to get the best out of the learning platform. If you do have any questions about any aspect of your course, or enrolling with ICT, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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