"In my career journey with IDP, I have had four roles over seven years, starting in a B2C editorial role in the UK, progressing to leading client communications, and later having the opportunity to head up IDP’s Global Corporate Communications from Australia. Whether I have been based in London or Sydney, each day has been different interacting with peers all over the world.
For such a large organisation, IDP is very supportive of out-of-the-box ideas, offering opportunities to lead new projects if you can find a way to align it to the IDP vision. IDP promotes continuous personal development, while supporting the individual to own their own learning journey. Having a curious and collaborative mindset takes you far in IDP. There are frequent secondment opportunities, chances to upskill, and an open attitude to new ideas and cross-team initiatives.
The Maher El Bakry Emerging Leaders program, IDP’s flagship mentoring initiative, is one such pathway that develops team members around the globe. I was delighted to have been selected as an emerging leader in the FY21 program and have had a unique opportunity to grow my leadership skills, with direct support from IDP’s Global Leadership Team. I was amazed by how much quality time we were able to spend with our global leaders. Each of them brought their own personal career experiences to the table, while also seeking our views and input on the challenges and opportunities we face at IDP today.
Along with mentoring,the program offers sponsorship towards a course to help you develop in an area of your preference.I studied Advanced Women Leadership with Women Leadership Australia. Over 12 months, I met with women from various industries, including some who were overseeing medical departments across Australia during Covid and dealing with enormous upheaval. The course opened my eyes to the challenges leaders face, pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me develop adaptive leadership skills that have proved critical in my role.
It feels special to be part of the Maher El Bakry cohort and even after graduating from the program, my Maher peers are people I go to for advice, to build cross-team projects, or just for a chat. I also still have peer coaching relationships with some of the women from my Women Leadership Australia course, which I was lucky enough to take part in, thanks to the Maher El Bakry program. Being able to form meaningful connections and grow my own leadership abilities has been a highlight of my career.
Thanks to the skills and confidence I gained through the Maher program, my career goals became a reality. I applied for a head of global corporate communications role that was a significant step up in a new department. Working alongside a talented team with exposure to IDP’s global network and leadership teams has fast-tracked my growth and understanding of the strategic opportunities for our organisation and impact we can make to the lives of students all over the world.
Looking forward, my short-term goal is to grow a global communications community at IDP that shares best practice in how we tell the IDP story to the world. It is exciting to think that together we can harness the extensive regional knowledge of our experts and build our own diverse communications skillset, as part of a globally supportive community.
Long-term, I am determined to always work in an international environment, to drive positive change in new ways and to expand my network to include different voices.
Starting each day knowing we are making a difference to the lives of people across the world, while being challenged by diverse perspectives, is something I will never take for granted. " - Katie Duncan, Corporate Communications Manager, Global