Diary of a graduate – what it’s like to attend a Masterclass

I’ve been teaching All Things IC Masterclasses since 2016 and love working with Comms practitioners to increase your skills, knowledge and confidence in all things internal communication related.

A few days ago I taught my Internal Communication Masterclass at the All Things IC Hub and was delighted to welcome recent graduate Harriet Dawson.

I invited her to write for my blog to share what it’s like to attend one of my Masterclasses, particularly if you’re brand new to the wonderful world of IC.

The next Internal Communication Masterclass is taking place on 22 April 2020 at the All Things IC Hub in London.

I’ll hand you over to Harriet…

The Graduate: My takeaways from the All Things IC Masterclass

I’m Harriet Dawson and I’m not the typical Masterclass attendee. I’m currently ‘funemployed’ (but looking for IC opportunities in Greater Manchester for the next three months). I would love to tell you a little bit about me and how this course was more beneficial than I could’ve hoped.

When applying to university, I settled on ‘Business and Spanish’. Upon the revelation that I was in fact not very good at Spanish, I attended a second open day at the University of Birmingham and discovered ‘International Business with Communications.’

The Communications part drew me in immediately, with the promises of variety, teamwork and endless creativity.

Now fast forward four years and I have graduated with a high 2:1 and I’m ready to take the Comms world by storm. Sadly, a discovered hole in the heart meant that I had to have open heart surgery in November 2019. Career plans were put on hold and I took time to recover.

Having had a few months off from Comms, I was eager to get a boost/refresher course to remind myself that it is my dream career. The All Things IC Internal Communication Masterclass did just that.

Enough about me! Let’s get to my takeaways:

What is IC?

As previously mentioned, I have a degree in Communications and therefore I obviously, naturally and effortlessly knew the answer to this. Or so I thought.

Rachel stated, ‘the purpose of Internal Communications is to create a shared understanding and meaning’.

So, we did just that. A casual group discussion enabled everyone to provide their definition of IC and IC professionals’ duties. Numerous definitions (all valid) highlighted just how many different perceptions of IC there are, also revealing that tasks and to-do lists of IC professionals have incredible range and scope.

Digging into the origins of IC and discussing its meaning and purpose really broadened my original perspective and also reinforced that Comms is definitely where I want to be. Give me a different set of tasks over the same daily Excel spreadsheet ANY DAY.

Rachel explained that this variety of definitions can sometimes make it difficult for others to understand IC’s role and purpose. A lightbulb went off in my head: OF COURSE it makes it difficult. How did I not see that? And that’s another thing I love about Comms. Answers can be so straightforward and logical yet so clever and effective. Simple but not simplistic.

The course allowed for ideas and suggestions to be bounced off one another, invoking so many more light bulb moments for me, with my head pulsing with suggestions and ideas.

I’m going to be publishing a collation of ideas to answer the question What is IC soon – Rachel.

Harriet is pictured at the Internal Communication Masterclass.


Teamwork makes the dream work.

Communication is all about PEOPLE. The Masterclass allowed me to come into contact with Communications professionals that I may have never met.

The group was small which I appreciated, as I was able to speak to each person individually and we all played an equal part in discussions. Advice was asked for, questions were answered and examples were given, all in a safe and comfortable space that allowed for maximum inclusivity and discussion.

I made contacts and was able to network without feeling like I should’ve been in a pant suit clutching a briefcase with 100 copies of my CV. We talked about channel choice over coffee, industry trends over tea and stakeholders over sandwiches (which were very good by the way. I had five).

Despite being the group member with an obvious lack of experience compared with others, I felt included and valued and my contributions were described as ‘valid and insightful’.

This was the confidence boost I needed and I felt like I deserved a place at that table of wonderful Comms people.

Overall, I have benefitted from meeting the lovely Rachel, who has helped to connect me with others who may be able to help me to develop and has allowed me to contribute to this blog. Without attending this course, these are opportunities I may have missed out on. I strongly recommend this course to people like me.

Despite being very proud of my degree, I can’t put a value on just how much I learnt from being able to interact with and share experiences face to face with people who are actively out there doing what I want to do.

Network: boosted.

Knowledge: boosted.

Confidence: boosted.

Thanks so much, Rachel. I’ll be back!

Post author: Harriet Dawson.

Thank you for sharing what you’ve taken away from the Masterclass Harriet, I’m so pleased to hear you found it helpful for you at this point in your career.

Could you help her find the first rung on the Comms ladder in the form of a temporary placement for the next there months near Manchester, UK? If so, you can find her on LinkedIn and I know she’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, feel free to contact me directly and I’ll connect you.

Learn about internal communication with Rachel 

Dates for my upcoming 2020 Masterclasses at the new All Things IC Hub are now live.

Dates to choose from

Thank you for stopping by,


First published on the All Things IC blog 4 February 2020.

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