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How Did I Get Here? Wayne Mullen, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

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As part of our feature on trainer development, we asked TrainingZONE members to tell us a bit about how they came to be involved in the training profession, and offer some thoughts on what it means to be a trainer today. We received a fantastic selection of responses, which will be published throughout the month. Here, Wayne Mullen, Training and Development Manager - The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi responds.


  1. What's your current job role? Training and Development Manager - The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.


  2. What did you do before this job? Business process design and documentation on an IT project. Although not strictly training, I had held training management positions previously.


  3. Describe your route into training In 1989, I was asked to design a programme to train people in the Geneva Convention on Refugees Status. It was supposed to be temporary.


  4. Did you always want to work in training and development? God, no!


  5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date? Launching a training qualification for Southern Africa in Johannesburg.


  6. How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career? Now there's much more focus on the relationship between training and business success - and trainers are expected to articulate and demonstrate that. Trainers need a much deeper understanding of their practice. Greater emphasis is placed on how adults learn, structure, and evaluation. There is also a much wider range of tools and development interventions available to trainers. Employees are generally much more clued up about what to expect from their employers in relation to training.

    When I started, training was about delivering courses in a fun way - learning opportunities were a privilege rather than an expectation. The development of courses took forever. Training departments were littered with overhead projectors that didn't work. Materials were typed up by typing pools, and diagrams were hand drawn and photocopied. We were endlessly tip-exing, photocopying, and sticking things together. It's a little like looking through old photographs - I cringe when I think back to some of the things we did. Trainers today don't know they're born...........delegates still turn up without something to write with though.


  7. What single thing would improve your working life? Not having to would be a start. Other than that, being able to walk to work.


  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site? Any Answers. The responses reveal how much talent there is out there.


  9. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training? Think carefully about your reasons for wanting to do so. It can be long hours, lots of travelling, and eating alone in hotels for what seems like very little recognition. You need to be robust; trainers are often expected to compensate for someone's failure to manage performance or to perform miracles in organisational climates which have greater problems than people development. However, training is challenging; it offers the opportunity to be creative and to continually develop. Training is a management tool and despite its soft benefits, it is about helping businesses make (or save) money. If you want to do it because you're a 'people person' and you like presenting, it's probably not the career for you. If appropriate, get qualified in your specialism (eg, IT, Finance etc.) or make sure you have a good track record. And start your CIPD. Training companies can be a bit of a 'body shop' but good ones do offer opportunties for people looking to get into training and you'll be exposed to a range of clients and requirements which corporate training departments don't necessarily offer. However, corporate training departments offer the opportunity to get closer to the business and unlimited possibilities for people development.


  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today? Credibility. Employees can do so much more for themselves, trainers have to work much harder to add value. I also think that trainers - irrespective of their discipline - need to understand broader organsational issues and develop appropriate consulting and influencing skills. And they still need to keep a stock of biros.

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