Apprenticeship Levy, Management

Meet our Professional Development Experts: Jina Melnyk - Financial Services, Leadership and Management

26 November 2019 by Isla Lightfoot

Jina Melnyk hails from Pennsylvania, USA and started her career in public accounting at Arthur Andersen LLP. From there she moved into Corporate accounting for large Financial Services and Pharma clients, where she gained an in-depth knowledge of navigating large matrix organisations.

Jina has always been focused on making a large impact and her interest in fast-growing organisations and acquisitions/mergers, lead her into the world of SMEs, where she took Chief Financial Officer roles, sitting at Board level with a responsibility for financial strategy. Jina successfully negotiated the sale of a company to a larger competitor in the US, and coincidentally her husband was offered a role in the UK as the sale concluded, so the family relocated to London.

‘Having taken some time off to help my children adjust to their new environment, I realised how self-fulfilling my working life was to me. I have been fortunate in my career, to have been given access to some great coaches. Two in particular made a fundamental impact on me, my career and life choices. When we relocated, I contacted one of these coaches to talk through my next career steps and goals. I decided to retrain as a coach and became a certified coach with the International Coach Federation.’

‘My role at Corndel came about following a chance-conversation at the school gate, with another parent who worked as a PDE at Corndel. I was looking for a company where I could deliver great coaching, but also combine my understanding of large organisations and in particular my financial services background. At Corndel I look after Level 5 Leadership and Management learners for UBS, an investment bank. It’s so important to understand the challenges your learners are facing and the environments in which they operate.’

‘I love my coaching role. Learners make such an impact on their team by being better leaders. Sometimes this is as simple as catching up with team members over a coffee occasionally and asking them how they are doing and how they are feeling. It’s tremendously satisfying to hear a learner say ‘I took your advice’, or ‘I did something differently as a result of our conversation and it had a really positive impact’, or ‘I have so much more confidence now.’. These are the things that make my day.’

‘The structure of the role really suits me. We have a fantastic toolkit to draw down from at Corndel and a vast amount of learning materials to share. The PDE role is very autonomous and highly flexible. Flexibility works both ways though, so sometimes you alter your week to accommodate a learner or employer’s needs and that balance works. Your learners are on a personal journey as well as a business journey and as coaches we play a really important role in that. That doesn’t necessarily happen 9-5.’

‘Seeing your learners transform in front of your eyes, within a year is a real privilege. I have a learner who has grown in confidence so much that she now pretty much coaches herself. Our sessions give her the headspace to reflect and she does the rest. This is wonderful to see someone grow, mature and demonstrate that level of professionalism. As a coach you want your learners to grow in confidence to the extent that they achieve their absolute best and get what they deserve.’

Jina shares some advice for those considering coaching roles. ‘When you start out, as with any role, it’s worth investing the time upfront to become more efficient in the long-run. Corndel allows PDEs to work remotely and flexibly, which is great. We give our learners the tools to balance their work and home life and we apply those same tools ourselves to the PDE role at Corndel. I work four days’ worth of hours over five days, so that I can pick my kids up from school a couple of days a week and stay in touch with my home life.  This is the perfect balance for me. I also combine my PDE role with my role in the Business Development team as Director of Financial Services, looking after our growing number of employers in the financial services sector.  I love that Corndel allows me to use my full skillset and has offered me development opportunities across departments and roles. I feel my learners benefit from their coach learning and developing too.’

More information about Corndel Diplomas in Leadership and Management.

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