Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Returners

Day in the Life of an FDM Returner

Paul Brown
16.01.2017 Published: 16.01.17, Modified: 16.01.2017 00:01:00

Sheila trained on our Getting Back to Business programme in our London Academy. She tells us about the training and her experiences getting back into the workplace.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Hi I’m Sheila, I took a career break over a year and a half ago to get my youngest settled into full time education.  When I wanted to return to work, I found it difficult to get back into a senior role.  I had assumed that it would be easy to just step back into a similar role from where I left.

In September 2016, I joined FDM’s Getting Back to Business Stream, training in the London Academy, the programme was designed to upskill and place you in a suitable role.

Give us an overview of your average day during training:

An average day for me while I was training, started off with a 6am wake up alarm.  I would allow myself 30 mins to shower and get ready.  My husband would make me coffee, and then get ready himself. By 6:40am, I would attempt to wake my two boys up (aged six and eight) to drop them off at my parents’ house, who would then give them breakfast and get them ready for school.

As you can imagine, the mornings are very hectic, with lots of juggling around.  We had a deadline, to be out of the house by 7:10am; before we left, we would pack school uniforms, school bags, ensuring reading records were signed, they had fruit and water bottles, plus any other last min things that the children would suddenly remember they needed on that day! My husband would drive me to the station, so I could get the 7:20am train to London Kings Cross.

Overview of your day in the Academy?

Once at the Academy, the training can be very intense, but equally enjoyable as you feel that you are using your brain again and learning something new.  The women on the course, are all lovely, and the tutors are amazing. Training is usually from 9:30 to 3:30, with a 30 minute lunch, we have a couple of breaks in between, depending on how fast we are learning and how much material there is to cover.

Do you do anything once you get home in the evening?

I usually get home by 4:45pm, I collect my children from my parents and then head home, which is a short drive away.   Before I start dinner, I will check what homework needs to be done, and listen to them ready while I am cooking dinner. If my husband has finished early, then he will cook dinner and I do the homework.   Homework can take 30-45 minutes, depending on what mood the boys are in.

Once we’ve had dinner, its usually around 6:30pm, I will then shower the boys, and get them into bed by 7pm. I would then clean the dishes and finally get to sit down at around 7:30-8pm.  I would then, do any homework that needed to be done for the next day or read up on what we had learned during the lesson.

How have your family reacted to your change in daily routine?

My family have been great, very supportive especially my children when I had to study for an exam, I would explain to them that mummy had homework to do and she can’t be disturbed.  They were brilliant and usually were asleep within 10 minutes, which gave me time in the evenings to study and not worry about children playing up.   I don’t think I could have completed the course without the support of my husband and parents.

The favourite bit of your day?

Going to bed at night, feeling proud that I got through the day, enjoying what I had learnt.  The Getting Back to Business Consultants are a unique group of women, who have made the course an incredible learning journey.

Updated 22 May, 2019