A CAPSLOCK Learner’s Perspective: All Good Things…

July 2, 2021
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A guest post from Tara-Jane Hood-Greer, one of our fantastic CAPSLOCK learners. With just one week left of our inaugural Full Time course, Tara-Jane (or TJ, as we call her) reflects on her time at CAPSLOCK and how much she’s learnt over the past few months…

CAPLSOCK learners hired
TJ in her CAPSLOCK hoodie during Week 1.

How would you complete this sentence: “All good things…”?

I know of two possibilities: “…must come to an end” or “…come to those who wait”.

I think given my current situation, both are applicable and appropriate. Today, Friday 2nd July 2021, marks the end of the teaching section of the CAPSLOCK course. It has been an intense fifteen weeks full of challenges, celebrations, ups, downs, excitement, disappointment and learning. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people, from such varied backgrounds, experiences, cultures, locations and ages.

Our group was the first ever full-time cohort and consisted of approximately 53 learners. The foundation for teaching on this course is a strategy called team-based learning (TBL), something I had never heard of in all my years of study, which stretched over three decades and included O-Levels, A-Levels, Undergrad degree, Postgrad diploma and continuous career development. To facilitate this approach, we were separated into smaller teams of four or five people.

My team, the group of incredible people I worked with, consisted of 5 individuals including myself, an experienced consultant of a strategic digital agency, the iconic owner and creative technician of an events company, a music tech and self-taught master coder and a sales advisor turned digital asset and cloud enthusiast. We hit it off right away and formed a tight knit group who quickly made a name for themselves. RUM5 is what we decided to be called (no affiliation with the Events Studio, Danish clothing company or the group on SoundCloud which are the results you find when you Google the name). We were quickly labelled “the troublemakers”, I think as a result of 1) our name, 2) our friendly and open nature, 3) our bad sense of humour, 4) our amazing time keeping skills and 5) our ability to ‘torment’ our tutors.

As a group, we blasted through our weekly quizzes with an overall total of 793 marks out of a possible 830 (before you ask – yes – in typical ‘me’ fashion I did keep a handy spreadsheet to track our results). We also knocked out our seventeen marked assignments no later than thirty minutes after the end of class, although we always had until 23:59 on the day to submit them. Thirteen of these have been graded so far, nine of which we accomplished a 90-96% mark, the other four included three between 80 and 85% and one 75% (this was only our second graded assignment, we were finding our feet and as such the mark is not as high as we would have liked – that’s my story and I am sticking to it). Our marked presentation also scored well with an average of 4.7 out of a possible 5, and I had good results for our 2 individual multiple-choice exams – 66% (without prior warning) and 91% (with prior warning). If these results do not prove that TBL is a success, I don’t know what will.

Oh yes, and by the way… (I got a bit carried away with reminiscing and I forgot to mention the areas that were covered), in the last two weeks we learned about Business Continuity, Business Resilience, Disaster Recovery, Business Impact Analysis, Incident Management, Incident Response and Physical Security. We were also given exam preparation tips and techniques; advised on how to prepare for interviews, how to successfully make contacts on LinkedIn and other platforms and how to decide on a potential career path.

Next week is Week 16, our official final week. On Monday 5th July at 10:00 UK time we will write our first exam – CISMP (please send positive vibes our way). On Tuesday we will revise for our ISO 27001 foundations exam (and hopefully sit it later that day). Wednesday will be CCSK, and on Thursday we go over COMPTIA Security+. Then on Friday we graduate and that (sniff) is where my current journey must come to an end.

In March 2020 the world changed and I waited, just like the rest of us, for the pandemic to be over. Then March 2021, my life changed… my retraining course started and “good things came to me”…

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