The best thing about PADM and MATI is the valuable networking that one obtains when attending one of these courses. I was very excited about attending the MATI Advanced Communications on Bowen Island this past April for just that reason. However, I was very nervous as it was my first MATI course and I knew that this would entail (1) being away from my family for a week (my children are very young) and (2) a lot of hard work, as the course was condensed, consisting of long hours and assignments to cram in. I wasn’t too sure if I would be able to endure the week.
Well, I am now back from the beautiful island community of Bowen and enjoyed my time immensely! They say “people really make the course” and this particular group were no exception. Gathering from all over the province, they were friendly, open, easy-going, and knowledgeable regarding issues we are all facing as communities in BC. The MATI faculty and our course mentor were also fantastic! I learned so much from the staff and students; both work related and about myself.
The course concentrated on conflict resolution, coaching, negotiations, public consultation, media relations, and more. As a bonus, most gained insight into their personal communication style with an underlying message similar to that of an old Chinese Proverb: “In a world where you can be anything, the best thing you can be is yourself”. The other valuable advice offered by many of our roundtable participants was to create a balance between work, family and extracurricular activities. Great advice, as we all know too well that life goes by too quickly. Overall, I would highly recommend this course.
To all of my class colleagues – best of luck and thanks for the great experience!