A trainer’s journal: My journey pt2

Julian Roche concludes his two-part piece about his life in training.

Reading time: 3 minutes.

Part of the reason for this, undoubtedly, was my interest in pursuing other interests. These initially focused on my work for UNCTAD, which I put into an entirely different ‘box’ from financial training, even though there was evident overlap.

I also had my property development business to manage and eventually to sell. I believed then, and continue to believe, that those who train best, do so because they are actively involved in the markets and subject matter they teach.

As time progressed, I found the time to move at least partially into academia, translating my interest in risk management for agribusiness into a PhD and an adjunct position at a university. I found myself developing and delivering agribusiness training courses, too, which has given me the opportunity to convey financial principles and mechanics to a whole new audience worldwide.

So too my work with government led me to teach PPP, which rapidly became a staple of my training offering. The opportunity to talk through with delegates the numerous problems that governments face – especially in developing countries – and help them both on the course and through consultancy has been immensely rewarding.

I believed that those who train best do so because they are actively involved in the markets and subject matter they teach.

Just as significant for me, however, was my move into teaching real estate, as a result of a meeting with a training company I began to build up a suite of practically oriented courses aimed at developers, investors and advisers.

This began in 2004 and has continued ever since: I have cherished the opportunity to engage positively with successive generations now of real estate professionals worldwide who have climbed corporate ladders, launched their own companies or managed complex transition processes within their own countries.

I also recognised the importance of Excel for valuation in real estate, as well as in agribusiness, and translated it into writing technical books which have served as the kernel of financial modelling courses. Most recently I have had the great pleasure of being asked to serve as the chief economist of a chartered surveyor, which further serves to generate synergy with my real estate training.

It is fascinating – for me – to see how my training has evolved over the decades now that I have been delivering courses. The basic format remains the same: the trainer addresses the audience and develops as interactive a relationship with the delegates as humanly possible.

Training courses work best when there is an active and vigorous exchange of views, experience, often from different jurisdictions, which is why I have always enjoyed public courses so much.

‘Being global’, explaining the similarities and differences between the problems faced in different jurisdictions, is one of the key advantages a trainer should I think deploy and one of the key benefits of attending a training course.

What has changed is the diminution in the role of PowerPoint, for which we should all be thankful, and a reduced emphasis placed on calculations and simple formulae, most of which can now be obtained for free online, in favour of greater concentration on strategy, the significance of numbers, and – especially after the financial crisis – the impact of risk on the business.

Twenty-one years later, and I am still hooked. Training companies almost overwhelmingly have in my experience been reliable, stable partners. We trainers recognise the importance of their marketing and administration; they in turn treat us with courtesy and respect.

I know several trainers who have vowed never to retire: please count me amongst their number, for as long as I can provide knowledge transfer that delegates find useful in their working lives.

You can read part one of this piece here.


About the author

Julian Roche is course director at Redcliffe Training


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