As part of the pathway towards sitting the CCM exam in November 2014, I attended the CMAE MDP Part 2 course in Stirling, in March 2014. The other delegates on the course and I were very lucky to have Gregg Patterson, General Manager of The Beach Club in Santa Monica, present at the course, and all of the many and varied pearls of wisdom Gregg gave to us three simple words stood out for me: “DOING DEMANDS DEBRIEF”.

This mantra has been one of the most valuable things I have taken away from the learning curve that is MDP. We all go through learning experiences in our everyday lives, inside and outside of the workplace, but it is in developing the habit of making time to reflect that we can ensure we learn everything we can from what has gone before. Therefore I have set aside the time to reflect on the MDP/CCM pathway.

For me the journey has meant four years of study and preparation: building up credits, learning more about this wonderful industry and building a network to enhance my professional credentials for the future. I have become more aware of the importance of regular reviews and performance analysis, more confident of taking myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things and the discipline of enforced study has stayed with me beyond CCM, always looking for new books to read, opportunities to explore, and connections to make.

The process of reflecting on everything that I experience has made me calmer and more thoughtful about every aspect of my life, and I have gained so much from being honest about the things that have not gone well: as Oscar Wilde said “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”!

I am so grateful for the opportunities to improve that the CMAA/CMAE education pathway has given me. The club industry is a world in which we can find satisfying and rewarding roles and the education enhances one’s enjoyment of the present and one’s prospects for the future at the same time. What are you waiting for?!

Richard Pennell CCM