Chantelle Grant

Chantelle Grant

Chantelle Grant

Graduate of the Master of Business Innovation & Leadership

Can you tell us your name, job title and the course you studied at ATU? 

My name is Chantelle Grant. I am currently the General Manager of Century Complex in Letterkenny. I first studied a Bachelor of Business (Hons) part-time before progressing on to the Master of Business Innovation & Leadership programme at ATU which I have just successfully completed. 

Can you share your career path to date?

I started working in Dillion’s hotel here locally in Letterkenny at the age of 16. Having wanted to pursue a career in sports I studied on the Bachelor of Business with Sports Development and Coaching at LYIT. Between completing my degree, I left dillions and started out with Century Cinema within their new synthetic Ice rink initially on a three-month basis. Having realised I would need to move away from home to gain paid work in sport I changed that idea and began to focus on progressing through the ranks within Century Cinema. Thankfully with the skills I learnt through sport I was given the opportunity to further develop and progress to the role of Supervisor and then Manager within the now Century Complex brand. Having returned to college and completed a part time business degree when the covid-19 pandemic hit I was given the opportunity to become General Manager at Century Complex. Having initially only been guaranteed 3 months work to still being a member of the team now some 10 years later, it proves that taking a gamble and getting out of your comfort zone can pay off. I have just in recent weeks completed a Masters of Business Innovation & Leadership. 

What does your current role involve?

My current role varies a lot, and no two days are ever the same. I work closely with our managing director and senior leadership team. My role includes helping with daily operations, coaching, mentoring, training & development, providing support and assistance to our Senior leadership team and fellow team members to help provide the ultimate experience for our customers and team alike. 

What motivated you to start studying? 

I was never an individual who enjoyed studying especially in primary and secondary school. I was always the student that was away playing multiple sports just to get out of class. I have been extremely lucky to have a mentor who took a chance on me and gave me the push I needed to study. The main driver behind completing the master’s programme was so that I could further deepen my knowledge around Leadership. Additionally, I think the fact that I have found an area I truly enjoy it hasn’t felt like studying. 

Why did you choose this course from ATU?

I chose this course because it came highly recommended from a friend who was a past participant. I have a big interest in the world of Leadership and our managing director doesn’t like to standstill so I thought the innovation aspect of the MBS would come in extremely useful. The delivery of the course meant that it didn’t massively impact my working week. Additionally, I have studied in ATU previously and I know the calibre of lectures within the university.

How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging? 

Thankfully we only had a few modules online, before being able to get into the classroom. The online aspect was hard as we as a group didn’t get an opportunity to connect properly until we were several weeks into the programme. However, it was great to be able to get the programme started and allowed us an opportunity to get a few assignments done before covid restrictions began to get lifted. 

How did you balance work and study?

Balancing both work and study was the most difficult element for me personally. When I began the programme, the country was in covid-19 lockdown therefore, I had too much time. When the country began to reopen my time for study became limited. Throughout the course of the programme, I also navigated some personal challenges. There were some extremely stressful weeks trying to meet deadlines and get assignments handed in. Thankfully my Lectures were extremely accommodating and support full throughout as I navigated all these challenges. I also can’t thank my colleagues and employer enough who helped massively by freeing up time and encouraging me to get the work done. Similarly, the other members of my course cohort where a constant support throughout the programme, it was great to know you weren’t going through the programme alone either.

In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer? 

Yes, the company hugely advocates for education and further education and were supportive from start to finish. Mark Doherty was incredibly supportive throughout all my studies being the person who gave me the nudge to go back to education and complete the Bachelor of Business part time in the first place. Without the belief he showed in me I would never have enrolled on The Master of Business Innovation & Leadership. 

Every module throughout the two years has been relevant in some capacity however I think our Managing People and Managing change modules may have been the most beneficial given the challenges we have faced and continue to face. 

What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?

I think if it suits your job, your personal life and your organised to study online then it’s a no brainer. However, if you are like me who concentrates better in an in-person environment then definitely way it all up before you decide. 

Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?

The programme helped me massively to better understand my weaknesses but most importantly my strengths and over all helped to strengthen my self-belief. Thus, further strengthening my belief that I am where I need to be on my career journey. 

Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role? 

The elements we were studying were extremely relevant to my day-to-day role. We were doing a module on Managing Change during a period in which we were all experiencing change within our internal and external environments. Our module on Managing People was extremely relevant given the challenges being experienced in maintaining team members and recruiting new team members. The way in which the programme was delivered was extremely practical in that we were given the space and time to put the knowledge learnt into practice. 

What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU?

This is an extremely hard question to answer. 

My ability to be more present in each situation, the listening skills and emotional intelligence knowledge I have gained has been extremely beneficial. I really don’t think I will truly appreciate the learning I have had until a later time in my career. I know that I will be referring to materials from the course for some time to come as I navigate new milestones throughout my career. 

Personally, I learnt how resilient I am and how I need to have the same belief in my abilities as others do! The MBS in Innovation and Leadership is an excellent programme and I have no doubt the knowledge gained will continue to aid my development both personally and professionally over the coming years. 

A quote I heard during my time on the course was by Dan Millman “life comes at us in waves of change, we can’t control the wave but, we can become better surfers”, I truly believe completing the programme has given me the best opportunity both personally and professionally to become a better surfer!!


Learn more about the Master of Business Innovation & Leadership