How to Prepare for Your First Professional Development Course - 4 Tips
Speak with your manager
Think about how the professional development course will benefit you and your company. Then, speak with your manager on what this course will mean for your role and what knowledge and skills she expects you to take back to the office. You may also work together listing the challenges in your organization that this training may help you solve to bring as questions to the course or give you a frame of reference for the material you'll be learning. Schedule a post-course follow-up where you'll elaborate on what you learned, set benchmarks for how you'll determine the ROI on the training, and plan the next course you'll take.
Bring all of the materials you'll need
Pens, paper, laptop, business cards, and a bottle of water just in case are classroom essential. Business cards with a link to your LinkedIn profile are a great way to keep in touch with other delegates on the course and can open the channel of communication for opportunities in the future. Printing off any materials that were sent to you as pre-coursework and as well as a copy of the training schedule will also make for a smoother course.
Read through the course plan or syllabus
Get familiar with what you'll be learning on the course and ensure that you have the background knowledge necessary to keep up with your peers and get the most out of the training. Gauge what material you're already familiar with and what topics you'll need to give extra focus.
Get ready to ask questions
If you haven't attended a class since school, get ready to re-enter the classroom as an adult. You'll need to engage with the material and your employer will expect you to clarify anything you didn't understand before you leave the course. Additionally, most trainers - especially in small group sizes - encourage you to ask questions and discuss company-specific examples so keep your company at the forefront of your mind.