To tie in with International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the women here at Registers of Scotland who are supporting our business transformation through their roles. In this blog, we chat to Emma Cowan, who first joined us as a modern apprentice and has become an assistant plans adviser. How did it all come about?
Firstly, tell us who you are and a bit about what you do here at Registers of Scotland.
I began my journey at Registers at the age of 17 as a modern apprentice, initially working as a plans settler. My job was to create title plans for properties across Scotland. I’ve progressed over the last four years and I am now an essential part of delivering a new process in the Innovation Centre. As I have become more experienced in my area of work I’ve taken on more responsibility in my role with training colleagues and taking on more complex casework — even though my friends and family think my job entails drawing and colouring in!
How did you end up in your current role?
I ended up in my current role due to the experience I had in plans settling. As part of the initiative in the Innovation Centre I’m working as part of an impact team to produce a new, more efficient way of completing the Land Register applications.
What was your path towards it?
I have taken every opportunity that I‘ve been presented with. For me, it is important to get involved with new experiences and continually improve upon myself.
Starting out as a modern apprentice, I gained valuable knowledge of the business as whole through completing my SVQ in business and administration. I would highly recommend this pathway to anyone starting out their career. After my 18-month apprenticeship finished I was offered a permanent contract with the organisation and from there I have been involved with various teams, expanding on my skills and building great working relationships with new colleagues.
Last year, I saw the opportunity for a promotion to a new role within plans. Having previously failed at the interview process, I felt that I had learned from the experience. I was confident that I was equipped with the skills and knowledge for the new role. Luckily, this lead me to being offered the promotion.
It is important to learn how you can do better from things that don’t go quite right for you in your career as there is always going to be challenges that you will come up against on your journey.
Working within the Innovation Centre has given me the opportunity to pass on my knowledge by training other members of staff, and I am currently involved in a Learning and Development Programme. The programme is improving on my skills as a trainer and is educating me on a blended learning approach. It has been great to put these into practice.
Was it different from what you expected to be doing?
My current role was a little unexpected but I had always hoped that I’d be involved with the Innovation Centre again. It gives you the chance to put your ideas about certain processes within the business into action and allows you to work with new groups of people. It’s motivating to be a part of a team which could improve the organisation.
What one piece of advice would you give to others that you wish you’d realised earlier?
Go for it or as a certain fashion brand would say… ‘Just Do It!’ Take every opportunity you have to improve on yourself, whether it’s a training course or taking part in a new group. Don’t overthink the negative outcomes, because the chances are they won’t happen. You’ll become more confident, you’ll have improved yourself and these experiences will lead you to places you never knew you would be.