On the home straight

It’s now just over 9 weeks since I found out I was in the final of this year’s CIH and Inside Housing Rising Stars competition and with less than two weeks to go until the winner is crowned at the CIH Manchester conference (vote for me here), I’m glad to be on the home straight.

We three finalists have been well and truly put through our paces, and rightly so.

In May we had the pleasure of spending the day at Shelter‘s head office and were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the inner workings of their campaign team and advised how to improve our campaign plans. You can read more about our day with Shelter and my finalised campaign plan here (register). I’ve written a blog on what I learnt during this day which should be on the CIH website shortly (as a teaser, the title is ‘Campaign Supernovas’, get it?).

Later in May, we were part of a twitter debate, taking questions from across the sector and beyond on a huge range of issues, catch up on Storify here.

The beginning of June saw a double whammy of tasks: a day at the CIH London offices for a 30 minute interview with the CEO of Amicus Horizon, a CIH director and a CIH Governing Board member, and a presentation and Q&A session at the CIH East Midlands and De Montfort University student conference.

Whilst the interviewers weren’t quite as tough as Sir Alan, I felt like I’d been grilled a bit more than medium-rare. Questions covered a whole host of topics such as the fine detail of my campaign plan, including funding it, risks, getting it off the ground, pitching it to politicians and the housing sector and if it lets politicians off the hook. I was also asked what I’d do if I won and why I want to win, what I would ask the housing minister, why I entered, three things I’m good at, what I’m proud of, how colleagues would describe me in three words, if agree with conditionality, my career plan and many, many more. I think in total I was asked between 40 and 50 questions! Check out Inside Housing next week (Friday 13th!) for the write up.

At the student conference, we finally had the honour of meeting last year’s Rising Star, Peter Bond. The four of us were the last session of the day: a 15 minute presentation by each finalist with Peter facilitating a Q&A session afterwards. I was almost looking forward to this task as it felt the least daunting; I was on home turf with my fellow DMU students, CIH East Midlands Board members and colleagues from Futures Homescape. I was keen to do something informative yet fun during my 15 minutes so I did away with the usual slides of bullet points and opted for a few images (below) instead and included some audience participation (see the full presentation here Student confrence presentation).
Presentation slides

The conference was a great day, check out the Storify here

So now that all these challenging hurdles have been jumped, I can relax a little bit, pick up some of the things I’ve put on hold (like my dissertation!) so that I could focus all my efforts on the Rising  Stars tasks, rustle up a few more votes and cross my fingers until the winner is finally announced!



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