I found Victoria Stilwell's Academy via her website, her articles and training guides have and continue to help me with my work!
In May 2021, I enrolled on Victoria Stilwell's Academy Dog Trainer Online course. I was eager to learn more, to gain further experience to build my confidence and build my business.
When I started to get into the thick of the course, it quickly hit me just how extensive and thorough this course was. It was overwhelming and daunting, trying to balance work and study time including time to relax and recharge!
In the course was over 1,000 hours of lessons, 20 modules, 20 tests, 3 exams and 27 video assessments - that's a lot!
Admittedly, I did lose my confidence half way through the course. I was overwhelmed, mentally exhausted and stressed; not just from the course but with the usual hiccups life throws at you.
I accepted that I wasn't going to pass the course and I was happy just to have the opportunity to learn more; I wasn't working towards certification, I was working to finish so I had less on my plate.
However, after a while of mopeing and feeling sorry for myself I thought, 'No, I'm going to prove myself wrong and get certified!'
I focused more the course, dedicating time off work during the week and weekends to complete lessons, modules and exams.
I was very fortunate as well that my very first client in Northampton, Luna and her owners, were happy for me to borrow Luna for my video assessments.
Luna is certainly my favourite client's dog! She's clever, independent and always happy to see you!
We trained across several weeks through intense training and Luna was incredibly patient with me as I was learning with her.
With the further help from a couple more clients, as well as family members and their neighbours, I kept passing more and more assessments!
My confidence and ambition grew with each new pass, desperate to finish but to prove my past-self wrong as well.
The greatest comment I received from my tutor during this course, who assessed my videos and gave me feedback was,
'I know I'm in the U.S. and you're in England, but if you were here - I'd hire you! No doubt about that!
My confidence shot up after that moment, I finally felt confident in myself, that I know what I'm doing and I'm doing the right things!
Finally, I had passed my final module, my final exam and my final video assessment... The certification, the recognition, the finale of this course that ran over a year long... I am certified!
Throughout the course I had a lot of self doubts, personal struggles and work complications to overcome and to finally say,'I am certified', is such a reinforcing and rewarding statement to say.
Now I can focus more on my work, my clients and my business.
I look forward to what the future holds in store!
To find out more about Victoria Stilwell Academy: www.vsdogtrainingacademy.com/