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Understanding CMI: An interview with CEO Ann Francke

With all of The University of Law Business School’s postgraduate qualifying degrees accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), you can be sure that you’re working towards a prestigious qualification. But what exactly is CMI, and what do they do? To find out, we asked CEO Ann Francke to give us an insight into CMI’s objectives, and get a few tips from the top on how to succeed.

By Editorial Team. Published 20 June 2017. Last updated 24 November 2021.

At CMI we partner with higher education to ensure qualifications are matched to professional accreditations. This enables students to further their knowledge of business and working life, and to develop those all-important ‘soft skills’. We also provide students with career-boosting tools like checklists for creating a killer CV, how to prepare for interviews, and professional networking opportunities. All of which will ultimately make graduates a more attractive prospect for future employers.

Improving graduate employability is now a big priority – for employers, higher education and students alike. According to our research 75% of employers say that students should pursue professional qualifications, and 90% say that CMI has a high level of impact on student employability.

Our goal is to ensure that graduates are leaving education with work-ready skills. Qualifications are essential, but so are soft skills like communication and people skills. We advise students to also start creating their own professional networks to learn from experienced professionals who can share their experiences and wisdom, which is why we offer an online mentoring service.

Having work experience prior to graduating is invaluable too, as it shows that you understand how to work in a business environment. In a survey taken by employers, 67% said that good communication was the most desirable skill for a graduate. Plus, CMI-backed qualifications and accreditations are highly regarded by employers because they show that you have the practical skills to thrive in the workplace.

A professional social media profile is a great way to prove to employers that you are business-minded. Through social media everyone now has a virtual presence which is visible to any person at any time. When recruiting, employers will inevitably look at any candidate’s online presence. With this in mind, it’s crucial for students to think “how would my future employer react to this post?”

Keep social profiles such as Twitter and LinkedIn professional and personal accounts private. Follow the influencers, professional bodies, icons of business, and journalists as a way of developing your knowledge, signalling your professional interests and showing commitment to self-development.

Business success is measured in different ways by different people. More and more people are now motivated by contributing something good to society above earning money. Today, many successful businesses identify social purpose as being at the core of what they’re about, and the commercial mission as being the means to achieve it. Such an approach is essential to inspiring and motivating staff, and is becoming increasingly commonplace.

Today is a great time for women to start their careers in management. The gender pay gap still exists, but it is closing. Right now, we see a picture of more women than men filling entry-level management roles, but an imbalance the higher up organisations you go – the so-called ‘glass pyramid’. But employers recognise now that gender balanced organisations perform a lot better.

While businesses are doing a lot more now to open up the talent pipeline for women, there are plenty of things individuals should be doing to advance their careers. Finding a senior mentor or sponsor is a great way to gain guidance and advice, and to build a professional network. Studies show how women have not been encouraged to be as confident as men. So break the mould. Plus, always keep learning. Gain all the qualifications and accreditations you can. Find out more about CMI’s Blueprint for Balance, and join CMI Women now at managers.org.uk/cmi-women.


For more information about the Chartered Management Institute please visit managers.org.uk

To learn more about the Business School’s CMI accredited qualifications click here.

Learn more about the Business School’s CMI accredited qualifications.