Having completed a Post Graduate Diploma with the Open University in 2006, I had always intended to continue my studies to earn an MBA. However, life got in the way, my employer had funded my post graduate qualification and having moved from a large employer to a start-up company, there was no funding available to help me complete at that time. Add getting married and having a baby into the mix and the MBA slipped down my list of priorities.
However, as I changed careers and moved into education, my thirst for knowledge returned and on discovering I was pregnant with my second child, I saw this as an ideal time to complete an MBA and I was able to fund myself with a career development loan. Everyone else though I was mad, including the course leader, but I knew that maternity leave would provide an ideal opportunity for me to start the course and also keep my mind engaged, giving me something more to think about than dirty nappies. I applied for a scholarship and was delighted to be awarded it which really boosted my enthusiasm.
I have a very supportive husband, who helped and supported me through the whole course. I was 7 months pregnant on the day of the MBA induction, which certainly raised a few eyebrows but my baby was born without complication and I didn’t miss a day of lectures. I soon found my cohort and tutors to be supportive and helpful. We have all needed support at one time or another when the pressures of life means our focus may not be as strong on our studies and classmates have always been there to share notes and meet to explain theories.
I thoroughly enjoyed every module, and the main benefit is being able to apply it immediately into your role back at work. I implemented my learning from marketing, operations and logistics and finance and accounting at the very least.
I was previously working as Workforce Development Manager at City College Norwich, but have since taken up a role as Director of Marketing and Enterprise for Easton & Otley College. I have no doubt that the MBA has helped me achieve this new role, through both academic learning and also, building the confidence to realise I can perform in a senior role.
The absolute best thing about the MBA at UEA is the cohort experience which enables theoretical learning but also discussion about practical application and real life problem solving. In such a diverse group of professionals, there are a diverse group of skills so discussions are lively and meaningful. It’s also a safe environment in which to discuss ideas and learn. If I didn’t understand something, there was always someone who was able to help me understand from a practical perspective, just as I helped others from time to time.
Juggling a family, a full time job and two small children along with the MBA isn’t easy, but with the support of family, my cohort and the lecturing team, my experience has been truly positive.