I completed my course just before I turned 71. It shows age is no barrier and that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

I went to work after high school, then I got married and put my dreams on hold. I later became a single parent so getting a degree became more difficult as I focused on my children’s education and forgot my own. I became a grandmother after my children graduated from university, got married and had families of their own. 

I thought my dream of getting a degree may not happen after all because of my age. I then found the University of Essex Online and the admissions adviser I spoke to was helpful, so I applied and was enrolled as a mature student. 

I selected business and management, considering it to be of broader appeal in the workplace. Before the course, I didn’t like numbers, let alone anything to do with accounting! Since I completed my course, the fear has gone, and I’m able to handle accounting and make financial decisions. I’m confident I’ll be able to manage my care home business when it opens.  

I faced many challenges throughout the duration of the course. My sister’s death was devastating, and I had to put my studies on hold to help with her children. I’m glad I was able to resume my studies from where I left off. I was also hospitalised during my degree and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish it. Luckily, I was able to work on my assignments while in the hospital and my health improved. 

I’d like to mention two amazing student advisers, Rob and Aiste. I almost gave up on my studies, but Rob kept me going. He solved every problem I presented to him and would patiently listen to my questions. He showed interest and would even consult other teams on my behalf. Aiste was never tired of answering my questions promptly. I also had fantastic tutors, always on hand to support me even outside their office hours.  

You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. With help from the University of Essex Online Student Support teams, it’s possible. 


Interested in seeing where a business and management degree could lead you? To find out more, download a prospectus 

Claire Patricia Wilkinson

Once I've completed the course and obtained my degree, I hope to use it to progress into senior leadership roles within the NHS and play a part in making a positive change to healthcare in our country.

Obinna Orjingene

I was looking after children who had fled armed conflict. It was here that I was convinced Public Health was the way to go to progress my career.

James Jordan-Hore

As I was seeking some way to make myself more employable, I took a project management course online and quite enjoyed the process.