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

Many are taking courses to aid their progress up the corporate ladder. However, now I’m in my 60s I’ve already had an interesting career to date, having been a salesman, licensee, production manager and cellarman, covering B2B and B2C sectors.  

Looking back, I performed roles successfully that today I would be considered unqualified for and certainly untrained. This was highlighted when I was made redundant and my CV showed several senior roles, but no degree. During job searches, I was in competition with graduates and as a result at a distinct disadvantage. 

I received a speculative email from the university and applied, choosing business and management as I believed it would open up more career opportunities. I was very surprised to be accepted so with assistance I applied to Student Finance England and was granted funding. 

I’d strongly advise any prospective student to read their way through the syllabus to see what’s required. The lecturers have been willing to assist and guide my study; not point to the answer, but suggest starting points for reading, learning and explanations. I also have to mention the student support advisers, who assisted me in getting started and supported me when I relocated and lost internet access for a month.  

My favourite part of the course has been discovering the online library, with a vast array of scholarly publications and academic papers on every topic imaginable. The prescribed reading is vital for understanding the subject. Where it gets interesting is investigating the foundations of the subject and assessing the future possible direction indicated by subsequent publications. 

If you’re interested in studying online, I’d suggest examining your motivation in taking the course, as you’re making a big commitment. Bear in mind the course is flexible if the ‘real world’ gets in your way, so you can take a break between modules. The university structure is such that if you’re struggling in any aspect, you can discuss it with someone; lecturers and student advisers are the front line, amongst others. 

Most importantly: don’t stop and don’t be intimidated. There’s no such thing as a daft question… it’s probably the one that everyone else is too embarrassed to ask! 

 

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

Katie Mitchell

I joined the Army at sixteen years old having only taken the three GCSEs that I needed for my chosen trade. I am currently a Sergeant within the Royal Signals.

Adam Newman

The University of Essex Online has offered and delivered on flexible learning. The course structures are easy to follow, and I can fit my study around both work and family life.

Hei Chan

While a 9-to-5 office job is the norm in Hong Kong, I realised it wasn’t right for me and decided to switch career paths during the pandemic.