I joined the Army at 16 years old, having only taken the three GCSEs that I needed for my chosen trade.
Having worked as a Troop Sergeant for the last four years, I’m about to start training to become a supervisor within my trade, which will involve promotion to Staff Sergeant on completion. Although my intention was to complete a full career in the military, I knew that my circumstances could change and I wanted to make sure I could get an interesting job, regardless of when my military service ended.
With such a busy and varied role, it’s impossible to commit to anything on a weekly basis and so the only option for studying was distance learning. I was serving in Wales at the time, so I had the benefit of reduced fees, but I still made use of the ELCAS funding which was provided through the Army’s Enhanced Learning Credit scheme.
I chose business and management, because I felt it would provide me a sound basis for whatever career I chose in the future. I was also able to make a friend or two during the course and had great support from the university throughout. The Student Advisers helped to arrange some additional flexibility for my coursework prior to deploying to Afghanistan in 2013. Time management was a learning curve throughout the course, but I planned ahead and gave myself deadlines for completing reading and contributing to discussions.
Discipline is an essential trait for military life and I found it key to achieving good results in my coursework. It turned out that Afghanistan was the perfect place to get on with studying in my spare time because there were none of the distractions that you get back home like family and a social life! Although some of the key leadership and management theories covered as part of the course were first introduced to me during military training, I developed a much greater understanding through my studies and have tried to apply these to my role as a military manager.
Interested in seeing where a business and management degree could lead you? To find out more, download a prospectus.