Employer: Ministry of Defence, Royal Air Force
Position: Personal Learning Adviser
Why did you choose to study on BA Business & Enterprise (BABE)?
As a learning adviser I have researched a number of degree programmes – indeed my job is to guide personnel towards the best course of study for them. The BABE programme offered a number of key benefits for me. First, the ability to gain accreditation of prior learning and experience, and therefore to achieve the degree in under 12 months. Second, unlike some other programmes, the content focused on the practical application of learning, which was totally relevant to the private, public and third sectors. The cost, too, was a factor, as the BABE programme offers very good value for money. I also felt that being a graduate would offer me greater credibility when promoting higher education to others.
What were the three key things that you learned?
I realised that the skills and knowledge I’d gained throughout my adult life were much greater than I’d given myself credit for. Reflective learning is a fantastic tool for developing emotional intelligence and can be quite humbling at times. Simply learning theoretical models is less effective for me than learning how to apply those models to real-world situations. The fact that BABE is very strongly focused on work-based, real-life situations makes the learning much more relevant.
Has your organisation benefited from your studies and, if so, how?
The BABE programme has taught me to take a broader, more strategic view of the organisation in which I work. The Work Based Learning Project provides a clear plan of action, which gave me the motivation to keep going, even when I came across hurdles and barriers that could have risked jeopardising the project. I have been able to increase our customer base and offer a wider range of services. The business models and tools that I’ve been introduced to during BABE have ensured that I can evaluate and measure how successful the project has been, and enabled me to align the project to the Station Commander’s strategic objectives. On a professional level, the BABE programme has helped to develop my leadership and management skills and enabled me to become a more confident manager.
What has been the impact on you personally in achieving a degree?
Every time I completed a module and passed it I felt a profound sense of achievement. There is certainly a great deal of work to be done, and learning to manage my time better has been a challenge at times. However, knowing I’ve been able to manage a family, a full-time job and complete 120 credits in a year is something I feel very proud of. The biggest impact for me, however, is an increase in personal confidence. When I embarked on the programme I was filled with self-doubt, but now I feel I can do anything – I might even consider doing the Master’s in Entrepreneurial Leadership!
What would you say to someone who is considering starting BA Business & Enterprise?
I would advise anyone looking to embark on a course of study to be absolutely certain that it is the right course for them. However, for anyone looking for a business and management-related course that provides skills and knowledge that can be applied in their workplace, this one is challenging but highly satisfying (and takes only a year to complete). I don’t think I could suggest a better course than BABE. The support and feedback I’ve received from the university has been outstanding, and having the monthly contact with the rest of the cohort has meant I never felt like I was doing this on my own.
If you had to sum up participation in BABE in one sentence, what would you say?
BABE is a highly rewarding, well-structured programme that uses blended learning to get the very best out of its students.
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