Austin Phillips and Richard Purdy – engineers from SMD, independent designer and manufacturer of work class and...
The ELC advantage
‘I joined the Navy as an Officer Cadet at 18 and have enjoyed a range of challenging and rewarding leadership and management roles. I work within the DGNuc department as the project sponsor officer for Astute Class submarines. It’s my responsibility to drive project compliance and ensure the essential capability of these platforms is delivered while achieving value for money for the taxpayer.
‘It was only after several years in challenging and rewarding leadership and management roles that I decided to study for an MBA to both enhance my business acumen as well as achieve academic recognition for my talent. I used ELC to fund a large proportion of the cost of my studies. ELCAS is an extremely valuable resource often not used to its full advantage by Service personnel and I would encourage others to consider it as an option when they want to enhance their skills.
‘The Services offer career variety by offering their personnel the opportunity to change roles roughly every two years, which helps develop a broad cadre of experience. Unlike other roles I have undertaken in the past, my current role requires a good academic and practical understanding of finance and accounting, which were well covered by my MBA. More broadly, conducting a course of this nature obliges you to be reflective and challenges you to invest in continuous improvement. The positive experience of my MBA drives my appetite for continued learning.
‘I qualified with Distinction in November 2016, having chosen to study with Edinburgh Business School because of its inherent flexibility. Over the course of my studies I was deployed abroad for a six-month operational tour within the US Navy 5th Fleet HQ, Bahrain, as well as operational deployments on board British and Italian warships. It was useful to have digital learning material that could be used offline, but also to have ready access to high-quality online content and tutor support when I did have connectivity to the internet.
‘The whole degree experience was a useful exercise in managing time wisely. As a Serviceman I spend long periods of time apart from my family on deployment. I was very focused on using any spare time constructively so that there was no reason to impact on family time either at weekends or during leave periods. I chose to commute by train, again to allow useful study time on my laptop, smartphone and e-reader.
‘My studies have re-enforced my understanding that you are never too old to learn and that to be successful you must continuously embrace change to retain competitive advantage. My belief is that leadership is a blend of ‘nature and nurture’ and that failure to study both successes and failures denies us the opportunity to learn from our own and others’ experiences.
‘I intend leaving the Armed Forces in 2018 to pursue a second career based in Scotland, ideally in financial services or with a major utility company. My MBA will be the perfect springboard for this new challenge.’
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