Never say never with a Chester MBA

Tom Ford left school at 16, made his way up through the ranks of industry and is now a Global Account Service Delivery Manager at Dell EMC. It was in his early 30s that he took that leap of faith to study for a Master of Business Administration.

For a number of years, Tom had yearned for the opportunities he lost by leaving school so early. He considered many options to gain leadership qualifications to enhance his career opportunities – including distance learning and modular study – but it was the part-time MBA course at University of Chester that Tom felt offered the most benefits. He signed up in September 2016.

We asked Tom a few questions:

Why did you choose to study on the part-time MBA course at the University of Chester as opposed to those at other universities in the region?

I did some research and spoke to a few universities but Chester appealed to me – one reason being that Chester has a facility in Shrewsbury which I can use and that is closer to me. The main reason for selecting Chester was down to the classroom environment. I have tried long distance learning and it didn’t work for me.

What are your first impressions of the part-time MBA at University of Chester?

The University of Chester Business School is very modern and well-appointed; the facilities are very new, with offices to use just in case I need to jump on to a work-related call.

The libraries are full of useful information and the Chester University App makes it very easy to navigate and find almost everything you need to know. Importantly, all teaching staff have worked in industry, which brings reality into the whole learning and development process.

How have you found coping with managing demanding business needs for a global business with your studies and your personal life?

You have to find time, as per the old adage ‘you get out what you put in’. Working with colleagues/direct reports around the world in different time zones, as well as committing to studying, is no easy task. However, with support from my family I find time at weekends and lock myself away to focus on studying alone.

My driver is that I need the MBA and I know that my family and work will benefit from this in the future. In addition, my employers have been very supportive with the time I am taking out of the working week for my studies, as they recognise the overall benefit.

To date, what has been the best part of being an MBA student at Chester?

Meeting lots of new people and forming great relationships. The wide range of backgrounds within my cohort. I find it very interesting and it provides a different perspective of what I hear/see on a daily basis in the world of IT.

The offsite day focusing on team building was a superb day out. Meeting full-time students as well as getting to know my classmates better – that day taught me some valuable lessons that if you work on your own without teaching/showing others how to do things, it weakens you as an individual. The power of uniformity and teamwork simply gets things done quicker and better.

How do you think gaining an MBA will enhance your career?

I have aspirations to progress as far as I can in the corporate world and believe the MBA will teach me skills and provide confidence to make this happen.

There is also an element of pride when I say I am studying an MBA and you can clearly see that people are impressed. Achieving the MBA will be a personal lifetime satisfaction award for me, and if it helps progress my career then that is a bonus.

Tom, our tutor, has demonstrated that for anyone with relevant commercial experience who missed out on the opportunity to study at university and who is up for a challenge can reap the rewards later in their career: the part-time MBA at University of Chester delivers the perfect platform to a successful career ahead.

Want to Know More?

Take a look at our MBA course on our website, or for an informal chat please phone our MBA Director Dr. Tom Williams, who will be happy to answer your questions: 01244 513116, williams.t@chester.ac.uk

Visit Us

We have excellent facilities here at our Business School – why not come and have a tour round, find out more about the course and get your questions answered? 

Please email our MBA Director Dr. Tom Williams to arrange a visit: williams.t@chester.ac.uk

Join our MBA Group

You can also join our LinkedIn group and connect with current students, staff and graduates of the Chester MBA: University of Chester MBA Group