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Alan Morrison

Alan S. Morrison gained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) postgraduate degree with The Open University, uncovering a passion for marketing that inspired him to change career. He runs his own successful media and PR company, which he started in April 2012.

"After gaining an MA Honours degree in English and Philosophy from Glasgow University in 1986 and a Diploma in Journalism Studies from University College Cardiff in 1987, I spent 24 years in journalism — first broadcasting and then newspapers."

From photojournalist on a regional Sunday paper, Alan progressed to news editor, chief reporter and sub-editor on various publications, before becoming a senior sub-editor and picture editor back at the original Sunday paper. 

"As the result of a restructure in 2011 my role disappeared and I took voluntary redundancy. It was then the MBA I'd gained eight years before purely for personal development was key to creating a new career and life. 

I had begun it because my wife had been studying for an Open University (OU) Social Sciences degree for a number of years and when I showed interest in studying management formally she suggested the OU would allow me to do so while still working full-time. 

"I was aware of its reputation for high-quality tuition and was impressed that it only admitted students with actual managerial experience.

"Through studying my MBA, which includes a Marketing elective I passed with Merit, I was inspired to change career into a marketing-related discipline. I soon gained an Account Manager role in an award-winning Manchester PR agency. After gaining invaluable experience there I decided to launch my own company, ASM Media & PR.

"I gain attention and interest for the brands of award-winning small and medium-sized enterprises in sectors as diverse as lift installation, retro-style leather bags and 3D-printing through public relations, business photography and copywriting.

"My MBA provided me with a 'career parachute' when my role in my chosen career disappeared overnight. I discovered my passion for and aptitude for marketing through it, which inspired me to investigate an alternative career path involving marketing. I've pursued that successfully and would not go back. 

"The knowledge and skills I gained on my MBA also helped me take Mr Droogle - a local 360 virtual tours franchise that provides virtual tours inside businesses - from struggling to winning two Google sales awards, creating five world-firsts for the product, shooting the biggest and most innovative tours in Scotland and going from three-figure to five-figure deals. 

I very much enjoyed and used the interaction with other students via the online forum. It was especially good at bonding students around the globe studying the same course at the same time and brought essential feedback on cultural issues. I still count as trusted friends fellow students I met online. 

"Tutorials too forged vital links and I also enjoy instant and positive rapport with fellow OU MBA alumni.

"In 2017-18, as Vice-President of St Andrews Business Club I used the knowledge and skills I gained on my MBA, especially marketing and strategy, to head a turnaround project which increased membership by 91% and average event attendance by 50%. As President for 2018-19, I led the team which increased membership by another 17% and average event attendance by 11.5% - both to new record levels. Our marketing was a Finalist for Best Marketing Campaign in the Fife Business Awards 2019.

I always encourage anyone I meet who's interested in studying business to take an OU MBA. As much as studying is hard work, I would encourage anyone thinking about it to study what interests them, not just what they think they might need for their current career — you never know what's round the corner and it may become your new career!"