This year’s Future Leader Fund Scholarship has been awarded to Jeremy Lane, Planning Manager for global automotive test system supplier AB Dynamics, and former OU Business School (OUBS) student. He will begin his triple accredited MBA in May 2022, with his scholarship covering the first two modules.
“Two years after finishing my Open University degree in Business Management and Economics, I was thinking ‘What do I want to do now?’. I had already been promoted at work, but I was thinking about the next step.
“As an OU graduate, I recognise the unique learning opportunity offered by the OU and was keen to advance my influence in the business world as a proud OU alumnus.
"I’d recently been promoted to a management position in my organisation, AB Dynamics, where we manufacture the world’s most comprehensive range of automotive test and development systems, enabling vehicle manufacturers and tier one partners to develop safer, more environmentally friendly vehicles. Now a Planning Manager, I was hungry to develop my business acumen and leadership skills further.
“My promotion was made as part of our business strategy, in which we are seeking to develop our teams. So, I asked myself ‘How can I make myself better?’.
With the OU MBA under my belt, I feel I will be able to make a positive impression in the workplace and beyond.
“I had looked at some Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) courses, some other degrees and the OU MBA. I wondered whether first to do an ILM course and then the OU MBA. But I saw on LinkedIn that applications had opened for the Future Leader Fund Scholarship Fund and decided to apply.
“I was worried that I was applying too soon at 32. But, to my surprise, I was selected and so they’ve essentially decided for me that now is the right time. I think I would always have done the OU MBA anyway; I just didn’t realise I’d be doing it so soon! I have also discovered that the first two modules give me the ILM qualification which is a bonus, although I do plan to continue to complete the full MBA.
When I heard that my application for the Future Leader Fund Scholarship had been successful it was quite emotional, I just didn’t think I would get it. I almost had to pinch myself and it took a few days for it to sink in.
“The initial modules are topics that any leader should understand. These modules will stand me in a strong position to continue to develop in my role, reflect on my own strengths, while applying learning to my working practice, ahead of progressing to complete the full MBA.
“My plan is to undertake the MBA in Technology Management route as I think it’s more relevant to my career and company. I was attracted by the course content – particularly the management elements, the diversity of the modules, and the chance to collaborate with people globally.
“Within AB Dynamics, there will be a lot of development going forward, so I hope I’ll be in a better position for that with an MBA qualification. The triple accreditation and global endorsement of the OUBS MBA make it ideal for a professional working within an international organisation. I believe the strong international emphasis will open opportunities for me not only in the UK but globally, which I may not otherwise have had.
I already know that the OU’s learning style suits me well, particularly with a full-time job and a young family to juggle. I can progress at my own pace, and the business I work for is keen to support me. The MD, who was one of my referees, has said to let him know what I need as he can arrange access to the right people. They’re hoping to be able to ringfence some time for me to study, too.
“I also feel that I’m at a point in my career where I can also make a valuable contribution to society outside of the workplace, in a voluntary trustee or governance position. My MBA will give me the confidence to do so.
“I can’t wait to be getting started on my MBA. I am looking forward to deepening my knowledge of management and structure – within my organisation and the wider business world – looking at how decisions can affect or influence people and results. I’m excited to work on the projects and assignments, and to talk about things with other students and learn from each other. It will all be hugely valuable to me.”
The Future Leader Fund Scholarship is no longer available. For more details on other Scholarships to support your study see our Fees and Funding page.