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Joe Finucane

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Joe decided to embark on an OU MBA while working full-time, as a way to progress his career and better himself. With two promotions under his belt since graduating, he’s a shining example of success. He shares his story.

“I decided to study with the OU Business School because I wanted to obtain a post-graduate business degree while still continuing my career. I chose the OU as it offered the best flexibility in allowing me to study and learn around my own schedule. The MBA is triple accredited and well respected.

“I loved the experience of studying with the OU. It was a combination of the hardest and best thing I have ever done. I really enjoyed the residential schools. There was great camaraderie with fellow students and I relished working with others in a shared experience, all of us learning and working at the same time. The online tools all worked really well, allowing me to put in lots of study time on my commute.

“My qualification had a profound impact on my career. I went from a Principal Consultant, to Associate Director, to Chief Technical Officer reporting to the CEO, all since graduating. This would not have been possible in this time frame without the MBA. My employer supported me throughout my studies as they see the value obtained by adding managerial qualifications to a technical manager role. It’s not just the letters ‘MBA’ – the actual learning and confidence that it gives you is worth so much more. In my current role, I have to draw on everything I have learned and am still learning, to be successful.

“Since obtaining my OU qualification, I now feel that I have a bank of internal resources, models and frameworks to assess situations and manage people and problems. Although I wouldn’t actually discuss the theory or framework with people, I use the processes behind them as part of everyday work life. Having these tools has given me huge confidence in my approach to projects and challenges.

“There were always time pressures, particularly around tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), especially as I was working and studying simultaneously. I had one module, Strategy, where I just wasn’t getting high marks. I couldn’t figure out what was I was doing badly and what I needed to do. I phoned my tutor and he took me through exactly what was required, the standard expected and explained why I was being marked down. He ended up being quite an influence on my MBA as he showed me the high standards and attention to detail required, which I was able to take through to all my other modules.

“When I found out I’d been awarded Dissertation of the Year in the 2019-20 Student and Alumni Awards, I was shocked and honoured. It was not an accolade that I was aware of or aiming for, but I was delighted to receive this recognition for all the hard work I put into my dissertation.

“My OU studies have reinforced the principle of being a lifelong learner. In IT, the change is rapid and constant, so being prepared to keep learning every day is so important if you don’t want to get left behind.

“To anyone thinking of studying with the OU Business School, I’d say that it will definitely be hard. You’ll have to sacrifice quite a lot of your personal life for a number of years, but you won’t regret it.”