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Mike Redford

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Mike started his MBA in 1993, having done his undergraduate degree with the OU some years earlier. Today, he is CEO and majority owner of AddSeat by AddMovement in Sweden, which manufactures personal mobility vehicles that give wheelchair users a whole new level of mobility.

“I’d previously done a degree with the OU with a focus on Business and Computing. I loved the courses, and the structure was excellent.

“By the time I returned to OU study, I had my own brokerage business and simultaneously was doing consultancy work but I was considering permanent roles. When I was researching for senior, permanent positions, I noticed that the requirement for an MBA was a common theme. I decided that it would be a good idea to get rid of any obstacles that could stand in the way of me getting an interview so I thought I’d go for it.

“I looked into which MBAs were well received, and the OU was already scoring well and was rated highly by various bodies. I knew and liked the OU’s system already, and it meant I wouldn’t have to take any time out of work. Plus, I was also doing my Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) qualifications. By choosing the OU, I knew I could carry on with those, too, as I could fit it all around my lifestyle and commitments. They recommend you don’t study something else at the same time but as usual, my ‘what the heck?’ attitude kicked in, and if you want to do something, you can find the time, even if it’s a challenge. Ideally, you can marry OU study with your work, and it was satisfying for me to apply the learning straight away.

“To anyone who is thinking of taking up OU study, I would highly recommend it. Of course, it’s a matter of discipline. You have to focus and find the time, and you’ll need the support of the people around you. But it’s so, so, so worth it.

“I enjoyed the summer schools and found them helpful in lifting the spirits by meeting others who were suffering like me! Studying at home can be lonely but I met a broad spectrum of people at the summer schools and, over a glass of wine, found that we were all in the same boat.

“Achieving my MBA gave me a new-found confidence and has helped with my career and own business development, including becoming Head of Regulated products for Xelector in Dublin and Head of E-commerce at the Financial Times in London.

“In 2013, while living in Sweden, I was introduced to the woman behind AddSeat, Marit Sundin. In 2015, I became involved with the company, AddMovement, to help the international development, and I took over majority control of the business in 2016. We are now in the next stage of expansion and fundraising, working with the NHS in the UK and partners in the USA to create the next level of mobility products. The skills developed by the OU Business School MBA continue to come in so useful.”