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Sergio Morales

Sergio studied for an MBA after taking advice from a friend who told him having the backing of an MBA from a good university would give him a good standing in business. He never intended to use it to change career but observing his fellow students has given him food for thought and the motivation to take on a new challenge.

I am from Venezuela, but I now live in Italy. My family emigrated to the United States and then Italy from my home country when I was younger to flee the economic and political difficulties that still face the country today.

I originally studied to be a land surveyor but soon after finishing the qualification I decided that actually, I didn't want to be a surveyor so I looked at other options. I decided do a degree in economics and then after I finished that I took advice from a friend who told me that I should continue my education with an MBA as this would give me a good standing in business as well as boosting my self-esteem.

I chose to do my MBA with the OU because of the incredible opportunity it gives you to study and work at the same time. I had to work to be able to pay for my studies otherwise for me it wouldn't have been possible to afford the fees. I was also very lucky because my current boss personally subsidized my studies - which I will pay back in the near future.

I didn't know about the OU before I did my MBA but I found it through an internet search where I was looking for a good university, which would respect my situation at that time.

My main motivation for studying the MBA was purely for the personal satisfaction of having a good level of education. However, whilst I was studying I got the opportunity to see what my fellow students were doing within their various different companies. It gave me something to think about and has motivated me to look for a new challenge professionally now I have completed my MBA.

Studying for an MBA requires dedication because you often have to exclude yourself from social invitations. For example, there were times when my friends would call and ask if I wanted to go to the beach, but I'd have to say no because I needed to submit a TMA, or they'd say 'let's go to the disco' and I'd have to say I couldn't because I'd have an Elluminate session.

I found in these situations that I had to keep perspective and think about the future because otherwise it's very tempting to just say 'I'm twenty five, you only live once - I'm going to quit my studies and go out and enjoy myself!'

Its difficult organising your studies around your life but my trick was to put the word 'studies' above everything else that was on my mental to-do list. This allowed me to give priority to my studies and not to other activities, which were a priority before embarking on my MBA.

My time with the OU was so much more than an academic journey. Studying for an MBA enables you to look at everything from another perspective and with a critical eye. This new viewpoint means you can "think outside the box" which is a great skill to have in order to improve your ideas - not just in business but also in a personal sense.

My advice to anyone planning to study an MBA with the OU would be to have a lot of perseverance and a willingness to study online. Studying from home where you are surrounded by a thousand temptations to distract you from learning is very different to studying in a classroom.

Now I have completed my MBA I have mixed emotions. On the one hand it feels good to finish because now I have more time to spend on other activities. But it also feels strange because after studying for five years continuously, I now feel like there is a "hole" in my day without needing to read a book or write a TMA. In fact as soon as I finish my MBA I am going to start studying Russian language to close that empty hole in my day, which I usually dedicate to my studies.