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Meet Our Students - Jennifer Butler

FdA Professional Practice International Trade

Jennifer Butler

You will immensely increase your understanding of how your industry works.

Why did you choose to do the degree?

I have found my niche in shipping – I am enamoured with all the different aspects of international trade and love learning new things every day. I fully believe that I will be in shipping for the duration of my career and to date have completed several short and day courses, as well as two NVQ’s. The Foundation Degree is the next logical step in my career.

How do you feel you will benefit from studying for this qualification both professionally and personally?

This qualification will benefit me professionally in expanding my horizons within the industry and allow me a better understanding of the industry as a whole, rather than simply my day to day job. It will also help me in my progress within the company. On a personal level, it will benefit me with a better understanding of the world in general and how it operates – and the time management is certainly something I can take away for other aspects of my life!

Which aspects of study have you found most challenging, how have you overcome these challenges?

The most challenging aspect of the studying is finding the time to study! There is a lot of in-depth material to research and absorb, and finding the right balance between family, work and studies is a challenge, but one I’m enjoying making the most of. I am lucky to have both a supportive husband and employer. My employer is kind enough to offer me quiet study areas on lunch breaks at the office, and my husband is very encouraging and we’ve agreed between us a minimum of two nights a week at home dedicated to studies.

What have you found most rewarding about studying this course?

It has opened my mind beyond my immediate role within my company and allows a greater understanding of the industry and how it works. I am keen to learn anything I can beyond my day to day duties and these studies allow me to do so in a structured manner.

How is you company benefitting from the course?

By increasing my knowledge with the subject matter included in the Foundation Degree, I will gain a better understanding of my company, the industry, and the global markets as a whole. This will allow me to be more informed when making decisions which could potentially have a greater impact than my immediate obligations. This degree will also provide strong background knowledge to assist with my progression within the company.

What advice would you give to anyone considering undertaking a work-based learning course?

Have a hard look at what you’re hoping to study and ask yourself – what do you want to accomplish with studies and does the course you’re looking at meet those needs? Will it benefit you in both a personal and professional way? Is it realistic to take on the studies with existing commitments both at work and with your personal life? If it comes down to a difficult decision, write a list of pros and cons of taking on the learning course. In my experience, if you want the education badly enough, you’re likely to be willing to overcome obstacles or difficulties in the pursuit of knowledge.

What tips do you have on fitting your studies around your outside commitments including work, family etc?

Be honest with yourself and your family about how much time you need to study and re-evaluate that regularly. There will be times when you simply won’t be able to concentrate or when family has to come first – better to spend that time with your family and make it up another evening when you’re refreshed than to risk missing something important. For work commitments, try to keep work and studies separate. It’s easier said than done, but by trying to keep a regular schedule of study nights, you’ll know when you walk to the office that morning that you need to do the best you can to leave on time to study.

Would you recommend your course to others? Why?

I would strongly recommend this course to anyone wishing to improve their general knowledge of shipping, its markets and the relevant areas associated with international trade. It provides a broad overview of areas not necessarily covered by the day to day responsibilities of most people in international trade. By having this additional knowledge, you will immensely increase your understanding of how your industry works.

FdA Professional Practice International Trade

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