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The flexibility of distance learning, the continued support from Anglia Ruskin University and a supportive employer will help me achieve my ultimate goal of obtaining a Masters by the time I reach 50.
Mark works as an Asset Delivery Manager for London Underground and is currently studying our online MSc in Project Management.
He has seen his management skills develop at a fast rate since starting the course and has been placed in the Top Specialist Talent Box in Transport for London’s (TfL’s) scheme for talent management and succession planning.
I worked in construction and my early education included a NVQ in Bricklaying and carpentry. I worked my way up to site manager by my mid 30’s, at which point I went back to college to study for my HNC. This gave me a thirst for learning and knowledge with the goal to obtain a Masters’ degree by the time I turn 50.
I’m gaining an in-depth knowledge of project management that will enable me to progress my career to a level I never thought possible a few years ago.
Learn, earn and progress your career
I'm gaining an in-depth knowledge of project management that will enable me to progress my career to a level I never thought possible a few years ago. It has also given me the confidence in my own abilities that I used to doubt at times. It’s helped me to develop my skills at a Masters level that I can utilise in my day-to-day tasks.
I am frequently being invited by senior managers to write reports and chair high-level meetings as a result of the way I hold myself and articulate what I have learnt. I am now being encouraged to apply for high-level roles and have been placed in the Top Specialist Talent Box in our in-house maximising potential scheme which is TfL’s framework for talent management and succession planning.
Some of the pass marks I’ve achieved have been surprising, in a good way. It’s built self-confidence in my own abilities and is showing in my approach to work.
My overall skill set has improved dramatically from how I compile and write reports to how I handle myself in high-level meetings representing my department.
I’ve received great support, advice and understanding from ARU. I had some personal issues and distance learning support and student services were extremely helpful and understanding to my needs.
The online services and resources are very good. Canvas is very easy to understand and use and the ARU website and online library are excellent. The quality of the learning materials, the knowledge and support of the tutors and way the course is run makes it enjoyable, which in itself makes it easier to study.
Tips for students
My biggest tip would be to stay ahead wherever possible. It can become stressful and daunting once you have to start chasing things and the quality of the work you produce will generally suffer as a result.
If you have an employer that will allow you to free up one day a week to study then take advantage of that. TFL are very flexible with me and as long as I do my work, they are happy for me to spend time on my studies. It is also important to set time aside at home, either in the evenings or over the weekend to concentrate on your work.