In 1998, I decided to make a career change and leave hospital medicine to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer in the UK. I quickly recognised the need to improve my management skills and I wanted a course that would fit in with my busy lifestyle that necessitated much travelling. My training as a doctor had made me realise that the learning model which best suited me was one where I could learn the theory and quickly apply this to my own working life and issues. For these reasons, I chose to complete the Professional Certificate in Management and Professional Diploma in Management courses through the OU Business School.
In 2000, I was promoted to Medical Director in Ireland with responsibility for the medical management of all Pfizer Medicines in Ireland. My new role meant that I required people medical management, strategic management, marketing and creativity skills. I made the decision to continue my business training and complete my MBA. The MBA allowed me the opportunity to network with people in many different areas and countries. There was advice on how to study on a distance learning course which helped me to fit the coursework into an already busy life. Rarely able to attend the face-to-face tutorials because of work and family commitments, I relied on the computer conferences to keep in touch with other students on the course, especially those from my study group. During the courses, I attended the short compulsory residential school, which helped me to consolidate my learning and provide an opportunity to talk with students and tutors from outside the study group. Finally, four years after embarking on the first course, I was a proud fully-fledged MBA graduate. All of this was achieved while working full-time, moving home, being involved in charity events such as a marathon and a 75km hill walk and finding time for my wife and three children. That’s the beauty of distance learning - you can fit your study around your life and obtain a proper study-life balance.
The Open University, together with international partners, offers its MBA and many other programmes across the globe.