I started with The Open University when I turned 18 and completed both my BA and MSc alongside a full time job. I did look into opportunities with other universities when I decided to do a PhD, but nowhere had the same quality of information or structure of support in place for part time or distance students.
Whilst managing in the voluntary sector in Wales, I developed an interest in how statutory and voluntary sector organisations work together, and decided to make this the focus of my research. Being a self funding student provides the advantage of being able to indulge my own research interests instead of being tied to the interests of a sponsor or superior (although this does mean I have to fund my own trips to conferences and network meetings).
Studying in this way does have its ups and downs, and there are occasional feelings of being isolated or overwhelmed, however the support and guidance received from my tutors and their encouragement to engage with the wider research community has been invaluable. Both of my tutors are extremely knowledgeable within their field, and I consider myself lucky to study under them.
I am now in my eighth consecutive year of study with the OU so it’s safe to say I am happy with the way they do things! I always recommend the OU to friends and colleagues who are considering new learning as I find it provides value for money and the flexibility to maintain a professional and social life around it.
The Open University, together with international partners, offers its MBA and many other programmes across the globe.