Age: 40 years old.
Degree and university: 1st Degree – Geography, BA (Hons) 1st Class, Cambridge University, 1988 – 1991.
2nd Degree – Political/Development Economics, Cambridge University, 1991 – 1996.
3rd Degree – MBA, Cranfield University, 2008 – 2009.
Professional Qualification: Associate, Chartered Insurance Institute, 1999.
Did you come into postgrad study straight after your degree? After my first degree at Cambridge I went straight into studying for my PhD, yes. However, I then worked in the insurance industry for 12 years before doing my MBA.
Why did you decide to continue your studies? I wanted to change industry sectors after 12 years in insurance and felt that an MBA offered a credible way to do so.
How did you fund your study? With my savings plus a Cranfield Scholarship. Also, my wife works full-time as a Group Financial Director.
How is post-grad study different from undergraduate study? The sheer intensity of the course and workload. Compared with an undergraduate degree, the pressure is far more intense. You do the same volume of work as for a three-year undergrad degree but packed into 11 months. The standard of teaching and ancillary study is very high, but it sometimes feels like sitting down for a seven course, Michelin starred meal, and being told that you have to finish it in half an hour.
How do you think popstgrad study will further your career? It should make me a more attractive prospect for employers beyond my immediate sector.
Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study? Understand the level of commitment and be clear what you want to get out of the study. Having said that, some study is an end in itself, and you should remain flexible about your goals.