Student working on an open laptop, with a pen and paper and a mug.

Getting back into education – work based distance learning

After working for over 10 years in marketing I was ready to take on a bigger challenge. I have solid work experience – having worked hard over the years to progress, always challenging myself by learning on the job. However, I have always felt a little let down by my CV. I have always felt there was something missing. A lack of a degree.

When I left college I knew I wanted to go to university, however, circumstances prevented it at the time. Nevertheless, I always told myself that when the time came, at least I would know what I wanted to study, and at 18 I was not interested in Business Management! Though, when I came across the Lincoln Work Based Learning Programmes, I immediately knew which course was the one for me.

I wanted to make the move from marketing manager to a more strategic role, so the BA (Hons) Business Management looked like the right fit. I was looking for something that would utilise the experience I had already, as well as demonstrate my commitment to my career development. It also ticked the other box I needed of being available for distance learners. Whereas some colleagues I know have gone back to university full-time, that was not an option for me.

After deciding on the right programme it was still a whole two years before I finally applied. Was I ready to undertake a degree? I knew it would challenge me, whether I started now, or in the future. But once I finally went in for it, it felt great to get my application done. For me, there was no going back.

As well as the clear benefits for me, my employer will also get a lot out of it, but I was still really nervous just telling them. As my boss was new I felt like I was highlighting my lack of degree by mentioning it. However, they couldn’t have been more supportive.

It was really exciting when my application was accepted. I felt I had made that giant leap to further my career. I was going to be a student again!

So here I am, about to embark on a degree at the age of 33 and I could not be happier. I’ve got my first reading list, I’ve had a look round Blackboard, the online learning management system (definitely a lot less daunting than I thought it would be) and am looking forward to the online induction and meeting my tutors.

To any aspiring student who has yet to apply, just go for it. Yes, it’s scary, but it will feel great to make that first step. The nature of the WBDL programme means you’ve already got the work experience to support your studies. So you’re already half way there!

For more information on distance learning courses at the University of Lincoln, please visit the LIBS Distance Learning website.

This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln.

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