I decided on an MBA first as it was the most relevant to my role as an NHS manager. I looked at institutions in the North-East of England where I knew these universities housed business schools, however when researching further, Leicester appealed due to I decided on an MBA first as it was the most relevant to my role as an NHS manager. I looked at institutions in the North-East of England where I knew these universities housed business schools, however when researching further, Leicester appealed due to the flexibility of the mode of teaching in distance learning. It provided me with the opportunity to learn around the demands of my job and family. The university, business school and programme were all well-regarded so it was a relatively straightforward decision to choose the Leicester MBA.
I largely studied on a weekday evening and resisted the temptation of some good TV shows – Line of Duty and Game of Thrones! It was really important to develop good habits and get the study, professional and personal life balance right. I really enjoyed the MBA programme which made a huge difference and enjoyed it to the extent it left a large hole in my life once it ended. I met some great people and having the opportunity to meet in person at the MBA residential workshops was a great balance to weekly live tutorial sessions. The programme was well-designed and interesting and provided a great opportunity to meet and spend time with the rest of my cohort. We all had different professional backgrounds and came from several different countries. I learned a lot and miss them all. I have some great memories, especially from the workshop in the Summer of 2018.
It was a surprise when Dr Olga Suhomlinova got in touch after the course ended to say she had nominated me for the East Region CMI Student of the Year Award. Things progressed from there with winning the regional heat and then going through to the final at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, last November. I hope the award demonstrated that it is worth the NHS investing in the personal and professional development of its managers.
In my early NHS career I was responsible for the public relations of one of the largest NHS mental health service providers. The role gave me great insight into the world of crisis management, and whilst I left the world of PR nearly 10 years ago, the skills I developed during that time have been a huge benefit to me ever since. I am now Head of Primary Care for County Durham MHS Clinical Commissioning Group. To put it simply, having not had a background in either NHS commissioning or primary care, I don’t think I would have been shortlisted for the role without a master’s degree. Prior to studying the MBA, not having a master’s degree was becoming a bit of a barrier to my future progression. Now, working in primary care, I can learn new skills in a fresh environment.