Work-based Distance Learning Alumni Shares His Learning Experience at LIBS

Tom Cowans, Operations Manager (Highways), shares his experience studying a WBDL (Work-based Distance Learning) BA Business Management programme at Lincoln International Business School.

What has the programme taught you?

“The degree programme has without question taught me a tremendous amount and enhanced my managerial skills. I am so pleased to have found the Lincoln WBDL degree programme as not only did the distance learning mean I could continue working full-time, but also, the modules could be achieved through application of my practical work experience. Many of the traditional degree programmes still require attendance at a university, typically on a three-year, day-release basis. This did not appeal to me, particularly as a number of those degree courses also had mandatory modules in areas that were not relevant to my practice.

“The flexibility of the degree was evident in many ways. Particularly, the core subject areas and key criteria could be satisfied by application of theory to practical experiences in the workplace, rather than purely theoretical based work. This served to not only make the course interesting, but also meant the course provided significant worth in application to problem solving and change management within the workplace. The programme also provided a very welcome opportunity to pause studies when workloads were high and this was always professionally managed by the WBDL administrative team.

How has the programme help you?

“The programme has helped in many ways, but what I am most pleased about is that it has provided me with the skills to better support and develop my team, for example, through passing on skills and knowledge gained, allowing them to improve. Lincoln have also aligned with the CMI (Chartered Management Institute), which was a huge boon for me as it will mean I also gain a level five Management and Leadership Qualification with the CMI and put me well onto the path of achieving Chartered Status, something of significant importance to me. I think also, not having previously gone to a university, doing so as a 40 year old mature student and attaining a first-class degree is a real badge of honour, and in honesty, something I believed I had missed the opportunity to do. So, with Lincoln running this course, it has opened up many possibilities and work opportunities that previously would have been closed having not had a degree qualification.

“I was completely new to degree-level academia and found the modules significant yet achievable and the programme is well-structured to develop the skills of the student. I found myself looking back at the initial ‘study-skills’ module, which at the time was challenging, when completing my dissertation and was both staggered and proud of how far I had developed.

“All required resources are made available in many different formats which are easily accessible through the blackboard platform. I found all my tutors to be very knowledgeable, understanding and empathetic and would always push you to achieve your best.

How did you find learning at a distance?

“Learning at distance will always have its own challenges, mainly the requirement to maintain the required discipline to undertake the work. However, it also offers many advantages, such as the ability to plan around work and family commitments.

“At the end of the day, it is a degree programme and it is going to require dedicated effort to complete. You can though, maintain a sensible balance between work life, home life and study, and the course offers a major ‘real-world’ advantage in so much as studies can be paused when work commitments ramp-up.

Would you recommend studying a WBDL course at Lincoln International Business School?

“Lincoln WBDL gave me the chance to study for a degree at a time in my life when I thought the opportunity had been lost and I would not be able to progress in my managerial career. I would highly recommend the WBDL programmes to anyone who wants to improve themselves.”

Tom Cowan