The Ramblings of a Mature Student

The Ramblings of a Mature Student

I have enjoyed a successful sales career for the past 18 years having attended many sales focused training days and workshops, however never having the opportunity to do any formal sales qualifications until my current employer and the ISMM course.

For the past few years at my yearly reviews with my line manager, I have been asked if the opportunity arose would I consider doing the ISMM course, that flippant answer always being yes!

Then came the day when the question changed from “if the opportunity arose would you consider” to “we would like you to consider the next ISMM course”, I had a few weeks to make my mind up, but the decision for me had to be Yes.

I was even questioned by some of my colleagues, why at my age did you want to put myself through the pressure and what did I hope to achieve, my answer was that I still wanted to progress in my career, I am still ambitious and want to succeed and to be honest I fancied a challenge, I also noticed that other colleagues in my organisation who had already done the course were the ones picked for promotion, it seemed to be some form of pre – requisite. So I confirmed my intention in December 2014.

I was informed that my course would start in April 2015, and then it dawned on me what had I done! A whole raft of things went through my mind, what happens if I can’t do it, what happens if I fail, how am I going to fit it in with my family and business life and the fact I am away on business over 80 nights a year.

My son was nine at the time and thought it was fantastic that Dad was going back to school, I even got my own pencil case, protractor set and even a pencil with my own name on it from Father Christmas............brilliant!

Over the next couple of months I was offered all sorts of advice from colleagues, all with the best intentions I am sure, so a week after my 50th birthday the course began and 30 years since I last went to college during my apprenticeship.  

However it’s not till you have your first tutorial that it sinks in what is required “what is Harvard referencing” anyway?

We were a class of six, the tutor was superb and went through everything in great detail, over and over again if needed, mine and everyone’s concerns seemed more about the layout of the dissertation and the referencing, rather than the content.

Sunday morning I went up to my office about 10.00, my wife and son went to kids football, at 13.30 when they returned I had written 40 words, I had erased and written them probably 20 times but still only 40 words, it did get a lot easier I must admit, but it also teaches you structure and process, once you have this your dissertation goes a lot easier.

Six weeks later I handed my first assessment into the marker, at this point, not only was I worried about the layout but also the content, however it was a solid pass, the jubilation I can’t tell you.

As the subjects rolled on, I surprised myself how much of the subject I already knew, just from my own knowledge and experiences in my career, you need to put it in writing to prove it.

It’s now June 2016 and it’s all over, yes a relief but I think well worth it and to be honest, I did enjoy the whole experience in a strange way, I learnt a great deal about the subjects and myself, yes, you have to put the hours in and be fairy strict on your own time, usually 3 to 4 hours was the maximum for me at each session, you must keep to the deadlines as well.

I am proud to have passed the ISMM and funnily enough I am even keen to continue studying which I never thought I would hear myself say, if you get the opportunity, make the most of it!

Bring on the MBA.

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