Graduation 2015: Rising to the challengeWednesday 22 July 2015
Victoria Grimbly works in the Faculty of Education at Liverpool Hope University as Postgraduate Taught Administrator. She has just completed her International Master of Business Administration (MBA) achieving a Distinction and is this year’s winner of the Dean’s Award for Achievement by a Business Masters Student. It has been a very challenging, but rewarding number of years for Victoria juggling work, a young family and her studies. Here she tells her inspirational story.
“As a working mum of two young children, I decided I wanted to do something that was just for me and would enhance my career at the same time. My family had been through a difficult personal time as I had a miscarriage at nearly five months, my father-in-law had passed away, my husband had been made redundant and was out of work for a year. This really made me stop and think about how I could better support my family financially and progress my career. In 2011, I enrolled on the International Masters in Business Administration as a part-time student.
“I chose the course as I wanted to learn about how businesses are managed in different contexts on a global scale. Furthermore, the programme enabled me to apply my practical skills as a project manager to the theoretical discussions in class. This culminated in my final research project, where I conducted a consultancy project for Liverpool Hope University. At first it was a daunting prospect to return as a mature student with a 13-year gap in my studies. However, as the course went on I started to really enjoy the challenges set in class, as well as learning to research and write academically again.
“My three years as a student were a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. Particularly learning how to juggle a full-time job with studying and a young daughter, who was just starting primary school. I gained a distinction in one of my first assignments on HR strategy, when all I thought I was capable of was a pass. During this time, I had also applied to volunteer at the London 2012 Olympic Games. There were over 250,000 applications, 100,000 people were interviewed for 70,000 volunteer roles. I successfully passed the different recruitment stages and was part of the transport team based at Park Lane, Mayfair, driving Olympic VIPs between different venues.
“After a successful first term I had a bike accident on my way to work and was rushed to hospital with concussion. I suffered bleeding on the brain but was lucky not to suffer any other injuries. It was a slow road to recovery. I was signed off work and my studies for four months. The Business School were very supportive and helped put a study plan together for me so that I could catch up at my own pace.
“In my second year of study I fell pregnant and was surprised at how supportive my tutors and fellow students were, especially when my belly was so big that I could barely fit behind the desks. I managed to finish my studies for that year just before my baby was due. I finished all my essays on Maundy Thursday and had my son on Easter Sunday.
“I decided not to interrupt my studies and finished my final taught modules while I was on maternity leave with the support of my family and a very sleepy baby. I returned to work part-time in 2014 and completed my consultancy project on the lifecycle of a Postgraduate student within the Faculty of Education at Liverpool Hope. This was the most challenging time of the course, but also the most rewarding as I was able to apply the theories taught in class to a real-life scenario.
“I feel very blessed to have had the support from the University as my employer and from my family to complete this course. I am looking forward to graduation this summer when I can celebrate with my family the achievement of gaining a Masters at distinction level.”