My experience of studying alongside a military career

21 April 2021

Distance Learning MBA current participant, Patrick Hinton, discusses how the flexibility of the Programme allows him to develop his business skills alongside serving in the British Army.

I am a serving member of the British Army. My MBA journey began back in the summer of 2019 when I applied for a bursary through the Heropreneurs Awards scheme. This application came after looking at likely paths when my military service came to an end, whether that is in a year, ten or twenty. 

Military experience is viewed positively in the civilian sector, and much is made of veterans' strengths. However, I was very wary that I lacked experience in subjects like finance, accounting, and analytics. I felt an MBA would help round my experiences and develop my business acumen. Heropreneurs is a military charity that provides business and entrepreneurial support to people as they transition from the armed forces to civilian life. Through the scheme, I was offered a place on the Distance Learning MBA and kicked off my studies in January 2020. 

I have worked full-time whilst studying, spending time abroad, and navigating the added complexity of the pandemic. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to our two physical Warwick Weeks as a result of the latter, but the course was already geared to deliver to a high standard virtually. As such, I do not feel too disappointed, and opportunities to get to the Warwick campus appear to be almost within reach.

I have enjoyed my experience of the Distance Learning MBA to date. Some subjects have come naturally, whilst others have been out of my comfort zone. The programme's flexibility has been vital, allowing me to engage with the syllabus on my terms. Learning materials are available at all hours of the day, which is perfect for unexpected occurrences. I have attended some lectures live, but then again do not feel hard done when watching recordings if my schedule did not allow attendance at the time. I have been able to lean on some of my own work experience to help my peers, and I have equally depended on them when straying from my knowledge base.   

One face-to-face module is on the horizon, to which I am very much looking forward. My mind is also turning to the prospect of the dissertation, which will be the final part of my studies, while each additional module studied opens opportunities for deeper research.  

Aside from the core academic modules, the Distance Learning MBA offers a world of support through the CareersPlus service, of which I am making good use. There is a wealth of resources to use, from coaching to CV reviews and regular guest speakers. Whenever it comes to making the leap from military to civilian life, this support is reassuring.    

I would recommend the course to anyone, both military and civilian, if they are looking to become part of a wonderfully supportive and engaging community alongside broadening their professional horizons. I would also offer my thanks to Warwick Business School and Heropreneurs for supporting me in this venture. 

WBS is delighted to be sponsoring the Heropreneurs 2023 Awards. The winner of the WBS Award will receive a 100% bursary to study one of our MBA or Executive Diploma programmes, while the runner-up will be awarded a substantial 75% bursary, and the third-place contender will receive a generous 50% bursary.

Applications to apply for the 2023 WBS Heropreneurs Bursary Awards is Sunday 30th July. For more information, please visit the Heropreneurs website.