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Ian Thurgood's Testimony

Ian Thurgood

Name: Ian Thurgood

Job Title:  Joint Managing Director

Company:  Wilkin and Sons, Tiptree

Brief outline of education/qualification background: 

  • Fellow of Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • DMS (Distinction)

What was your motivation for studying for a masters degree?

To back up 30 years' practical experience with academic study into entrepreneurial behaviour. That study is now being used as the basis for finding and developing new business sectors for a long-established traditional British business. 


What attracted you to studying with MDC?

The flexible approach it offered, allowing me to continue with a demanding full-time work role whilst agreeing with the university a study programme that suited me personally.


How did you find your first residential weekend?

The first residential weekend was both inspiring and challenging. As with others on this course, I was returning to academic study after many years - initial apprehension proved to be unfounded and the academics delivering the materials were outstanding. I mention in particular Dr. J H Deacon and Dr. Simon Thomas because their natural skill and enthusiasm for their subjects were what spurred me on at just the right times.


What advice would you give to someone deciding between this programme, an on campus programme or a distance learning programme?

Be prepared to create your own programme and answer your own questions. This is a masters degree and that means behaving in a masterly fashion: you won't be spoon-fed facts and figures, there won't be recommended reading lists and you'll need to spend a lot of time working alone. For me, that was precisely what I had been looking for, the chance to research a self-determined subject in as much depth as I chose, at my own pace.


What does it mean to you to have graduated with a masters degree?

It's a gateway. I got what I wanted in a commercial sense, but I wonder too if graduation could be the catalyst for further research-based study, to share with others.


What has the reaction (to your graduation and to your achievements) been like from your family, friends and colleagues?

It must be said that some question why I chose to do this, forty years after leaving school. Family were highly supportive and understanding, sharing with me the pleasure of an achievement that has opened new doors.


Any other comments:

MDC were crucial to my success. Frances could not have done more to act as the conduit between student and institution. Distance learning brings its own challenges and it's good to know that almost whatever the situation, there is someone calmly and professionally standing in the background waiting to offer advice and assistance where it's needed.

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