Studying Business Management online after 25 years of work

After 25 years working in the Oil and Gas industry, Lee Kemp decided to study BA (Hons) Business Management at RGU to upskill. He shares his experience of the online course, juggling a full-time job, a family and his studies before finally graduating in 2017.

Why did you choose RGU?

I chose RGU because I wanted to achieve my degree with a highly reputable university that had global recognition, especially within the Oil and Gas industry which I was working within at the time. I also decided to go to RGU because of its links with my home city of Aberdeen. Having looked at several online courses, I felt RGU were very inclusive for anyone who was interested in further education and looking to better themselves. Furthermore, their performance statistics were second to none and very impressive. 

What attracted you to study BA (Hons) Business Management?

Having left school at 16 to embark on my Youth Training Scheme apprenticeship as a Plant Mechanic, a degree was never an option for me, especially coming from a single parent family. 30 years later, I began looking at various degrees. At first, I thought of doing an engineering degree which would have only quantified my 25 years’ experience in the O&G industry as a Subsea Engineer.

Instead, I wanted a degree that would make me stand out from the crowd. A degree that would potentially help me secure an international position and allow my family to experience life internationally. Business is business no matter what industry sector you work in. I felt I could potentially use this degree no matter where my career path took me.

What was the highlight of your degree?

Having my wife, two daughters (10 & 5 at the time) and my grandmother (82 at the time) with me at the awards ceremony at the Beach Ballroom made me immensely proud. It also allowed me to show my daughters that no matter how old you are, you can achieve anything if you put your mind, effort, and time into it. And of course, receiving it from Sir Ian Wood was very special as well.

How was your experience of studying online?

Online studying is great if you have a great internet connection. When I embarked on my BA (Hons) Business Management journey, we had a young family and I was working full time for a Norwegian company. This involved a lot of travelling to various countries such as Angola, Azerbaijan, and Norway. If you have travelled to either Angola or Azerbaijan, you will know that the internet connection can be problematic and is certainly not good for the heart when you are trying to submit your assessments in on time.

When the internet connection was great, I would often get lost trawling through Campus Moodle for hours reading through the library and learning about things I never knew about. I also felt no matter where I was in the world, there was always someone else from the course online that you could speak with. It was great to get their perspective on the subject as well.

How has your degree supported your career?

I feel my degree has supported me in several ways since I graduated back in 2017. For a start, it got me into the position I am today. It has also answered a lot of questions about business processes that had been unanswered for several years, and allowed me to fully understand them. This has made me better at my job.

The degree has also allowed me to support other colleagues in the various teams I have worked with since then. I have shared my understanding of specific topics with them, which hopefully allowed them to make their work easier.

Any tips for future RGU students?

Firstly – Ask questions, lots of them. I found Susan Lawrie, Karen Knorr, and the rest of the Business School team very supportive and helpful, no matter what questions or queries I may have had. At no time did I ever feel like I was asking a stupid question, which I am forever grateful.

Secondly – Be the best you can be, give it 100% no matter what. I was fortunate enough to complete my degree after an unconditional acceptance into 3rd year. I set aside a minimum 20 hours a week whilst working full time to achieve my degree. Set aside the hours you need to do the work. Focus on that first and then you will have time to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty.

Lee Kemp


BA (Hons) Business Management now includes a fully funded or reduced fee option for Scottish residents. Learn more on the RGU website.

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