Chris Chambers from Chorley started on the foundation degree in business management in September 2015, and he has recently graduated with a BA (hons) in business management. Chris is a Sales Manager for EagleBurgmann, one of the worldwide leading providers of industrial sealing technology. They have around 6,000 employees, and their products are used in a number of industries - such as oil and gas, petrochemical, aerospace and pharmaceutical.

Chris liked the idea of studying part-time whilst still holding down a job. He enjoyed being in a smaller group with direct tutor support, and was able to make use of the resources in the online library.

Speaking of his time on the course, he said: “The location and course format appealed to me. Learning with like-minded people in a relatively small group in the evenings allowed me to still focus on my career progression and complete a bachelor’s degree at the same time. Being taught by real business leaders meant I was learning things that were relevant and could immediately be put into practice”.

Career progression 

Throughout the three-year programme, Chris got a promotion with further responsibility - and he says he’s got the course to thank for this. Chris said: “The course has allowed me to continue my rapid career progression with EagleBurgmann. The modules in my degree really helped me in my role. I feel more confident in my general approach to business. My new-found ability to constructively critique proposals, reflect and learn has extended my business knowledge and vocabulary to engage and appreciate the wider global business community.”

Chris’ manager, Neil Tyagi, supported him throughout his degree. Speaking of Chris’ journey, Neil said: “After some discussion on the programme of choice, I agreed to sponsor Chris on his journey and had full confidence that having seen and worked with him over many years, that he would demonstrate good leadership on the programme and would bring a lot of experience to any discussions.”

“Looking back, this programme has been a perfect match for his natural skillset as well as his continued career trajectory. Moving into a global role whilst undertaking the programme, Chris continues to bring his learning into the organisation and is able to discuss the impact of business decisions at a high level. There are few employees who have been lucky enough to have shared the diversity of Chris’s journey over a relatively short time, but this experience coupled with a quality academic degree which is recognised beyond the UK borders, now puts him in good stead for yet another jump in his career and to make one last push for a board position which he is ultimately destined for.”

Although Chris admits that there were ‘challenges’ at times, he said these issues were easily overcome thanks to nature of the course. He said: “Whilst working full-time with a young family was challenging, the degree of flexibility with separate tutorials certainly helped me to catch-up during times of increased personal and work commitments.”

Thanks to his experience, Chris is now a strong advocate for part-time study. When asked what his advice would be to anyone who is considering doing a degree whilst working, Chris said: “It’s a great way to challenge yourself and continue your personal development. It will help with career opportunities, and it will compliment your employment as you’ll be able to put the theory you’ve learned into practice. Just do it, don't put it off. It's never going to be the right time - so take the plunge!”

Chris is really enjoying his role at EagleBurgmann, and is looking forward to progressing further within the company. As well as focusing on his job, Chris is also turning his attention to a masters to boost his expertise even more. We know the future is looking very bright for Chris, and we wish him all the best.