Shandan Tessa Samuel, St Lucia – Top Paper Award in Marketing Information Systems studied at National Research & Development Foundation (NRDF) and self-study

Shandan Tessa SamuelI was exploring a few online university options when I decided to visit NRDF to find out what opportunities were available to me that could fit my very busy schedule.  You see, apart from being a full-time employee who travels quite frequently, I am also a a single parent, and an owner of a micro business, so I needed to find the right fit for my schedule. 

After exploring options which needed at least a 70% class attendance rate (that would certainly not work for me), I learnt about the Association of Business Executives UK (ABE).  Upon further research, I found out that ABE is well recognised throughout the world and accredited by Ofqual, the UK government’s qualifications regulator as well as other regulatory authorities. 

It felt like the perfect marriage, one which afforded me the ability to be flexible, on par with some course models at a Masters level but at an extremely affordable price.  I began my journey in December 2014, at Level 5 (equivalent to second year  at university) in Marketing Management.  First I opted to do two courses self-study for the June 2015 examinations and succeeded.  Subsequently, I pursued three courses for December 2015 exams, with  one face to face at NRDF, whilst the other two were self-study.  The last three courses to complete Level 5 in June 2016 were all done via self-study as I was unable to attend classes due to frequency of my travels. 

Despite the self-study, I was able to gain a Top Paper Award, (higher distinction) in one of these courses, a remarkable achievement! Now I am on to Level 6 (equivalent to third year university) , with just five more courses to go! Thereafter, my credits can be used with over 80 universities throughout the world.

I enjoy most the learning experiences as the models are real life not to mention the fact that at such an affordable price, I am able to be at the same level as others who have spent at least three times the amount at other institutions.  More importantly, is the flexibility it affords me, allowing me to balance work, home and study.

I would recommend anyone with a passion for higher learning to explore the opportunities available with ABE UK.  With a dash of ambition, a few drops of discipline and time management you can achieve whatever goals you set for yourself.  I may be up “burning the midnight oil” but this is only temporary for the benefit of the successes that come with it. It is simply an investment in ME.