5 Minutes with MBA Graduate Lisa Varley

5 Minutes with MBA Graduate Lisa Varley


We were lucky enough to speak with MBA Graduate Lisa Varley during our 2014 Graduation Ceremony, about how she found the MBA process and what it means to her and her career to have this qualification.

How did you find the MBA?

It was challenging, but it was good challenging. For the type of job I have, this MBA was perfect. I had actually been thinking about completing one for a while, and I sought out information about it – but the AIB degree was outstanding. I travel for work, and it fit in beautifully for my lifestyle, as I can sit and read whilst on the move for work – it is perfect for anyone who has a job and has to travel.

Has completing the AIB MBA helped you to achieve your career goals?

Absolutely – it got me the job I wanted! I moved into my current role midway through the MBA. I am a very mature student, in my fifties – I left school when I was 16, and I work in the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s always held me back a little, the fact that I didn’t have a degree in the industry I work in – it’s very important that you do have an MBA. I was lucky I had gone as far as I did, but I think saying that I had an MBA in progress got me job interviews I would not have got before. I have been in middle management for many years, but the MBA has helped me to shift up to the next level, which is great.

Did you find it difficult to maintain a balance between your work and study commitments?

For me, it was all about discipline and planning. There are no excuses; it’s like going to the gym or going on a diet. I studied for two hours a day – around 14 hours a week. I used to read on the way to work, or on the plane, and do one to one and a half hours every day and play catch up on the weekend if I had done really well during the week. Also, not having studied formally like this before, I started a study group with 5 other people, to provide additional support throughout the degree.

This article has been constructed by Simone Ball from an AIB video interview. The very best has been done to accurately reflect the thoughts and opinions of the participant. 

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