Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m Ian Harford, a 43 year old entrepreneur based in South Derbyshire, UK. I have a portfolio of four SMEs that include an event management company, marketing and media agency, film production company and an e-commerce business. I started my career working as a cleaner in a factory and have worked my way from the shop floor to the boardroom. I’m committed to learning new skills and providing career paths that enable my teams to achieve their potential.
What prompted you to pursue an online MBA? Specifically, why was online appealing to you?
I've enjoyed a varied business career and have built up a great deal of experience along the way, learning all the time. However, in order to keep pace with the ever changing economic landscape and develop progression opportunities for my teams, I felt it was critical for the future of my businesses to develop new skills and abilities through continued learning. The Aston MBA is considered one of the best MBA programmes in the world, delivered by one of the most highly respected learning institutions.
What has the experience been like? Was it what you thought it would be like and has it met your expectations?
From guiding me through the initial application and induction process to the outstanding learning experience, coupled with ongoing student support, the Online MBA experience with Aston has been phenomenal. I had a number offers from other respected MBA providers, but chose Aston because of the friendly, supportive guidance every step of the way. Interaction with the teaching fellows and cohort members has been fantastic, enriching the learning experience and my enjoyment of the programme. The course delivery mechanism is easy to navigate and provides numerous opportunities to delve deeper into each topic. There is no limit to the learning potential, it’ll take you as far as you want to go.
If you were giving someone who was considering an online course advice, what would it be?
Be prepared to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Online learning requires commitment, dedication and personal investment – both in your learning and supporting those around you. The Aston Online MBA is a rich and rewarding learning journey that encourages greater understanding of the core elements of the programme through engagement with other members of your cohort. The more you put in, the more you get out.
Would you recommend the Aston programme and if so, what aspects of the course do you find appealing?
The Aston Online MBA has already added so much value to my business career, I can't believe I didn’t start sooner! The majority of my previous business skills had been learned ‘on the job’ and I was slightly nervous about moving back into education. I needn’t have been. The programme delivers principles of modern business theory and practice, whilst developing the skills to apply these to ‘real world’ situations through an immersive learning environment. I’ve learned as much about the practical application of business theory through wider discussion with fellow cohort members as I have from absorbing the learning materials.
Is there anything you’d like to add or anything you’d like to talk about that we did not touch on?
I’m proud to be part of the global Aston family and have already made many connections that will prove invaluable to my career and the future growth of my businesses. Embarking on the Aston Online MBA is not about individual learning, but engaging with other talented, visionary, inspirational people who are as committed to your learning experience as their own. It’s a truly rewarding experience that will help you to realise your full potential.