Who studies at Derby?

Group of students in a classroom. Mixed ethnicities and genders. “The multi-cultural environment and amazing camaraderie amongst my course mates was the most enjoyable thing.” Jude Alexander, MBA graduate

Extend your network

Our MBA participants come from all over the world and from all professions, so you will be learning with - and from - a diverse group of people.

Everyone brings their own unique talents, experiences and opinions to the table, so expect lively end enlightening discussions. Think of your fellow participants as your new global network of experts.

Close up of MBA graduate, Nicola Downes

Nicola Downes has just completed her MBA. She was sponsored by her employer, Marley Eternit, which provides roofing and cladding solutions to the construction industry. When she started the MBA, Nicola was Contact Centre Manager, but she had worked her way up to this position over 13 years, initially joining Marley Eternit as an administrator. Since she started the programme she has been promoted and is now Head of Customer Service and Logistics.

Having passed on going to university when I left school and opting to go straight into employment, I wanted to prove to myself that I could academically back up what I had learned over the years. I also wanted to progress within the company and I felt that an MBA could help. At first, the thought of writing assignments really concerned me. However after the first semester I felt so much more comfortable with the process and I met some great friends who were really supportive. The MBA at Derby gives you a good understanding of all business areas and encourages a more strategic and critical outlook.” 

Close up of MBA participant, Ali Darwish Karbon

Ali Darwish Karbon from Qatar is studying at Derby for the second time, having completed his undergraduate business degree here several years ago. He’s had an interesting career, initially as a mechanical technician in the oil and gas industry and then as a paramedic; a job he always wanted to do. Having worked his way up to be a senior operations manager in the Qatari Ambulance Service, Ali set his sights next on becoming a member of the Executive and was advised to do an MBA. Having enjoyed his bachelors degree so much, his first choice was to return to Derby and study full time:

“The University made such a good impression during my bachelors degree: the great effort that all the tutors put in and the co-operation and support I had from the International Student Centre. Now on my MBA, the support has been just as good; I could never have expected more.” 

Close up of MBA graduate Laura Hunt

Laura Hunt was working as the Asset and Estates Manager at East Staffordshire Borough Council when she began the MBA, and was a fully qualified Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). She’s recently completed the qualification, which she studied part time. As well as juggling full time work and study for two qualifications (she took a Sports Massage Diploma during the second year of her MBA!), Laura overcame difficulties in her career and personal life during the course of her MBA, including dealing with redundancy.


“I would 100% say that the MBA helped me through this very difficult time. I learned to deal with these situations and apply myself during times when I think most people would not…Fortunately, I got a new job within a week of being made redundant! I now work as a Project Manager for an international construction company called Mace. Currently I project manage the construction of Free Schools across the country working with the Education Funding Agency.

Sharman Aldridge, MBA graduate

Sharman Aldridge is a senior manager in the NHS and graduated from our MBA several years ago. She's found that the qualification has had a positive effect on all areas of her working life: "The subjects I covered in the MBA have all enhanced my work performance. The MBA language has helped me understand subjects in greater depth, especially strategy and finance. I am able to pass this learning on to my teams as well. From a personal point of view completing the MBA with a good grade feels a great achievement in itself. My confidence has strengthened and I am certain I offer more in my role with this additional knowledge."

Sharman has moved sideways in the NHS since completing her course but now has her sights on a promotion: "I am in the process of interviews for a more senior role, which demands a masters degree. I have been able to call upon the knowledge and theories learned on the MBA, to help my application and interview preparation."

Close up of MBA participant, Robert Roden

Robert Roden is using the MBA to help him secure a new career in operational management, after 24 years in the Military. During that time Robert worked in logistics and communications as well as HR. After leaving the Forces, he took up a place at Derby to study an undergraduate degree in Business Management and was motivated to continue his studies, joining the MBA as a full time participant:

“I am very impressed by the lecturers and the guest speakers – their past working knowledge, and that of my peers, helps me better understand the subjects. At first it was the qualification I sought but now it’s more about the journey.”

Close up of MBA participant, Kimberley Simonis

Kimberley Simonis is from the US but relocated to the UK in order to be with her boyfriend and to study the MBA full time. After graduating from Arizona State University five years ago with a bachelors degree in Spanish, Kim started her own language training and business consulting company in Brazil. She ran this for three and a half years and then moved back to the US and worked in IT sales and marketing. Kim is taking the MBA to help her find a managerial position in a new field.

“I chose Derby over the University of Nottingham because of its reputation and affordability. I am really enjoying the course so far and have been impressed by the passion and knowledge my tutors have.”