John Ryalls - Undergraduate - University of Derby


Derby Business School Student Profiles John Ryalls

“The award has boosted my confidence and gives good reason for my family and myself to be extremely proud”
– John Ryalls

John Ryalls completed his joint honours degree in Marketing and Enterprise and also won the Barton Consulting Award for Best Undergraduate Enterprise Student in 2010.

Re-starting my education

Following a pressurised job at HSBC Bank Plc, I changed direction and returned to study a joint honours degree. The support and guidance I've received as a mature student getting back in to education, and balancing my studies with occasional illness has been second to none.

Real life studies make learning much more rewarding

I've particularly enjoyed the Enterprise modules of my degree. The emphasis is on independent learning, but there are plenty of books and online journals available for additional background material and research to support the lectures. Part of the course assessment is to engage directly with a real company, which has proven to be a very interesting and rewarding part of the course. What you put in is easily magnified by what you get out studying Enterprise at the University of Derby.  

Fitting in

As a mature student I was worried that I may not be able to make new friends. But I'm glad to say this hasn't been the case. I now have many student friends of all ages, both UK and international citizens. I've also developed new business networks and contacts that I believe will help my future career aspirations.

The fact that I'm a mature student hasn't hindered, but enhanced the University experience for me. I've thoroughly enjoyed the fact that I've been able to help and advise fellow students on all manner of subjects I wouldn't have had the knowledge of in my 20's.

Would I recommend Derby?

I'd have no hesitation in recommending to any potential student that they study their degree at Derby as the knowledge, help and understanding of the lecturers throughout my studies has been exemplary.

The most rewarding part of the course for me has been receiving positive feedback from the lecturers and the comments received from fellow students about my contributions to lectures and tutorials. The challenge for me was to prove whether I could still do it at 47, could I actually be a student. I've without a doubt done it, and with a just little more effort and bit of luck will be graduating with a degree in Marketing and Enterprise Management degree.

What next?

I'm currently applying for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector which I'll start once I finish my degree. The experience I've had at Derby is now guiding the rest of my career. Hopefully I will one day be able to give something back for the help and support I've received, by achieving my future goal of becoming a lecturer myself at Derby!

The Barton Consulting Award for Best Undergraduate Enterprise Student, 2010

I am delighted to have won this award, it's the icing on the cake for completing my studies at Derby. I feel that the award is recognition of the extra effort I have put in, and it will enhance my CV for potential employers, helping me to stand out from the crowd.