Case study

Tyra achieves
more than
she thought
possible

Online student Tyra Johl has achieved more than she ever thought possible. She has gained a First in her Business and Management BSc (Hons) degree while juggling some major life changes, including getting married and having two children - one of whom was born just two weeks before graduation.

Balancing commitments

Over the four years Tyra studied at the University of Derby Online Learning, as well as her wedding, her children and her degree, she travelled to 15 different countries, lived in two countries and managed to save a nest egg.

"I associate this course as a huge part of my life when everything happened," she says. "I have grown and changed these last few years and I think my time at the University of Derby Online Learning has played a huge part in that.”

Career aspirations

Tyra studied online Business and Management BSc (Hons) with the aspiration of developing her career in management. She explains: "I am currently an editor/ writer and I was teaching English to second language learners before that.

"I have always dabbled in many start-ups and knew that I would be a business owner some day. I believe this course has given me the necessary skills in order to further pursue a career in leadership and management."

Tyra and her son at her graduation
Tyra with her children, husband and academics in the photo booth at her graduation

Why Derby online?

Tyra was living in China when she was looking for a course but she wanted to achieve a British degree. She says online learning "was the perfect opportunity".

She explains: “After researching many online institutions, I found that Derby’s tuition fees were the best available for the course of interest. I also liked that it was affiliated directly with the University of Derby and was not just an online school.”

Boosting her confidence

When Tyra first started her course, she set a target of achieving a 2:1. She didn’t believe she would be able to achieve higher than that. She says: “I had doubts about my reading abilities as, before I started this course, believe it or not, I had never read an entire book before.

“I really liked the support that I got on my course. When I was doing my dissertation, I was on the borderline between a 2:1 and a first. I mentioned to my tutor how much I wanted to get a first and she really supported me and helped me to push myself in order to get past that borderline. And I did it!”

Tyra says she became excellent at writing and started working for a publishing company to help edit and write books and publications. And, thanks to her Mandarin abilities, she was also able to take up translation writing projects.

“I am amazed at the skills I have gained from this course that I never thought I could have," she says. "I am now a keen reader and I am able to finish entire books in a day!”

Tyra Johl on getting a first.

View Online Business and Management BSc (Hons) Tyra Johl video transcript

So, what did she think?

Now that Tyra has finished her studies, she says: “I fully recommend this programme to my high school students in China and many are applying as we speak. I think there was a good mix of learning tools available through videos, textbooks, journals, quizzes and tasks.”

Tyra was also really impressed by the graduation at the end of the course and enjoyed celebrating on home turf directly with the University, her peers and her teachers. She says: “I am glad to feel a part of the University.”

People networking at a business event

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