Image: Student Neil DonaghyWhat is your current job role/position?

Rank - Warrant Officer Class Two (Yeoman of Signals) or WO2(YofS)

Trade – Yeoman of Signals

Cap Badge – Royal Signals

Currently Serving at 42 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North West or 42 Inf Bde and HQ NW.

My role involves designing, establishing and managing radio, telecommunications and computer information systems networks and their associate resources to meet the needs of defence; whenever and wherever it is required.

Joined in 1998.

Have you received any awards or commendations for your work within the military (either before, during or after your UDOL degree)?

Incidentally yes, I received 2 for the work in my research module/thesis. During part 1 of the Business Impact Study, I received a commendation from the NATO CIS Group Commander for the conceptual work developing how NATO can best deliver CIS (communication information systems) support to its deployed forces.

Subsequently, for the work I conducted during the implementation phase of the BIS, I was awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal (NATOs highest award) by the Secretary General. This was awarded for an outstanding contribution to the alliance and exceptional leadership (I have attached the write up (please do not publish) for info to add some context). Thesis title was:

“An Investigation into the Viability if the Signal Support Group Concept on the Provision of Communication and Information Support to the NATO Response Force.”

How has the ability to study for an MBA online benefitted you during your time in the military?

It has been extremely hard work and taken a lot of commitment, time and IT related tantrums to study. However, the benefits have far outweighed the negatives.

Leadership, management, ethics and an understanding of wider context (strategy) are vital in a military environment. The ability to understand academic theory behind these topics has enabled me to develop the way I undertake my role in differing situations. I don’t think I would be in the position I am today without the underpinning knowledge to guide me through.

Did you choose to study with the University of Derby Online Learning for any particular reason?

I looked at a lot of UK universities when applying for an MBA, however, UDOL were ELC accredited, it offered a complete distance learning package (all others involved some residential work) and it was cost effective (MBAs are very pricy). I travel with work a lot and the ability to conduct my study whenever and wherever I was (offline and online) was one of the key things when choosing UDOL.

What are your future career aspirations and how has completing an MBA helped you on your path to achieve these?

In the army my aspiration is to commission and then command a unit, I see this as the pinnacle of a career in the military. After the military, I would like to join a business in the defence / IT sector, in a management / operations management role. The MBA has provided me with skills and understanding of business that I don’t often see in the military and has made me a more rounded professional with a huge underpinning knowledge.

How do you think online learning could help others in the military expand their horizons?

I am a huge advocate for continual professional / personal development. All military personnel should look to use the benefits the military provides to improve themselves at work and after work. Online learning works well for military personnel as it doesn’t restrict them to a specific location.

Do you have a favourite motivational quote? If so, what is it?

When you go to work, don’t leave your heart at home

i.e. show passion in what you do. Enjoy it, embrace it, Don’t be a robot. If people around you see your passionate about your work, it rubs off and creates a better, more productive working environment.