“Life can be a roller coaster but one’s attitude to life sure makes a lot of difference,” says Vivian Asiegbu who works at Fidelity Bank in Lagos and holds an MSc in Management from the University of Liverpool.

“I believe in having a positive outlook to life and living my dreams to their fullest potential,” says Vivian. That determination to succeed is behind her decision to study for a masters, and the reason she was able to complete it while also holding down a demanding job.

Vivian already had a postgraduate degree – an MBA from a Nigerian university – but it wasn’t enough for her.

“The quest for more up-to-date knowledge was a strong incentive to obtaining a second master’s degree. However, this time around I wanted the degree from a time-tested prestigious university,” she says.

“It was very challenging,” she says. “You had to do a lot of research and be mindful of plagiarism. It was good. I enjoyed doing the research – checking the libraries, reading books, and also interacting with other students to get more ideas.”

Global classroom

The international nature of the online classroom was another advantage: “Back home you see the same people you are used to, but with Liverpool there are people from different countries and different backgrounds,” she says.

“The interchange of ideas with professionals from different parts of the globe is surely advantageous because of the increasingly globalised world in which we live and work.”

Vivian feels that the degree has broadened her knowledge and made her more versatile. She now has a better understanding of how culture affects management styles, for example. Through online discussions with classmates from around the world, she was able to see how the approach to management can be very different in different countries.

“The degree has brought me up to speed with international best practice in management,” she says. “It has helped in honing my analytical skills and research orientation. Needless to say, it has made an enormous impact in my day to day activities in the workplace.”

“I have acquired a greater latitude to compete better for different roles,” she concludes. “The degree has given me an edge and positioned me for greater responsibilities.”

“My colleagues are in awe of how I pulled through while being fully engaged at work. They are now encouraged to take up to challenge to enrich themselves.”

Advice for students

And what would she say to future online students as they take up the challenge of combining full-time work and postgraduate studies from a top UK university?

“Time management and determination are vital in succeeding as an online student,” according to Vivian.

“My enrolment advisor left me with a very good quote which I think students should have at the forefront of their minds: tough times never last but tough people do.”

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92% of University of Liverpool online alumni rate their overall experience studying with University of Liverpool as excellent or very good*

* Results gathered by the University of Liverpool in 2014 from 533 online alumni who responded to our survey (10% of those contacted).