My MBA Journey: How I went back To Do My Masters 35 Years After My First Degree 🎓

As someone with a highly public profile, some part of my life is played out on social media. When I decided last year to go back to school, I shared the news with my social media network and I have carried them along every step of the way.

In a strange way, my Facebook folks motivated me to succeed. Many of them encouraged me with daily goodwill messages and words of encouragement…
But there are also those who mocked me secretly.
I really did not need to share that journey with anyone especially on such a public forum. I know many people who attend school or University and the first you know of it is when you see their graduation pictures.

But my overriding motive for publicly sharing my journey, and making it a “Reality Show” was to demonstrate to many in my position that it is never too late to retrieve and achieve a lost dream.

I do not have to be told that I am not the first to go for an MBA. I KNOW

I also know it is something my kids mates do every day without any noise. But when you left school at the age of 21 and then decide to return for a gruelling Master’s Degree 35 years later, with no kind of academic activity in between, and still manage to perform excellently well – that in my book is a major achievement and I managed to do so damn well, even if I do say so myself.

My only regret is that my dad is not alive to see me finally fulfilling the one thing he wanted to see me achieve.

When I decided to return to the UK in 1989, my dad only gave me his blessings on the condition that I went for my Masters Degree. But life, marriage and kids got in the way of that dream and before I knew it, 34 years had passed. I don’t even have the husband anymore. And kids have about all left home! Hence the decision to do for myself, something that I had always wanted to do.

And I did so well that even some of my lecturers believe I should proceed immediately on to a PhD program ……. but I am not quite sure on that yet, albeit a very appealing idea. This one tasked and challenged me mentally and I need time to recover.

I am seriously grateful to everyone who encouraged, supported and cheered me along.

I am not stupid.

I know there are many people who said ‘Kilode gaan. Why all the noise. What is she doing that she will not let us rest🙄🙄🙄?”
Even a former family member laughed and said to me “Arugbo with dead brain n”lo school🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣”
(old woman with dead brain goes to school)

But the mocking simply propelled me to “show them”
And I’m glad I did. Who is laughing now😎😎😎
(Shout out to my ex!!!!!!)

The stupid childish puerile mocking of ignorant naysayers should not be your motivation. Rather, let it be something you want to do for yourself. A long forgotten or abandoned dream, or a strong desire to better yourself.

But whatever your motive is, never forget – it is never too late for anything, and it is always going to be impossible until you give it a go!

And never allow your self to get distracted by anything or anyone.

So much happened during the course of my program that threw me sideways for a while (COVID 19, the painful loss of my dear cousin Bukky, who ironically also gained her Masters from the same institution just a couple of years ago; followed almost immediately by the bitterly sad passing of one of my dearest big brothers and friend Dr Dapo Williams) but I had to get myself together and focus.

My cousin lost her battle with cancer on the 2nd of June. She obtained her MA at Anglia Ruskin University, 2017

I thank God for the MASSIVE dose of grace to accomplish this challenge. It can only be Him, I tell you.

But I had the most excellent tutors who pushed, taught, encouraged and pushed some more. (Some of them will get to read this) you guys are simply awesome!
Thank you.

And to top it, I made the most awesome new friends along the way.

At this point, I am yet to submit my dissertation but that is just about completed and almost ready to be submitted on schedule.

I am now looking forward to my graduation.

If not for COVID, I would have thrown the party to end all parties! But It’s just going to be a party for 6 sadly.


Jummy Ariyo (BaronessJ)

#MBAatARU #MBA2020