We spoke to Stephen “Paddy” Dyson, whose company HMG Paints decided to sponsor and invest in him by entering him for the Northern Powerhouse Innovator MBA Scholarship digital pathway.
After consideration from Manchester Met, he was awarded the prize which meant that his tuition fees, once the £3,000 reduction was made for being awarded with the scholarship, were completely covered.
Employee sponsorship is just one funding route MBA students can pursue, with other options covered in-depth in our guide: A Guide to Funding Your MBA, which you can download below.
Here’s what Paddy had to say about his own experiences combining a scholarship with being entered into the scheme by his long-term employer.
How aware were you that your employer was willing to sponsor your MBA?
I was very aware that my employer were prepared to sponsor my MBA. HMG Paints has a long history of investing in its staff in order to develop personally and professionally. I knew this because they had previously supported me through a HND.
Three members of our board of directors have been sponsored for various management qualifications, including our sales director who completed his MBA with MMU around 8 years ago. The company sees that developing staff is a way to develop the business for the coming generations and focus on developing our own staff and seeing their careers flourish at HMG.
It’s the old Richard Branson adage: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.”
Would you advise others to go down this funding route?
The key for any student going down this route is firstly finding a business that trusts and believes you are a key part of its future. It’s then a case of highlighting how the course will help develop you personally and enhance your role within the business.
It’s obviously a very big investment from the company, so highlighting what they’ll receive in return will be key to getting the support. You can do that by speaking to other students/businesses who’ve previously completed it as everyone will have very positive things to say.
I was in a very lucky position where my employer was actively pushing me to pursue the MBA and offering their support right from the very start.
What does your employer expect of you in return for your studies?
I’m sure my MD, John Falder, will tell you nothing if you asked him! He sees the MBA more as a chance for me personally to develop and learn from the the whole experience – from the lectures to networking with likeminded people.
Obviously with doing the MBA various aspects of the course will be extremely useful in my day to day role within the business. It will also help me as I develop my career and get more involved with various projects, strategy and business development within HMG Paints.
The MBA allows me to get a broader experience of general business and management which is particularly useful as I’ve worked for HMG Paints since leaving college.
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You can also hear more from Paddy in the video below.