We got the chance to speak to partner Anneita McLongley, about why she was drawn to the MBA apprenticeship and how it’s impacted her business.
What attracted you to take part in the SDLA/MBA apprenticeship?
I had wanted to do an MBA for some time before I learned of the SLMDA. The cost of an MBA was always prohibitive and difficult to justify. I was looking for a way to improve and prove my business acumen. I was also looking for an avenue to explore different routes of potential development without committing to one specific area of business. The SLMDA has been a great experience so far and has really broadened my mind and my horizons.
How do you manage your study whilst running your business?
Managing study while running stores is very challenging, good time management is key. I’ve learned a lot about myself, including that deadlines make me more productive. Ideally I prefer to allocate a modest amount of study time throughout each module, increasing the volume towards the end of the module. However, it really depends on what the business needs and is heavily influenced by clinical resource, holidays etc. I’ve had to learn to accept that at times I am not able to give my study the time I would like, which has been a hard lesson to learn. Ultimately time is finite and decisions around priorities need to me made, a key learning I’ve taken away from the SLMDA.
How do you expect the programme to support your business / career aspirations?
The course has definitely made me think more strategically. It’s had a significant impact on my perception of many things and has really caused me to re-evaluate my priorities and those of my businesses. Exposure to different aspects of business was a key goal for me that has been realised, helping me to understand what a well balanced role may look like for me in the future. It has also affirmed my capabilities outside the testing room.
What are your future plans once you have completed your apprenticeship?
I have learnt that a role spent predominantly testing isn’t the right role for me. Going forward I will be looking to optimise my work time with more variety and challenge.
Would you recommend this programme to other Partners and why?
Yes I would definitely recommend the SLMDA for people hungry to learn who realistically have the time to commit. I’ve learned so much and it’s been very rewarding to be part of a group of partners who are so engaged and progressive. In store we spend so much time developing our teams, sometimes its important to concentrate on yourself.
What advice would you give someone considering this programme?
Look at what time you realistically have available. Think about what you want to get from the SLMDA and what you are willing to sacrifice to get it. If you have the time, support and drive needed I would highly recommend it.
What do you see as the biggest personal benefit or change since starting this programme?
I am infinitely more self aware than I have ever been. I am also more challenged, informed and ultimately happier.
If you think an apprenticeship may be for you or your team then click here to find out how it could work for you.