Business leader returns to the classroom

13 July 2023

Martin Blunt graduates with executive MBA degree apprenticeship

A Preston business leader has practised what he preaches and has graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Martin Blunt, Head of the Institution’s Enterprise and Engagement Unit, combined his busy role working with regional and national businesses whilst studying for an Executive MBA degree apprenticeship.

The 49-year-old, who created UCLan’s new Apprenticeship Matching Service (AMS) for his work-based project, said: “I’ve been employed in the learning sector since graduating from UCLan in 1997, working in driving education excellence, compliance, regulation, business support and skills growth.

“In my position, I’m responsible for developing relationships, networks and opportunities for businesses of all sizes both within Lancashire and nationally.

“A big part of career progression in today’s industry are degree apprenticeships and after talking about them to so many employers, I decided I would do one myself. It’s helped me become a better manager and leader, and I’ve learned about new solutions, theories and better ways of working.”

"It’s been such a journey of having to balance the degree apprenticeship with work commitments, home life and family commitments"

New MBA degree apprenticeship graduate Martin Blunt

The dad-of-two daughters, who has been supported throughout by his wife Nicola, had to undertake his assignments and projects at the same time as his eldest daughter completed her high school homework.

He said: “It’s been such a journey of having to balance the degree apprenticeship with work commitments, home life and family commitments.

“I felt I was an organised person but when the workload level increased the pressures impacted my efficiencies significantly. As a result, I needed to change rapidly, I started organising my day in a strict manner, prioritised activity based on deadlines and importance and immediately started to see the benefits.

“That said with the outstanding support of my family, my colleagues and UCLan course leaders I made it and I’m elated – it’s an amazing feeling.”

Martin, who studied at Runshaw College in the 1990s, added: “Much of what I have learnt has been implemented into my team as I progressed through the course. I’m so proud I was able to launch the AMS and together with my team we want to grow this fantastic service throughout Lancashire and beyond.”

Martin was one of 4,300 students who graduated during one of 14 ceremonies on the Preston Campus.