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Alumni

Paul Johnson

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Teesside University has excellent facilities, fantastic staff and provides students with the skills required to work in a real-world environment.

Paul Johnson

Why did you choose Teesside?

My undergraduate degree was unrelated to business so I felt a postgraduate course would help me grow my freight forwarding business, Johnson Partners Ltd. Prior to the MBA, I had attended Digital City and Leading Growth programmes through the university. Our business had also received a great amount of support through the business team who helped us with graduate placements and other advice and assistance. My first-hand experience of how well Teesside University works with local businesses meant I already had a high opinion of the university before I became aware of the opportunity to study an MBA part-time as part of the SLMDA Apprenticeship scheme.

What do you like most about your course?

The course has opened my eyes to how important it is for all businesses to be sustainable. Prior to the course, I felt that philanthropy was something only large companies were able to do. Through one of my modules, I learned how small businesses can contribute in a more localised and personal way, such as through charitable work and taking a more ‘hands-on’ approach. As a business, we now take a more active role in charitable work, and this is down to what I have learned on the course.

Have you worked on projects which have influenced your business?

Many of the assignments have involved my business and I have integrated my learning into the day-to-day operations and helped shape strategies for the future. My dissertation will involve an analysis of Johnson Partners, utilising academic theory and practices to help grow the business.

What skills/experience have you gained at Teesside that you feel will help you in your chosen career?

I feel I have developed better leadership skills at Teesside. I was able to identify areas of strength and weaknesses within my own leading styles and have made improvements where necessary. As we have faced challenging times during Covid-19, these skills were imperative whilst navigating the company through some difficult moments.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Once I have completed my MBA, I am planning on utilising the learning by growing the business into a larger, more recognised company on Teesside. This will give us additional capacity to contribute more to the local area through more jobs as well as an opportunity to contribute further to the local community through charity work.

Would you recommend Teesside University and your course?

I would definitely recommend both. Teesside University has excellent facilities, fantastic staff and provides students with the skills required to work in a real-world environment. I would certainly suggest an MBA to anyone else in a similar situation to myself, who is looking to develop themselves professionally. For small businesses in particular, there is a wealth of resources and learning available to help take the next step in their growth.

What advice would you to students thinking of coming to Teesside University?

I would suggest taking advantage of all the facilities as much as possible and embracing the student life, making friends and networking. I'd also recommend exploring and getting out into some of the beautiful surrounding areas!