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"This MBA is helping me develop a greater understanding of business"

Candy Redfern


Candy Redfern is Founder and Director of a learning and development consultancy, Sojourner.

'Starting the apprenticeship is one of the best things I have done for my career. I have learnt so much through the program which has helped develop me as a well-rounded business leader. I have been able to apply all the things I have learnt to real-life issues at work and in addition, I have developed a great network. The knowledge and skills I have learnt have given me the confidence to establish my own learning and development consultancy – I’m not sure I had the confidence to do this before starting this course.'

Before this Candy worked as Head of Learning & Talent Development at Bidfood UK while studying Hallam's Executive MBA apprenticeship course. Candy was responsible for apprenticeships at Bidfood, and decided to do one herself to develop her career further.

"I love that equal emphasis is placed on academic knowledge and business experience."

"I was a very busy head of department, with a team to support and lead, as well as being a working mum to two children – but for me there is no such thing as a ‘perfect time’. I had been waiting for this for a few years and decided there’s no time like the present! What I love is that I had context to my study in the form of understanding my business and that ideas and new ways of working could be implemented as soon as I got back to the office. I also like that my study makes me question everything about how we ran as an organisation and not just accept the status quo.

"I love working with people, and challenging how things are done to make them better. This MBA apprenticeship helped me to develop a greater understanding of business and being at an exec level and allowed me to look at other factors which may be cause Bidfood challenges and how the department could help resolve them. I also may have shied away from areas such as finance before, and the learning I am receiving is helping me feel like I have a valuable place at the table.

"When I attended my first lectures and induction, every person I spoke to felt the same as me, asking themselves 'am I good enough to do this course', 'will I stand out if I don’t have a degree', 'am I too young or too old' – and what has made the experience even better is the fantastic mix of other people from other businesses I am learning with."

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    Executive MBA

    Advance your career into senior management by developing executive leadership skills in this innovative work-based MBA programme.

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"My company has been amazing – my mentor who is also my line manager has been really helpful in supporting my development. I am very lucky in my organisation that we fully support apprenticeships and we have linked qualifications to our talent process, so my application was approved by our Bidfood Senior Leadership Team without challenge. However to those looking for funding, ensure you can be clear about how you, your organisation, your team and your customers will benefit from an improvement in your knowledge, skills and behaviour.

I have never been to university so I love the fact I am on campus, and in a centre for learning. As an L&D professional myself it feels very reassuring! All of the lecturers I have met have been engaging, approachable and really know their stuff. I love that equal emphasis is placed on academic knowledge and business experience. The resources seem second to none – the online resources, library and wrap around support are really helpful with assignment writing. I’m yet to experience the Students' Union but that’s next on my list!

Aspirationally I would of course like further promotion and to progress. Completing this MBA is my main focus for now, but I hope it further helps grow my opportunities in the marketplace."

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