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Jen Web

HNC Business

20-year-old University Centre St Helens student, Jennifer, joined the part-time HNC Business after completing a level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship with Mooreskills.

Following a non-typical route to progress into Higher Education, Jennifer successfully completed her Apprenticeship, using it as a platform for progression into full-time employment with the Marketing and Events team at St Helens College. Enjoying working life, Jennifer was keen to pursue further study, to allow her to progress within a team and industry she enjoyed. As a result, in September 2017, she enrolled on the part-time HNC Business with University Centre St Helens, allowing her to fit higher level study around full-time employment.

Funding her studies via the Student Loan system, Jennifer began studying for one evening per week with University Centre St Helens at the St Helens, Town Centre campus, with teaching typically taking place by way of taught sessions, in-class discussions and guest lectures. As part of the HNC Business, Jennifer and her fellow students study a variety of business-related modules, including Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business Environment, Business Law and Management Accounting.

The HNC is a nationally recognised qualification. Jennifer explains that her reasons for studying on the part-time HNC Business with University Centre St Helens is “the convenience of being able to study in a local, Town Centre location around commitments such as work and family.” Adding, she said, “When I enquired about the HNC Business, the lecturers were really friendly and provided additional information to help me make the decision on whether to study at a higher level. As I was quite new to my full-time employment role, I wanted to make sure that I would be able to balance both work and employment. I was impressed with the time the lecturers took to help me make my decision and since joining, all of the staff, in particular, Alan Miller and Rohit Warikoo have been the amazing support that I was expecting.”

As a student on the HNC Business, Jennifer has access to a wide range of facilities at the Town Centre campus, including a dedicated Higher Education Student Lounge, specific Higher Education study spaces in the recently refurbished library and an onsite Starbucks, allowing students to work together, in an informal study setting or simply relax before a lecture. In addition, the smaller class sizes provided on the HNC Business mean that Jennifer and her peers have unrivalled access to industry-experienced lecturers, many of whom operate an open-door policy, providing help and support to students with assignments and presentations when needed.

Speaking about her time on the HNC Business to date, Jennifer said, “I didn’t expect to make as many friends and have as much support through my qualification as I have received. My first baby is due in 2019 and I didn’t expect to receive as much support as I have done to date whilst working full-time and pregnant. My lecturers are so supportive and have already worked with me to put a plan in place to help me complete my studies whilst off on maternity leave.”

Continuing, she added, “I would recommend the Business HNC to anyone, as it gives you a good overview of a wide variety of business areas, from Finance to Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Law. Regardless of your chosen profession, the overview of business is really useful, as it provides an outline of knowledge, should you wish to start your own business or move into a different business support function.”

Speaking of the subjects studied to date, Jennifer said, “My favourite module to date has been the Marketing module, as that is the area of business that I currently work in and hope to progress my career in. I have enjoyed learning about marketing theory, including key principles of marketing, such as the 4P’s and being given the skills and confidence required to produce a comprehensive marketing plan, from scratch. The module has allowed me to see the importance of marketing as a business support function; demonstrating how a marketing team interrelates with a wide range of departments across the wider business.”

With a year to go on her HNC, Jennifer successfully secured a promotion at work, to Events and Recruitment Coordinator, with the fact that she was working towards her HNC qualification, allowing her to demonstrate that she met the essential requirements of the person specification. Jennifer plans to continue her studies in Business with University Centre St Helens, around full-time employment and caring for a new baby.