A Northampton man is featuring in a new video urging people to sign up for an Open University degree.
The new campaign, called What's Stopping You?, features a number of graduates who are following their dream careers after getting an OU qualification. It is being shown on digital and social channels.
Luke Badharee, 33 from Northampton, graduated from The Open University (OU) with a BA (Hons) degree in Business Studies and features in one of the three new videos.
Since leaving school at 16, Luke wanted to return to higher education and study. Despite the fact that he always applied himself in school, his grades never reflected his abilities. Luke’s jobs also left him feeling both bored and unfulfilled.
At the age of 21, he was ready for a change and began his journey studying for a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Now 33, Luke is feeling optimistic about where he is, both in his career in the energy sector and his personal life.
Luke said: “I was quite clever at school, although I didn’t achieve the grades. I basically went straight into the workforce, which, at the time was mind-numbingly dull, and I was kicking myself that I hadn’t achieved more. I was working permanent nights and my job just bored me senseless.
"I knew that I wanted to study so went to what was then, my local college in Wellingborough. I said I wanted to study during the day and continue with my night shifts; the student team there basically said: ‘you can’t seriously consider that, it’s just not sustainable.
“The college recommended The Open University (OU) as I would be able to study in smaller chunks, in my own time, and it would be much more manageable to fit around my personal life.”
Since obtaining his degree, Luke has put his skills to the test and secured his dream job in the energy sector:
“Ultimately, the most important goal for me is to have a career that is secure and offers opportunities for progression. I’m currently exploring opportunities for promotion, and my managers acknowledge that I have asserted myself and that my business skills have developed through my degree with the OU.”
However, his eight years of part-time distance learning with the OU did not come without its challenges. As a father of two in his mid-twenties, having moved from temporary roles, to working night shifts, to a full-time role as a customer service advisor, Luke was trying to juggle everything alongside his studies. In spite of this, Luke remains extremely positive about his OU experience:
“I have never experienced anything so challenging in my whole life. My mum and partner have been really understanding. At times, it’s driven others mad! It’s not easy being the one who is studying for a degree in your mid-twenties. I would never deter anyone from studying with the OU, however, you have to realise the dedication required to complete a part-time degree; you can’t let your studies slip for one minute.”
On appearing in the OU’s ‘What’s Stopping You?’ campaign, Luke added: “The Open University has opened so many doors that I never thought would be possible, so appearing in the new advertising campaign is really exciting.
"It is great to show my friends and family the journey I’ve embarked on over the last eight years and how it has all been worth it and so rewarding. The OU offers a first class education and I hope my own experience can encourage others to take the first step in fulfilling their own career aspirations.”