Award-winning student says career break to study is paying off

  |  Published: Apr 5th 2013

Julie Hadley, 44, of Walnut Drive, Wendover, Buckinghamshire, took 18 months out of work to study for a master’s degree in Human Resource Management at the University in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe.

She has been presented with an award for Student of the Year by the Chiltern branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), for achieving the highest dissertation mark in her year, 79 per cent.

Julie only returned to work, taking responsibility for HR at Beechdean Dairies Ltd, in Speen Road, High Wycombe, last November, but said the gamble to concentrate on studying full-time had paid off.

She said: “I have always worked for smaller companies and hadn’t had the opportunity to commit the time to study for a further degree and gain professional qualifications.

“I took the decision to invest in myself, so I left employment and paid for my master’s myself, and I feel it is working out brilliantly. I joined Beechdean Dairies just as I was completing my dissertation and they have been extremely supportive.

“Gaining this qualification has boosted my confidence immensely. I had plenty of experience working but now have the academic qualification to underpin that experience. The award is the cherry on the cake of what has been a wonderful experience.”

Julie received the award for her dissertation, entitled ‘The consequences of economic recession on employee engagement in the construction industry: a case study’. She was presented with it by John McGurk, Advisor for Learning and Talent Development at the CIPD.

Jill Walters, MA HRM Programme Leader at Bucks New University, said: "Julie thoroughly deserves this award. She was totally committed to her postgraduate studies, consistently demonstrating meticulous attention to detail, and never afraid to question or challenge.

“Julie was popular with academics and very supportive of her fellow students. I wish her every success with her career in human resource management."   

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