Michael Veasey is a self-employeed business and management consultant.
What attracted you to choose Surrey and to study your course here?
I had dropped out of university originally, so didn’t have a first degree. I was in my mid-30's and had a massive chip on my shoulder because I knew that I was as good as the next man, apart from that magic piece of paper. I saw an advert in The Sunday Times for the transition course allowing non-graduates to go on to do an MBA. The choice was then quite simple.
What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?
I remember the group work that we did together and how effectively we gelled as different teams working on different projects. On one we had to dream up a marketing campaign for wine. We came up with one-glass-sized bottles as a give-away. Guess what appeared on supermarket shelves about five years later!
What is the one thing you would say about Surrey, or the course you studied, to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?
Surrey is a great place to study. As a part-time student who commuted halfway around the M25 two evenings per week for two years, it must have been good to make that journey bearable, but I would start again tomorrow if I could.
How did you change as a person during your time as a Surrey student, and how has your time here influenced your life and career since then?
I think that I came to respect the opinions of others and working on the course opened my eyes to how many great people were out there in the same boat as me. Nobody is ever a failure, and we all have to find our own level in life. It also taught me you are never too old to learn. I have subsequently gone on to study Horticulture, NLP and Business Psychology.
Where has your career taken you? What do you find most enjoyable about your line of work and why?
I am currently working as a self-employed consultant. Because I am over 50, most doors are locked for you - the law says they aren’t, but ask any recruitment consultant candidly.
However I have found that I still have much to give and therefore by working freelance, I can pick and choose my customers and get a buzz from when they achieve and succeed. However with numerous different clients and an ever-changing portfolio every day is different.
I do not, however, think that I would have had the confidence and knowledge to take the path that I have without my Surrey MBA.
What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?
Some people are born to work in a corporate environment, and some not. Working outside of it gives you so much freedom in the way in which you can approach your career and life. Sometimes I can give a small piece of advice based upon my knowledge, skills and experience which makes a massive impact upon a business leader and their business. It can be like switching on a light. Sometimes you have to work long and hard to help clients overcome stubborn resistance, but again the reward is worth it in the long run. I am for a comfortable and enjoyable life, sometimes with some fun. My work life occasionally provides all of this.