West Midlands entrepreneur wins career prize at graduation

West Midlands entrepreneur, Jane Dean, has been awarded the prize for Career Student of the Year 2012 at a graduation ceremony held at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.

Jane Dean graduation

Jane Dean graduation

Jane, 43, from Walsall started studying for her University of Essex Online degree in 2009 and completed her Foundation degree in Business and Management achieving a distinction. She beat other entrants to this year’s prize of £100 which was awarded to the student who has best used their degree to change their working life and climb the career ladder.

Jane said “Completing my degree has given me knowledge and enhanced skills I can use in everyday business activities for my own business and others, and has given me the confidence to share my knowledge. I was employed as an Accountant prior to starting my degree, now I run two companies and I’m planning to launch a third.”

Jane owns two companies: J D Figures Limited which offers cost efficiency consultancy, accountancy, payroll services and finance training, and JRD Admin Aid Limited which provides a variety of administrative services to sole traders and small businesses. Jane plans to launch her third business, Enterprise Tree, in August which will focus on business training to new and existing businesses and will offer one-to-one business advice.

Jane chose to study a University of Essex Online degree as she wanted to continue to work and study at the same time, and apply her new skills immediately in the workplace. Online studying has also allowed her to fit in her degree alongside family commitments.

Dan Roe, Head of Remote learning for University of Essex Online, said: “It’s great to see that our students are successfully using what they have learnt in the virtual classroom and are putting their newfound knowledge into practice in real life situations.”

“Our online degree courses provide quality tuition in key areas such as business and management and also offer the flexibility of being able to study at a time and place to suit each individual student. I’m extremely proud of all of our graduates this year and I’d like to congratulate Jane on her achievements and wish her all the luck with her businesses in the future.”

University of Essex Online courses include Bachelor and Foundation degrees in areas such as Business and Management and Criminal Justice. The virtual learning environment allows students to listen to and watch online lectures and take part in live seminars over the internet. Dedicated student advisers provide support throughout the course and students can chat online with fellow students and their tutor. Regular assessments keep an eye on how students are progressing and check they are fully engaged with their course.