UCLan: Jo Leigh

Jo Leigh is balancing family life and running a business while studying for a degree at UCLan

Jo thought she’d missed out on the opportunity to go to university. But thanks to a degree apprenticeship, the mum-of-three has been given a second chance at gaining qualifications. 

The 40-year-old from Atherton, Greater Manchester, runs events company Launch Events North West with her sister, Nichola. Responsible for promoting the business via social media and digital marketing, Jo wanted to build knowledge and skills through an accredited course which would enable her to continue balancing her role as creative director with family life.

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) part-time BA (hons) digital marketing degree apprenticeship offered exactly that, and Jo is now in her second year of the three-year course from which she’ll graduate in the summer of 2021.

“Most accredited courses are full time but as a working mum, this wasn’t practical. The degree apprenticeship at UCLan ticked all the boxes; it only requires me to be on campus one day a week with the rest of my time spent on assignments and distance learning. My tutors are brilliant and very supportive.”

“It also adds value to our business, meaning the knowledge I’m gaining can be applied in real-time, for example, developing and implementing strategies. It is challenging being a mum and running a business at the same time, but it has boosted my confidence and I’m really enjoying it.”Her advice to others in the same position? “Just go for it. Be prepared and know that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.”

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