Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

When is it too late to study?

Marilu Cruz-Bravo

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Engineering and the Built Environment
Course: Engineering Management MSc
Category: Engineering

18 May 2023

This Saturday I turned 42 years old! And I am doing master's degree studies at ARU, campus Chelmsford.

I came here with my 15 years of experience as a manager. In classes, I raised my hand several times to raise questions and share experiences on topics I have lived in real working scenarios. I know the strategic importance of proper risk assessments. I am an expert in how to lead a brainstorming session and guide a team to prepare an action plan. I am a certified ISO9001 auditor. My competencies were good enough to achieve results in the companies I have worked for. Leaded certification projects. Managed cultural change projects. Detonated teamwork at management levels. Coached teams and individuals for the accomplishment of goals.

But I am also the same person that failed just one month ago when preparing a CUSUM control chart. I had no idea how to insert a table of figures in Word. I was feeling totally insecure about how way to tackle a manufacturing simulation on Witness. And I slept very few hours during the weeks when I needed to prepare a research proposal. I wanted to take advantage of my background, but also select something challenging and motivating, something that I had not yet mastered, statistical process control. I really my classmates to thank you. Whenever I had a question and asked for help, they explained to me, with patience. ARU’s teachers were there also for me.

According to my working experience, the environments in which juniors and seniors find solutions together increase both motivation and performance. Imagine an educational environment in which seniors share experiences and younger students provide energy and their tech-savvy nature in a classroom.

In my opinion, we seniors should be coming back to universities to learn from younger professionals, and to share what we have learned. Today, I am feeling confident about the skills that I have developed during the last 3 months. And that could not be possible without this time in Anglia Ruskin University, in its classrooms, and with its people.

Young professionals are extremely capable. Great things happen when you allow yourself to learn from them.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.