Graduation 29.05.24

Success in business degrees: former British Army veterans earn first class honours at Salford

University of Salford Business School students, former British Army veterans, overcome challenges and redefine success in the academic sphere.

Business and Economics students, Brian Whayo and Vincent Limbani, are former British Army veterans who served for nearly 9 years and 5 years respectively, now graduating with first class honours from the University of Salford Business School. Their journeys from military service to academic achievement exemplify resilience, adaptability and commitment to personal growth. 

Brian, the first in his family to attend university, embarked on a challenging academic journey that required immense dedication and discipline. Being a mature student with busy family commitments  and responsibilities, Brian found himself juggling a demanding academic schedule alongside full-time employment as a night support worker for the Manchester City Council. 

Navigating this intricate balance, Brian drew from lessons learned during his military service. He reflects, "The military instilled in me a sense of discipline and the importance of structured time management. I had to create a regimented routine, allocating time for studies, work and my family, with every spare minute counted. 

Fellow veteran Vincent has not only embraced his academic journey at Salford Business School but has excelled in it, drawing upon his invaluable military experience. As a student, Vincent has been part of a vibrant and diverse student body that characterises the school. This inclusive environment has provided him with ample opportunities for cross-cultural learning and networking, enabling him to develop a global mindset that is valuable in today's interconnected business world.  

Salford Business School's strong links with industry have been instrumental in Vincent's development and career trajectory. The school's extensive network has opened doors for him, offering opportunities for networking. Through these connections, Vincent has gained firsthand exposure to the realities of the business world, acquiring practical skills and insights that complement his academic learning. 

Commenting on his successful transition, Vincent emphasises the transferability of skills from military operations to academic pursuits, stating, "Attention to detail was critical in military operations and I often brought this skill to my studies. It helped me excel in tasks that require careful analysis, critical thinking, and attention to small details, such as research, data analysis and problem-solving." 

Dr Maria Paola Rana, Programme Leader of BSc Business and Economics, and Lecturer in Economics and Finance at Salford Business School, applauded their achievements: "It is truly inspiring to see students like Brian and Vincent, who have not only navigated the complexities of transitioning from military service to academia but also excelled in their fields. They are a testament to the spirit of determination, resilience and academic excellence that Salford Business School strives to foster." 

Both Brian and Vincent's advice to veterans considering academia centres on recognising and leveraging military skills. They echo that discipline, resilience, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving abilities developed during service can be instrumental in academic success. 

Vincent highlights the profound influence of his children on his motivation, sharing, "My children are my significant source of motivation. The love and responsibility I feel towards my children inspire me to work harder, achieve my goals and provide a better life for them. The desire to be a positive role model and create a nurturing environment often serves as a powerful motivator to me." 

Brian holds a deep sense of accomplishment and anticipation, looking forward to the day of his graduation ceremony, "This day symbolises the beginning of a new chapter in my life. It's a dream come true to be the first person in my entire clan to acquire a university degree. It is not just a personal achievement but a monumental step for my family as well," he shared.