David Clifford, alumnus, Executive Master of Public Administration
David began to climb the career ladder at Rushmoor Borough Council, but felt that his CV would be bolstered by a higher level of qualification, such as an MPA
While working as a Local Borough Councillor at Rushmoor Borough Council, David Clifford began to climb the career ladder, but felt that his CV would be bolstered by a higher level of qualification that would better prepare him to take on greater responsibility. He began looking into ways of developing the skills he felt he needed – and his research soon led him to LSBU.
“I felt the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at LSBU was perfectly placed to support my progression in local government,” he says. “The course is specifically designed for people in the public sector, while the location was ideal - providing me with easy access from Rushmoor and giving me an international perspective for my studies.”
Personal and friendly
Upon starting his course, David was quickly impressed by the quality of the academics responsible for delivering his education at LSBU. “They were knowledgeable, humorous and really engaged with everyone on the course, on a personal and friendly level,” he says. “It made studying and learning at LSBU an absolute pleasure.”
David’s learning was further helped by the rest of his cohort. “They were from all backgrounds and sectors, so learning from them was an added bonus,” he says. “The shared learning aspect meant we really expanded on our learning from each other.”
During his time at LSBU, David worked for a community mediation group as a direct result of the course. “I was able to help the group to put together a business plan and organise themselves better,” he says. “It helped them to become more self-sufficient and offered them direction – helping the group to become more successful as a result.”
Since graduating in 2012, David has gone on to become Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, and he is in no doubt that his time at LSBU has helped him do so. “In the first instance, studying for my MPA demonstrated that I was committed to the sector, and that I had a good academic understanding of the role,” he says.
David uses the skills he learned on the course on a daily basis, and at a variety of different levels. “From the very simple learning cycle to the complex theories around change management, I use the things I learned at LSBU every day in a variety of ways,” he says. “I apply the learnings from the Contemporary Issues for Public Managers module in my current role, and even some of the modules that didn’t seem immediately relevant have come in useful.”
Interesting and useful
As he works with Rushmoor Borough Council to shape and promote public service, David is hopeful that his MPA will help him to transform the Borough within the next five years. “Without question, my degree is going to help me as I tackle that challenge,” he says. “Everything I studied was interesting and useful, so if you are thinking about taking the plunge and enrolling yourself, it’s time to stop thinking about it and just do it.”