Andrew Bremner is the Chief Technology Officer at B-Logic, an IT Management service provider that focuses on providing enterprise-class IT Outsource Services to the mid-corporate market. B-Logic operates from Cape Town, South Africa and delivers services to local, national and international clients. He completed the Senior Management Development programme (SMDP) at USB-ED and the BA (Hons) in Business Management from the University of Lincoln in the UK.
Why did you choose to enrol for the Senior Management Development programme (SMDP)?
I chose to enrol in the SMDP at a time when I was looking to broaden my business knowledge and to establish a strong management and leadership foundation. The SMDP enticed me, as the course programme was associated with a highly reputable organisation with high standards and excellent tutors. I needed to ensure that by doing this course, I was not wasting time and that I would grow in my thinking as a result.
Why did you choose the Lincoln qualification? (were you aware of this option and had a long term strategy?)
I was not aware of the Lincoln qualification when choosing the SMDP. Had I known prior, it would only have cemented my decision to participate in the SMDP and then jump into the Lincoln degree after. The offer was too good to refuse, and in hindsight has certainly paid for itself. The Lincoln qualification was a way of fast tracking my degree, whilst also associating myself with another reputable learning institution. The online learning process was flexible and easy to use. The study material was also very accessible, comprehensive. The most attractive aspect of the course was the work-based learning approach, using my own organisation and circumstances to apply theory to practical situations. Not only did I benefit from this applied learning, but also my organisation as I applied the theory to my own circumstances in the workplace.
What were your expectations of the SMDP and the online qualification once you completed our SMDP?
Although you could say my personal “brand” benefitted from the certifications, it was always my intention to build a strong theoretical base upon which to grow my own managerial style and equip myself with an arsenal of managerial tools and models. I needed the theory to underpin my decision-making, and therefore to allow me to manage with confidence.
Did the SMDP meet your expectations?
The SMDP did more than meet my expectations. The course inspired me; it helped me to breakdown certain mental barriers in my thinking and gave me new perspective. It raised my game to new levels and gave me confidence in my approach.
Did Lincoln meet your expectations?
Initially I was nervous going into the Lincoln programme. I did not consider myself an “academic”, so research and critical thinking worried me. However, I was pleasantly surprised how well the system worked – I had a direct line to my tutor, who was very attentive and supportive. The course prepared me effectively for all the various types of learning requirements, research and writing styles, it ensured I was well prepared for a higher learning degree. This course exceeded my expectations; I recommend it often to various friends and colleagues.
What are some of the key learnings you experienced?
There are a number of highlights, difficult to name them all. But to highlight a few: The ability to think critically; the ability to research and write academic papers; a comprehensive overview of business operations and strategic decision making; various ways of improving operational effectiveness; building more effective teams; a deeper understanding of change in terms of complexity and its potential impact to systems and environments. Complex problem solving… These are certainly not all, but some of my more enjoyable learnings.
Why would you recommend this to others?
Both organisations have excellent reputations, and for good reason. The lecturers/tutors are of a very high standard. Secondly, the work-based learning approach is beneficial to both learner and organisation.
Where to from here? What are the next steps in your career?
The learnings from the courses have allowed me to merge business thinking, strategy and my technical background in Information Technology. I have since been fulfilling a CTO/CIO role, both internally in my current organisation, as well as to clients as an outsourced service. I have incorporated my learnings into our product offering, which I believe has resulted in us providing a unique spin in the market compared to our competitors. I am aiming for the Managing Director role in our business in future. As part of my preparation, I intend to build on my financial management learnings by continuing with a few finance-based short courses are a number of highlights, difficult to name them all. But to highlight a few: The ability to think critically; the ability to research and write academic papers; a comprehensive overview of business operations and strategic
Are you considering a career change?
In the short term, I am working hard and hoping to double (or even triple) the size of our current business before looking at other options. However, circumstances may change.learnings from the courses have allowed me to merge business thinking, strategy and my technical background in Information Technology.