Reflection on how change in study route led to First class degree

Daniel Priestley came to Jersey International Business School after training to be an electrical engineer then attending an Access course at Highlands. After attending an Open Evening at the Business School in 2012, he decided that the BSc (Hons) International Financial Services degree was the one for him. Two years later Daniel graduated with a first class honours degree and is now working locally in the financial services industry.


Before studying at the Jersey International Business School, I wasn’t what anyone would call an academic by any means of the word. I was originally studying to become an electrical engineer, when I decided after finishing the qualifications that it wasn’t for me. This led to me deciding that I would like to improve my education, which saw me enrol on the access course at Highlands. There I studied psychology, sociology and ICT among other subjects for a year to obtain A-Level equivalent qualifications, along with sorting out some of my GCSE grades.

Why I chose Jersey International Business School

When deciding what I would like to study at degree level, I gave a lot of consideration to the subject I would be studying and the potential career paths each could have. After long deliberation I decided to focus on a business degree as I felt that this would give me the most diverse career options, not just locally but globally as a degree of this nature is valuable wherever you go.

I looked at universities in the UK and I even considered studying in Holland. Then one day my mother told me about an open evening that the Business School was having for the BSc (Hons) International Financial Services degree, so I decided to check it out.

I sat and I listened for just under an hour about what the school offered. After that the decision was simple. They offered a two-year degree in conjunction with University of Buckingham; the fact that they offered it in two years greatly reducing the time out of work was a unique selling point. Yes, you get a degree but you can also say it was fast tracked over two years instead of three. This greatly reduces the costs of studying for a degree in the UK and allows students to study in a familiar environment without uprooting their whole lives.

The one selling point I don’t think any student appreciates until they are looking back is the quality of the teaching. I’ve had friends at universities complain because their classes are huge and very impersonal. At the Business School we received a level and quality of teaching that universities can scarcely compete with simply due to the size of the classes.

The Outcome

Coming out of the degree I think I surprised a fair few people as when I started the programme I wasn’t the best student and I definitely struggled through the first few terms. So when I got my final grade where I was awarded a first I’m sure plenty were shocked.

My hard work and the quality of teaching the tutors at the Business School provided, coupled with being able to say the degree took two years instead of three, led to a large amount of interest from employers coming out of the degree.