Leicester Tigers players tackle Master's degrees at DMU


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Finding time to study for a Master’s degree while playing for a Premiership rugby team might sound tricky but for Leicester Tigers players Guy Thompson and Greg Bateman, it’s all in a day’s work.

Guy and Greg are both studying for an Executive Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), which is handily located less than half a mile from their home ground at Welford Road.

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Tigers players Guy Thompson and Greg Bateman are studying at DMU

Greg, who has played for the Tigers since the 2015/16 season, is in his second year at DMU, while Guy, who moved to the club in 2018, has just started his first year.

The professional sports stars set their sights on furthering their education to help them prepare for life after the game in years to come – and as a long-standing partner of Leicester Tigers, DMU proved the perfect place for them to study.

“I have recently set up a company in business development with a good friend of mine and this was the next step to take me forward,” explained Guy (32).

“Just by having an education, it opens a few more doors and gives you more confidence so when you do step over into everyday life you’ve got the experience. To have something on paper to really back you up and learn the fundamentals behind the scenes is something that I needed.”

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Back-rower Guy joined Leicester Tigers in 2018 (Credit: Tiger Images)

The Executive MBA is perfect for students looking to venture into their own business with solid foundations, equipping them with the skills to think critically about complex organisational challenges, and an awareness of their strengths and vision to build into a career plan.

“We’ve got a really good group of academics who are there to learn from and DMU has a really good tie in with lots of local businesses as well,” said Greg (30).

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Greg is in his second year of study at DMU (Credit: Tiger Images)

The university boasts a network of contacts and peers across sectors within the UK and abroad – working with start-ups and local companies in the city, as well as international businesses and global corporations.

“I went on a DMU Global trip to Thailand in my first year where we visited coffee farmers and a group of ladies who had set up a jewellery co-operative to learn about how they ran their businesses,” said Greg.

“DMU prides itself on offering experiences that are outside of the norm.”

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Greg travelled to Thailand on a DMU Global trip in his first year 

The Executive MBA is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute and has also been mapped to the Apprenticeship Senior Leaders Level 7 standard, which means organisations can use their apprenticeship levy to pay for their employees to study the course.

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Back-rower Guy moved from Coventry’s Wasps in 2018, trading his black jersey for the Tiger’s famous red, white and green strip, while Greg – who signed as a hooker but now plays as a prop – made Leicester Tigers history by playing in all three front-row positions during the course of the 2016/17 season, his second year with the club.

DMU works closely with Leicester Tigers to benefit students and staff at the university, and the club in Britain and overseas.

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Guy and Greg take time out of their busy training schedule to study

As well as providing free tickets for A-league and Academy home matches and ticket offers for first-team matches, the club also offers its Welford Road stadium for Varsity games – including a showdown between rival student teams from DMU and the University of Leicester.

“DMU’s campus is something quite special,” added Guy. “It gives you a feeling of wanting to be there and do well.”

Posted on Tuesday 26th November 2019

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