​Apprentice on Chichester’s Senior Leader MBA recognised for community service

FIREFIGHTER and business director Stuart Tucker has spoken of his delight after winning a celebrated community award – during a busy year where he enrolled onto the University of Chichester’s MBA senior leaders’ degree apprentice programme.

Mr Tucker, director of product support and technical services at Eaton Limited, talked the accolade, his hectic international career, and what apprenticeship means to him. He spoke to Dr Rob Warwick, who runs the MBA programme and is Reader of Management and Organisational Learning in the Business School.


Rob: “Stuart, you’re on the senior leaders’ MBA apprenticeship programme here at the University of Chichester and that you have won a big prestigious prize. Can you tell can you tell us a little bit about what the prize is and why you have won it?”

Stuart: “Yes, I’ve been fortunate to have been nominated for the Stover Award. The Stover award was named in honor of James R Stover, former Eaton Chairman, the award is for commitment to the community and the activities that make a difference to people’s lives. So, I’ve actually won the award this year. The award is out of about 100,000 people across Eaton so it is a privilege and an absolute honour to have won this award.”

Rob: “So can you say what you’ve done, Stuart, to have won this award?”

Stuart: “I’ve actually been with Eaton for 33 years but I’m also an on-call firefighter for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, which I have also been doing in my community for 32 years. I currently hold the rank of Station Commander. I’m in charge of a Retained Fire Station in my hometown of Wimborne Minster in Dorset. I respond to all sorts of emergencies.

“Over the years I’ve probably attended over 5,000 emergency calls. Recently in the last eight to ten months I’ve also been driving front line ambulances during this covid-19 pandemic. At weekends I have been manning ambulances, attending emergency calls from cardiac arrest to heart attacks to strokes to broken bones and of course, many covid-19 cases. So, on average, I provide about 7000 hours a year to the retained fire service which is about 130 hours a week. And, you know, I hope to think that I have made a difference to many people’s lives in the community.”

Rob: “What amazes me, Stuart, your day job takes you all around the world to China, America, and you never seem to be in one place at any one time and you are undertaking an MBA as well.”

Stuart: “As you know I work for Eaton which is a large American / Irish company. I work in the aerospace side of which I am the Director for product support and technical services. So, yes, I do spend a fair bit of time having to go and visit customers around the world.”

Rob: “It is one of those very large companies that is not a household name but it has such a huge impact.”

Stuart: “Yes, it does, and you’re right when you say we are not a household name, however our ‘product is everywhere’. We have several divisions which branch out across not just aerospace, but also to the hydraulics and electrical divisions and others as swell.”

Stuart: “The MBA has had a massive impact on me as a leader. It has really reinforced my understanding and learning from the business aspect. I’ve come away with a great deal of learning, and especially some of the techniques from yourself, Rob, thy you have delivered to us.

 “I absolutely use what I have learned in my day-to-day work. It has enhanced my ability to manage teams, to understand business at a deeper depth and to effectively use various techniques. One of the key things that I have taken away is action learning and the importance of having time to reflect.”

Rob: “Thank you for those comments. One other thing, what is your prize and what will it mean to you and other people?”

Stuart: “It is going to mean a great deal. Eaton will be donating $5,000 to a charity of my choice. I have chosen Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance. It has been an absolute privilege to work with them. And they’re completely run on a charity basis. And the work that they do is absolutely fantastic.

“And of course, it has the aerospace link as well. Also, personally, I will be lucky enough to receive a crystal award which will be something that I will certainly treasure. I think it was Churchill that said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. This is something that’s important to me.”

Rob: “And a great example of that quote.”

Find out more about the University of Chichester’s Senior Leader Masters degree apprentice at www.chi.ac.uk/search/course-search/degree-apprenticeships.


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