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Father of two celebrates after returning to study in Preston

Posted on - 13th December, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, UCLan, University
Ryan Johnston with his masters award
Ryan Johnston with his masters award

A Dad of two who used to work at one of Preston’s biggest travel firms has shown it is never too late to change career.

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Ryan Johnston has graduated with a first-class degree from the University of Central Lancashire.

He juggled fatherhood and working full-time in the travel industry with returning to study international tourism, hospitality and events management in Preston.

He spent three years at Gold Medal Travel at Preston Docks.

The 40-year-old said: “I always regretted not going to university when I was younger and I thought I’d missed my chance,” he said. “It was only when I started working with Dr Carley Sutton, from UCLan, regarding intern placements that she pointed out I’d be welcome to come and study as a mature student. I never thought I’d be good enough and my confidence level was low but it was great.

“When I started my hope was just to pass but as I progressed I realised I was doing well and to graduate with a distinction and the highest score in my year blew my mind. I’m applying what he I’ve learnt in my job and I’m encouraging my staff to go and study at UCLan.”

Read more: Former PNE manager David Moyes receives honorary degree

Ryan, father to seven-year-old Maisie and 21-month-old Eva, was presented with his masters degree during the winter graduations at the Guild Hall.

Senior lecturer Dot Ujma said: “Ryan’s personality and significant industry experience added vibrancy to the course, especially his astute observations and consideration of various skills needed in the tourism industry.

“He was always keen to move the subject and his own practice forward – this was epitomised by his management consultancy project entitled ‘How the Introduction of Artificial Intelligence Influences Customer and Employee Engagement in a Call Centre Environment’. The study and the resulting findings have positively impacted upon his own business practice.”

Read more: UCLan lecturer wins the Turner Prize

Ryan continues to work for Cruise118 in Chorley as sales and operations director.

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