Manchester Metropolitan University

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Part-time study pays off for business professional

Danielle is rising retail star

A 29-year-old who took a part-time MMU business course has emerged as one of the ‘rising stars’ of UK retail.

Danielle Plested who fitted her studies around her role as store support manager for Homebase, was named as one of ten ‘Rising Stars’ by Retail Week at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Her "drive, team-building skills and clear customer focus" enabled Danielle to emerge as an "outstanding manager", judges said.

"In the past 12 months Danielle has been pivotal in the delivery of 250,000 sq ft of extra sales area accounting her £22 million of incremental sales," her managers said.


Danielle, from Northamptonshire, successfully gained her Masters in Retail Management from MMU Business School in summer 2006.

The 29-year-old said: "Studying while working retail hours was one of the hardest things I have ever set about doing but definitely also one of the most rewarding.

"What was great about the course was how I could relate everything I was learning to my everyday work life, and in turn my assignments could then be based on actual events that I was completing at work.

"This made my learning relevant but also allowed me to give my work colleagues a different slant on issues that we had to overcome."

Personal touch

Her Masters dissertation on ‘Change Management’ helped her lead a massive team restructure at Homebase, described by the company’s Board as the 'smoothest re-organisation' they had ever seen.

And she had praise for supervisor John Pal and his colleagues at the School's Retail and Marketing Division: "The support network that you are given from MMU Business School is amazing and you know no matter how tough things get, they will make time for you."

For more about part-time and professional study at MMU, go to

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