I never completed my undergraduate degree. I was at Lancaster University largely because I thought I ought to be. During the holidays, I worked in a bureau de change in Paris, earning decent money—and you know, PARIS!

Eventually, I decided that Paris was way more interesting and fun. I dropped out and was promptly sent to Budapest, which turned out to be even better than Paris.

I didn’t look back. I took on a series of roles for a series of companies, ending up as a partner in a money transfer business based in the UK but with operations in eight territories. I was responsible for the growing field of financial crime prevention and looked to get myself qualified. Strictly speaking, I needed a degree to get on the course, but my infield experience was deemed an acceptable replacement for academic achievement, and I was accepted. I completed a diploma in anti-money laundering. The following year, I took a diploma in financial crime prevention. Both are degree-level courses, but neither is sufficient in its own right to be awarded a degree.

In 2021, I started investigating distance learning. Maybe I could finally get around to completing a degree. Eventually, I settled on an Executive MBA with the University of Cumbria. I could complete the course entirely at home via the Robert Kennedy School of Zurich.

So that’s what I did, and I’m delighted to say that just this week, I received an email telling me I had passed the degree with merit.

Huzzah! Go me.

A mere 35 years to get a degree.

You may now refer to me as Stuart Lennon Dip AML, Dip FCP, MBA. Or Stu. Whatever.

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