Sheldon and Cathy Ann Layne have been studying for their MBA at Edinburgh Napier University

Date posted

5 July 2024


A married couple from Barbados have proved a formidable partnership, after graduating from Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) at the same time.Sheldon and Cathy Ann Layne with their degrees

Sheldon and Cathy Ann Layne decided to study for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at ENU in 2020, and have now completed the course online alongside their work in risk management.

The husband and wife travelled from their home in Bridgetown to join Business School students cross the stage during a graduation ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

Their small study group was bolstered by close friend and work colleague Jennifer Simone Davis-Adesegha, who graduated from the course last year.

Reflecting on their journey, 46-year-old Sheldon said: “Studying together was interesting at times! They call me 'Mr By-The-Book' – I don't like anything to compromise our studies.

“We always wanted to do something which would advance our careers academically.

"Being able to offer each other encouragement was a big help."Sheldon and Cathy Ann Layne holding Barbados flags

Cathy Ann, who is 45, said: "We definitely have varying perspectives and individual study patterns – I'm a morning person and Sheldon isn't, for example!

"This was our first time studying a major course online, which took some time to adapt to, but we got there.

"We all work for the same institution, so it was difficult to find time for study sessions during the week. We ended up doing a lot of group sessions on Saturdays."

The MBA programme at Edinburgh Napier University is a postgraduate qualification which is designed to build on students’ work experience and develop skills like leadership, problem solving and business theory.

For Sheldon and Cathy Ann their graduation marks the end of a rewarding journey, which included a short spell having to self-isolate in a UK hotel during the Covid pandemic.

Sheldon added: "If one of us wasn't feeling up to studying, we would push each other to stay on track.

"We're grateful that we could study at our own pace. We had good support, with very responsive lecturers."