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An interview with Marius Friedrich

Marius successfully completed the Certificate and Diploma in Security Management and is now completing his bachelors degree in Risk and Security Management at Portsmouth University

Marius FriedrichMarius what did you do before studying with the Silverback Security Academy?

Before I started to study with Silverback, I worked for six years in the security industry in Norway. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences of Silverback and what motivated you to join the Silverback certificate in Security Management?

I first came across Silverback when I read a short advert in the local newspaper near to my Mum’s home town in Norway. My Mum thought the course looked interesting and so she encouraged me to find out more because she wanted me to gain some qualifications that were worth something. I’ve always wanted to make something of myself and the Silverback course seemed like an opportunity to work towards a Degree qualification, but to be honest I didn’t quite realise how hard it would be in the beginning.  

Marius, when you say ‘it was hard in the beginning’ how did you manage to keep motivated?

It was hard for me in the beginning because I hadn’t done any formal study since leaving school eight years previously and I have dyslexia. I wasn’t particularly academic and left school an average student but I was able to speak reasonable English and my written English was good enough to start the Silverback course. At first my grades for module assignment work were not great but the feedback and encouragement from the facilitators was helpful. I quickly found my grades began to improve, which also helped to keep me motivated and now I believe in myself. In fact, I’ve just been given a provisional acceptance to join a Master’s programme later this year, once I’ve successfully completed my Bachelor Degree.

What did you like best about the Silverback courses?  

I really enjoyed sharing experiences with my study group. One of the things that stands out about the Silverback programmes, both Certificate and Diploma, is that the facilitators have a great way of using our shared experiences to bring the subject to life. The theory makes so much sense when you are able to apply it to your own place of work but also to hear how others are applying it in their work place too.

Could you tell me something about the benefits of studying with the Silverback Security Academy?

Well I think there are many benefits but one that jumps right out at me is the ability to apply new knowledge immediately at my own place of work. What I mean is, some of the modules covered areas of security management that I didn’t know anything about. But after completing the workshop to support a module I was able to go back into my own working environment and then I started to notice things that I hadn’t previously been aware of. This was a real eye opener for me. As well as developing my security management knowledge I was also developing my English language skills, and my written skills in particular were improving month by month, but also my academic writing style and the way that I began to think about thinks more critically. 

How did you stay motivated?

The facilitators motivated me to push through, because there were times when I lost hope but the facilitators gave me great feedback that stimulated me to keep going. This isn’t like an online distance learning course where you are on your own, on the Silverback courses you form a bond with other people in the group and you get to know the Silverback team and they get to know you. 

What have you done since completing the Silverback Diploma in Security Management?

Well, like I said I started at Silverback by joining the Certificate course, which earned me 120 academic credits once I’d successfully completed all of the six modules. To be honest I didn’t quite understand what the academic credits were really worth until I finished the Diploma course and earned an additional 120 academic credits. I then found that I could join a Bachelor Degree at the beginning of the third year with my 240 academic credits, which was brilliant so I applied to join the Risk and Security Management programme at Portsmouth. I am now writing my dissertation and hope to complete the Bachelor degree in the next few months. Like I mentioned previously, I’ve now got the bug and have already applied to join a Master’s programme and have been provisionally accepted as long as my dissertation hits the mark. 

Finally, did you think you would be studying at Degree level and going on to a Master’s Degree programme before you joined the Silverback Security Academy?

No. I had no idea about academic development and I’d have probably laughed at you if you had said at the beginning of the certificate course, I would have a Degree in three years from now. I think my main problem was my lack of self-esteem because of dyslexia but I just didn’t think I had what it takes. I’m forever grateful to the Silverback Security Academy team for believing in me and helping me to find my way.