I didn't want to study Business Studies - I wanted to study English, but at the time I enrolled on my evening degree course, you had to do two subjects, and I thought Business might look OK on my CV. It just goes to show that you don't always know what's best for you because I'm deeply thankful I took it.
The two disciplines are very different - English is no longer about books (they say things like: 'The author doesn't matter). It's about taking a lens and viewing the text through it. Marxism, say, or psychoanalysis or Colonial theories, or Queer studies, whatever theory is fashionable at the time. I got a lot out of the course overall, but I struggled to understand people like Lacan and found a lot of it unrealistic and horribly trivial.
Business, on the other hand, is about taking a big, huge complicated mess and simplifying it. What could be more interesting and real than taking a hole in the ground and producing a landmark building? My last project is on the Scottish Parliament - Holyrood. Death, drama, power struggles, comedy and tragedy, it's all there. From the comfort of a chair I've been enjoying the BBC programme and wading through the reports and audits on the fiasco. Then you get to compare it with projects such as the Welsh Assembly and the Australian building which went somewhat better and figure out why. Wonderful stuff. I'm sure it will help me write better novels because the process of research and piecing together what I want to say about it has taught me loads as well.