It can be daunting to think about balancing work, life and postgraduate study, particularly if you haven’t set foot on a uni campus for some time. But, undertaking further education is easier than you might think.
We asked six graduates to share how they made postgraduate study manageable and worthwhile. There’s five common themes
1. Get support from your workplace
“I was working full-time at Deloitte when I undertook my postgraduate degree part-time. The firm recognised that the qualification in corporate, commercial and taxation law would further my career, so they were very supportive, allowing me to duck out of work to go to classes.” – Dang Kha, Associate Partner, Tax Advisory at Crowe Horwath.
I was working full-time at Deloitte when I undertook my postgraduate degree part-time. The firm recognised that the qualification in corporate, commercial and taxation law would further my career, so they were very supportive
Tax Advisory, Crowe Horwath.
2. Allocate regular blocks of time for study
“I hadn’t studied for a few years when I completed my postgraduate qualification. I lived in a regional town and had young children, so I was worried I couldn’t cope with the workload. Allocating blocks of time to study was the key. I would study in the evenings, Monday through to Thursday, and I’d study for several hours on the weekend. Three hours was the perfect amount of time to get a solid chunk of work done.” – Frederick Mahar, Managing Principal of FM Mahar & Associates.
“I am a morning person, so I would get into the office early and do an hour of study each morning before starting my work. I would also use my lunch break to do assignments and reading.” – Frances Summerhayes, Head of Finance at BHP.
“I found that I needed to set aside two hours each day to study, and on weekends I set aside five hours each day. It was strenuous because I was working full-time but this qualification has changed my life.” – Katrina Brown, Practice Director and Senior Lawyer at Nautilus Law.
3. Get organised early
“I'm an organised person in general, so throughout the Master of Commerce I would look at the deadlines and priorities, and work back from there.” – Astri Prakoso, Senior Manager at Sprinklr.
“When I started my postgraduate degree I was working full-time running a law practice and had two children in high school. At the start of the term I would look at the outline for the course, print out all the materials and mark on each section where I needed to be on each day. I kept to that schedule, which was critical to my success.” – Katrina Brown, Practice Director and Senior Lawyer at Nautilus Law.
4. Make the most of flexible and online learning methods
“Studying online worked well for me. Through the teleconferences and access to lecturers through technology it was as if I was a student on-campus. I always made sure I connected with the lecturers online or via phone calls.” – Frederick Mahar, Managing Principal of FM Mahar & Associates.
I'm an organised person in general, so throughout the Master of Commerce I would look at the deadlines and priorities, and work back from there.
5. Take advantage of being on campus
“It was really convenient for me that the courses were in the Sydney CBD and the classes were always at a good time in the evenings. If I needed to go and study, I appreciated there were quiet rooms I could use on campus.” – Dang Kha, Associate Partner, Tax Advisory, Crowe Horwath.
“Some of my classes were in the middle of the day, so I would work from the university that day. My employer could see I was engaged and my work performance increased, so it wasn’t a problem.” – Brooke Shaw, Senior Manager of People and Communities at Dexus.