For a long time I struggled to decide whether I should undertake postgraduate study. I found my job as a project manager both challenging and rewarding, but at that stage had no formal qualifications to complement my experience. I’d been thinking about uni study for a while, but at age 50, while working full-time and juggling this with my family of four, the decision to take on postgraduate study in addition to everything else was not one to be taken lightly. My journey to study was a steady one, but I hope that by explaining the steps I took to gain a postgraduate qualification might be the motivation you need to take that first step yourself.
With so many things to factor into my decision, I spent a lot of time doing research on postgraduate studies and found two sites that were particularly helpful. Both Career FAQs and Graduate Careers had information that helped me to understand how postgraduate study might help my career. After reading these articles I then did further research into project management degrees and, to my surprise, found that there was quite a lot on offer at universities all across Australia.
As my full-time role also included regular travel, I needed to find a university that was flexible and offered both on-campus and external courses. The USQ Springfield campus was only 15 minutes away from my office and as Queensland’s No.1 university provider for online study, I felt confident that USQ would be able to give me the flexibility I needed while I worked through my studies. And in the end, I was right. Instead of having to attend lectures every weekday, I went to intensive workshops on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays which meant my study didn’t have to interfere with my work schedule. I had a great time meeting people, both students and staff, many of whom were juggling work and family just like I was.
Being a postgraduate student doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved with university life. I valued my experience at uni so much that I volunteered at a number of USQ events working as an Orientation Leader during O-Week, a Postgraduate Representative on the Student Representative Committee and a USQ Student Ambassador. As a mature age student with years of work experience, I felt that I had a lot to offer other students who were also trying to find the balance between work, family and study. Being involved in university events was my way of giving back and meeting other USQ students and staff.