Emma: The perks of part-time study

Emma is a 20-something USQ Bachelor of Business (Marketing) graduate and current postgrad student in the Master of Project Management and Master of Business Administration. She is a dreamer, is obsessed with travel, is an animal lover and a proud mama to two delightful fur babies, Bailey the Dachshund and Edward the thoroughbred.

My university journey began in July 2009, when, after 4 consecutive gap years, I decided it was time to get my rear into gear. I had always wanted to study, so what was stopping me?

I dove headfirst into life as a full-time university student, quitting my job and moving towns. But towards the end of my first semester, the homesickness got a little too much, and I began to question the long-term viability of my chosen career path. After some serious soul searching, I decided it was time to go home and have a bit more of a think about the things I loved, the things I was good at and how I could translate these into my university studies.

Since my first week out of high school, I had worked in a busy, electrical retail chain and, as much as I was scared of sales at the start, I actually took to it like a duck to water, and loved it. So, I thought, how can I study ‘sales’ at uni? That was when I discovered I could study a business and marketing degree.

Around the same time, I realised that I missed my old lifestyle, which I could only afford on a full-time income, so I decided to re-join the world of work. By offering courses completely externally, USQ was the perfect fit for me because I could study on weekends and after work and wouldn’t have to travel to sit my exams.

So I took the proverbial ‘road less travelled’ and officially commenced life as an external, part-time USQ student, and began gradually chipping away at my Bachelor degree bit by bit, semester by semester, year by year.

It certainly wasn’t easy seeing people around me who began their degree after I did, finish before me. But the one thing that kept me going was seeing their ‘cap and gown’ moments… and imagining my own!

I knew that if I wanted the joy of writing the ‘just finished my last exam EVERRRRR’ Facebook post , I had to, in the wise words of Dory – ‘just keep swimming.’

By the end of 2014, I finally got there. With my hand still cramped from my final exam, I excitedly and very proudly proclaimed to the Facebook world that I was finished! I had done it! No more exams for me (until I started my Masters anyway)! After all those years and all the hard work, the missed social events, weekends spent buried in textbooks and assignments, I had finally made it.

It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park, but taking the road less travelled approach to my studies allowed me the opportunity to back up my degree with a lot of work experience as well as the flexibility during my final year of study to be able to undertake 2 fantastic marketing internships and land a great full-time job in marketing before I had even finished my studies. If you’re dreaming of your own cap and gown moment but can’t see how study will fit into your life, I’d really encourage you to consider part-time study. You still have the option to attend on-campus classes if you want to (and can fit it in) or you can study entirely online, or even a mix of both. While it may take a little longer to complete your degree, you’ll be able to explore career opportunities as they arise and enjoy the lifestyle that comes with a full-time income. In my opinion not only does slow and steady win the race, but it also frees you up to enjoy lots of life’s other little wins along the way.

If you’re ready to hit the books and want to know more about part-time study, get in touch with the team at USQ. We're here to answer all your questions about USQ’s different study modes and get you on your way to that cap and gown!


Andrea: The juggling act

Renae: 5 tips to balance work, life and business travel

Emma: Why I decided to study part-time