A few months ago I got one of those emails that went around where you were suppose to blog 7 things that you guys didn’t know about me. Obviously I didn’t write it. Dunno why. Just didn’t seem like me.
Zac Martin often bangs on about uni and how it is out of touch and recently Simon Oboler has started blogging again and his first post back was along the same lines. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with that, after all, they are the uni’s customers and their views are those of a customer. I’ll stop short of saying “the customer is always right”.
You are probably wondering where I am going with these opening two paragraphs … stay with me.
Last week I graduated from a Master of Marketing. After the ceremony, while my wife, Mum and Dad were taking more photos than were necessary, a couple of marketing officers from the uni approached me and asked if I would be willing to have a photo and a follow up testimonial for marketing purposes. I obliged. They had me at “marketing”.
So I thought that I would share the testimonial I provided as you guys will learn a bit more about me and maybe those who are still studying will take something from someone who is on the other side of the fence e.g. graduated and working in marketing.
Plus I have been sick the last few days and need a nice easy topic that won’t make my brain work too hard.
I have edited out some of the questions that weren’t really relevant e.g. Where did you live while studying?
Please outline the factors you considered when choosing to study CSU. My old boss Lou Mayo recommended it because CSU has a great reputation for Distance Education.
What career, personal development and life skills did you learn while at CSU? In terms of personal development, I really enhanced my critical thinking, which was further enhanced because I work in marketing and therefore had relevant work experience to relate my studies to. In terms of personal, I am not sure I learnt anything new but it certainly reinforced my time management skills and I enjoyed achieving my goals and doing well.
Do you feel like your course has prepared you for the workforce? I already worked in marketing but it absolutely made me better at my job. I often found myself writing as many work related "notes to self", about an idea that my study had generated, as I did notes for assignments and revision.
What’s your most memorable CSU experience? I'll brag about this one but it would have to be getting 100% for an assignment (but I will be honest, I think the lecturer felt sorry for me because I put in so much work into it and didn't have the heart to take marks off - because it definitely wasn't perfect!). Graduation with Distinction was also a highlight after I only just passed my very first unit and was wondering what I had gotten myself in for!
What was the best thing about graduation? The sense of achievement. I'll be honest. I wasn't going to go to graduation because I thought "yeah, whatever, it's just a ceremony" but my parents and wife made a big deal about it so I kept quiet and we all went to graduation. Having said that, I couldn't have been more wrong. I am so glad I went as it was a great opportunity to reflect on where I had come from and the University really did a great job of reinforcing that I (and all the graduates) had really achieved something special. My advice is not to miss graduation for anything!
If you could describe CSU in 3 words they would be? A great opportunity.
How did you fit study into your life? Definitely hard. I got married in the middle of my studies so that was a nice distraction but a distraction nonetheless. I didn't really give up too much and maintained sporting activities and socialising. In reality, I just stopped doing those things that were "nothing activities" e.g. watching t.v. (you don't realise how boring and mind numbing it is until you stop watching it!). An understanding and supportive wife and employer helped immensely.
Where did you study? E.g. at home, local library, a study centre. Home and at work. I would often get up early and study for an hour or two before anyone turned up to work ... very peaceful. In saying that, for anyone else it is about finding your groove. If you are a morning person then work with that. If you are a night owl then work with that.
What are the advantages of studying by distance education? The flexibility of being able to do the work when I wanted. It meant I could maintain other activities (sport etc) and that it didn't really impact my employment e.g. can't make a lecture because I have a work deadline or meeting.
What are the disadvantages? Having direct contact with lecturers. However, this often taught me to be more self-sufficient rather than relying on their help all the time.
Was it easy to make friends and will you keep in touch with them? Why or why not? It was difficult being mature age and distance education. The tools were definitely there (forums etc) and I wish I had of made more of an effort to connect with people in my area who were also studying. I am not sure it would have helped all that much with my study but I am sure I would have met some great people.