Juggling studies, home and families
MOST modern families rely on two incomes to obtain their homes, their food, clothing and educating their children.
For the modern mum it can mean juggling time and energy and prioritising what is most important.
Family usually comes first – children’s education, sporting activities, then the home next and then the job.
But there are a small group of ARMB employees on Mt Buller who have also juggled study in an effort to gain higher qualifications through Swinburne University’s on-line study program – hence opening doors to high employment opportunities.
Or perhaps they have just wanted to pursue their own interests – whatever the reasons study time impacts on the first three priorities.
So how have these hard working people coped with working, families and study?
Katie Bowker: Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
Katie has been studying while working for 2.5 years
“I had already completed an Advanced Diploma of Tourism, so gained over a year’s worth of credits, which reduced my study load,” Katie said.
“Juggling work, home and family was difficult, but I set myself time for study, time for family, and obviously time for work.
“By sticking to a disciplined schedule I could make sure everything I needed to do got done.
“It also meant that family and friends knew when I wasn’t available, so there weren’t unreasonable demands on my time.”
Katie said her family helped enormously by helping around the house, with meals and by being happy with cheese on toast for dinner.
She said she would encourage anyone to do the same: “Absolutely – don’t put it off,” she said.
“I couldn’t rate more highly the advantages of online study – work in your own time, with real, relevant industry knowledge, an amazing range of tutors who are highly experienced and skilled, and a great online community for support at 2am when deadlines loom.”
Katie is hoping that having a Bachelor will enable her to progress through the ranks to reach a managerial position, and enable her to diversify her skills and opportunities.
Lyndsey Jackman: Planning and Leasing Manager - Graduate Certificate of Business Administration
Lyndsey has been studying for 10 months.
“Prioritising work, study, family and a social life is essential,” Lyndsey said.
“Also being disciplined and missing out on things you’d much prefer to be doing rather than studying.
“My wife was very supportive during my studies.
“Without her taking on some of my responsibilities, study would have been very difficult,” Lyndsey said.
Asked if they would recommend others doing the same Lyndsey said given the remote nature of Mansfield and Mt Buller, he would recommend online study for those considering tertiary education, particularly for those working full time.
“My undergraduate degree was in a different field to which I now work in, so for me, it was about formalising my experience and gaining a qualification in my current vocation,” Lyndsey said.
Angela Cesarec: Currently studying Bachelor of Education (Primary)
Angela will take five years to complete her Bachelor of Arts if she continues at the pace she is going at the mo- ment - she is only in her first year.
She manages work, home and family by allocating certain days and times to her studies, as you need to keep a balanced lifestyle.
Angela said she has a support network at home and a supportive family in Melbourne.
“Having them behind you and supporting your choice to study really add to your motivation to continue, as at times it can get overwhelming. Especially at assessment time,” she said
“I would say don’t take on more than you can manage and ensure you have support around you,” was her advice to others considering studying on line and working.
“As this is a career change for me I am hoping to be successful in gaining employment as a primary teacher once I have graduated,” she said.
Marketing manager for ARMB Gillian Dobson said she didn’t really have too much to do with it in a mentoring capacity.
“I was involved mainly at this point as Swinburne asked us to participate in a series of short videos on the benefits of studying online,” Gillian said.
“There were two others in the organisation who have also studied online through Swinburne but just Katie in my team.
“Katie did her studies online to complete a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing, and since completing the course has been successful in progressing her career from events manager to marketing and communications manager, a move that may not have been possible without the ability to study online.
“Living and working regionally means you can’t study on campus easily, so the ability to do so online is invaluable for developing employees in their current and future roles.
“At Resort Management we have a study support program that assists employees to complete their studies by offering leave to help with preparing for and taking exams, which makes the prospect of gaining additional qualifications more attainable for staff, and makes us appealing as an employer too,” Gillian concluded.
STUDY MODE: Those taking studies on Mt Buller while working full or part time jobs include (from left) Katie Bowker, Lyndsey Jackman, Angela Cesarec and Leanne Drake.
HELPING HAND: Gillian Dobson, marketing manager at Mt Buller, was an advisor but wholeheartedly supports the on-line study concept.