The start of a great jour­ney

> Take time to think about where you want to be

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

YOU have an im­por­tant de­ci­sion to make: what to study and where to study. It can be a con­fus­ing time for some­one who’s just fin­ished school and who hasn’t quite de­cided what to do. Add to that the myr­iad of ex­cit­ing cour­ses of­fered by thou­sands of uni­ver­si­ties around the globe, and it’s easy to fig­ure out why choos­ing a course and coun­try to study in can be a daunt­ing task. It doesn’t help if you’re also be­ing sub­jected to parental pres­sure to choose the course of study they have planned for you. So what do you do? The fol­low­ing steps may be use­ful:

De­cide on your in­tended ca­reer path first. You have to have a fair idea of what you want to be be­fore de­cid­ing on the course to pur­sue. Sit down in a quiet place and al­low your mind to re­lax, and then ask your­self “What do I want to be?” At this point, don’t think of the course of study you’ll need to un­der­take to get there, nor the cost, be­cause these con­sid­er­a­tions will dis­tract you from go­ing deep into your mind and find­ing your true call­ing. Try and get a pic­ture of your­self do­ing what you want to do as a pro­fes­sional and cap­ture the feel­ing of hap­pi­ness or ful­fil­ment you get from that pic­ture.

De­ter­mine how you will get to be what you want to be. Once you have got a clear pic­ture of what you want to be, get a pen and pa­per and write down all the things you need to do to get there. What sort of course do you need to do to be able to do the job ef­fec­tively? For ex­am­ple, if you see your­self pro­duc­ing tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials, what would you need to study to be able to do that? Where would you need to get a job upon grad­u­a­tion? What sort of job would you have to do first be­fore you progress to ac­tu­ally mak­ing com­mer­cials (be­cause let’s face it, not many clients are go­ing to ask a fresh grad­u­ate to make a com­mer­cial and you may have to work as an ap­pren­tice first)? This will en­able you to zoom in on the spe­cific things you will need to do to help your am­bi­tion be­come a re­al­ity.

Next, find out as much as you can about the de­gree pro­gramme that will help equip you with the knowl­edge and skills you need. Surf the in­ter­net, at­tend ed­u­ca­tion fairs, talk to the ca­reer guid­ance coun­sel­lors at lo­cal col­leges and if pos­si­ble, talk to pro­fes­sion­als who are al­ready in the line you have cho­sen to gather in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice. Make a list of all the rep­utable, recog­nised ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, both lo­cal and abroad, where the course of study is be­ing of­fered.

Once you have short­listed the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, find out more about the rel­e­vant cour­ses they of­fer and whether they fit in with your bud­get. Check on how the cour­ses are struc­tured, the sort of prac­ti­cal train­ing that’s in­volved, the lo­ca­tion of the univer­sity and range of sub­jects in­volved. Then, based on a con­sid­er­a­tion of all the fac­tors, make your choice of the most suit­able course to take and the best in­sti­tu­tion to sign up for it.

Of course, the above ad­vice is only ap­pli­ca­ble if your fi­nanciers are in com­plete ac­cor­dance with your am­bi­tion. But what if they want you to study fi­nance and you want to do fash­ion de­sign? Well, there is no need to give up on your dreams. Some­times, com­pro­mis­ing is the best way to get what you want in the long term.

Try to work out a way where you can do both. How? Well, there are two ways: look for an ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion that al­lows you to com­bine cour­ses from the dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines so you get to do what you want while ful­fill­ing your par­ents’ wishes. One of the ad­van­tages of study­ing in a place like the UK is that it of­fers flex­i­bil­ity to those who want to study more than one sub­ject. Look for an in­sti­tu­tion that will of­fer you the best com­bi­na­tion.

Another way is to sign up for fi­nance and work dur­ing your course to save up some money so that when you’ve grad­u­ated, you’ll have some sav­ings put aside to do a course in fash­ion de­sign. Full-time stu­dents in the UK are al­lowed to work up to 20 hours a week dur­ing term time and full-time dur­ing their hol­i­days. Another way to fi­nance your de­gree course would be to ap­ply for schol­ar­ships, bur­saries or other forms of fi­nan­cial aid.

Right, why don’t you go look for a place where you can think about what you want to be? Head to the Ed­u­ca­tion UK 2016 ex­hi­bi­tion on Nov 5 and 6, 1pm – 6pm, Hall 2, Kuala Lumpur Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. Cut the queue and pre-reg­is­ter your­self at https:// my.edukex­hi­bi­tion.org/en

Choos­ing a course and coun­try to study in can be a daunt­ing task.

Talk to ca­reer guid­ance coun­sel­lors for ad­vice.

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