FIVE signs that you are ready for master’s studies

Sometimes we do not know what we want in life. How do we change our plans into actions to develop our careers? When is the best time to enrol for a master’s programme?

As it is said, opportunity knocks only once. And when opportunity knocks on your door, always be willing to take a chance. You never know how perfect something could be or when the next opportunity will arise.

Sometimes instead of waiting, you have to create the right opportunity for yourself. One should look for the universe’s signs pointing to any arising opportunities.

One such opportunity is receiving higher education. Studying for a master’s can be a life-changing event and sometimes even the best decision one can make. While it may sound great and exciting, studying for a master’s requires a unique kind of resilience, commitment, dedication, and drive to complete the programme. Time-sensitive assignments, group discussions, researching, dissertation submission – your strengths will be tested on many levels.

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Whether a fresh undergrad or a seasoned professional, the decision to start a master’s is always excruciating. But here are five signs that you are ready to take the leap:

Stagnation in current career/job role

Working in the same role and doing the same job every day becomes mundane. Self-motivated people feel less challenged at work, and their level of job satisfaction declines drastically. Studying for a master’s brings new focus and challenge to an otherwise dull routine.

You have clear goals 

You always wanted to obtain a prestigious master’s degree and add another feather to your hat. Some people plan and define their career path in an early stage of their life, knowing exactly when they will start working, when they will study for their master’s, get married and even when they will have a baby.

You are ready and keen for the academic challenge

Despite busy work and home schedules, you are an avid reader and keep yourself abreast of the latest happenings worldwide. You have been actively researching the field you want to study for your master’s, reading textbooks, and reaching out to current students and alums to understand the academic challenge a master’s programme poses.

You want to network with like-minded people

One of the benefits that most master’s students look forward to is growing their professional network. Students from all over the world, with varying professional experiences, from different cultures come together to study for a master’s degree. Peer relationships formed during the master’s programme over group discussions, or forum chats, usually last a lifetime! This brings an opportunity to create a truly enriching academic experience.

You are ready for the time investment

Sometimes people keep the idea of studying for a master’s at bay simply because of time constraints. Job, family, and social commitment abstain you from committing yourself to the study environment. When you are focused on developing yourself academically and have set aside time, it is the right time to enrol for a master’s programme.

So, in summary, a desire to learn more, earn more and advance more could be your sign to enrol for a master’s programme today.

If you feel this is the right time for you to do a master’s degree, then look at our list of 100% online master’s degree programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and details on discounts we might be offering at this time.

Student Interview: Women in RKC – Darija Barrech

In one of our most popular blog series featuring our female students, we asked our students to share their experiences with us – the challenges of getting back to school, managing work and study along with family, and the unique challenges they faced being female students.

Darija is a graduate of our MA programme in Leading Innovation and Change (MALIC) through our exclusive partnership with York St John University, UK. This programme has been discontinued and reincarnated as a 100% online MBA programme in Leading Innovation and Change

“The MALIC program was the enabler to put all the puzzle pieces together that I had acquired in my working life. It made all things very logical and made me understand all the interactions even better.

I enjoyed the learning journey a lot! Since it is an online course, I really liked the freedom to learn in my pace and time.

The residency week was just great! Not only the learning but the people made it very special! It was wonderful to meet new friends from all over the world.

I cannot imagine any program to be more international than MALIC is! This aspect brings in fantastic personalities and perspectives.

Thank you to all who made this learning such a fun journey!”

Darija Barrech, Managing Director – Culcha gmbh, Zurich, Switzerland and an alumnus of Robert Kennedy College
Darija Barrech, Managing Director – Culcha gmbh, Zurich, Switzerland and an alumnus of Robert Kennedy College

An Introduction

Who are you, really (How do you define yourself? Professionally, personally?)?

My home is where my heart is. That describes me quite well. I am 1 of 4 children of my Croatian mother and my Pakistani father. I was born in Germany and grew up in Pakistan. At 15, I returned to Germany for further education. So maybe now you know why I ended up in HR :). I love people, I breathe change, I innovate, and I am culture… After heading HR for a multinational medical device company, I wanted to give some “fresh air” to my brain. I had been looking for a program for over a year. After completing MALIC, I founded my own company (, where I consult organisations in the area of organisational culture, leadership and change. Since August 2017, I have been a mom of our daughter Aviva which is another BIG learning and blessing in life. For almost 10 years, my husband and I have been living in Switzerland – which is a lovely and beautiful country.

Getting back to education

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash.

Your story of getting back to do a Master’s degree

What was the driving force behind your enrolling for an online degree? Who inspired you? What motivated you?

After heading HR for a multinational medical device company, I wanted to give some “fresh air” to my brain. I had been looking for a program for over a year. My husband, who saw an advertisement for the MALIC program in an aeroplane magazine, made me aware of it. The program was THE PERFECT FIT for me. It was blended, and the topics were spot on.

What were the thoughts/situations/people/challenges holding you back from starting (if any)? How did you overcome them?


What surprised you the most when you started your studies?

One thing I had never anticipated or thought of while looking for a good program was the mix of students. We were around 40 students in my cohort and “only” 4 where from Europe – the others coming from all over the world! I really made friends for life!

Do you feel there are unique challenges women face when deciding to get back into education?

When I started MALIC, I was without children but in a challenging job. From today´s perspective, I can imagine starting a program like MALIC could be very challenging in terms of time capacity (if you have children). Of course, like everything in life, it’s a question of priorities. Another thought might be in the direction of other national/geographical cultures… I could imagine that women in certain geographies might have the wish to conduct such a program but do not have the financial or family backing to do so.

Getting the degree

Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash.

The work to get the degree – what did you learn, how did you balance, what would you do differently

Which programme did you do? Why?

MALIC, the program was THE PERFECT FIT for me. It was blended and the topics where spot on. I liked the focus on change, leadership, culture, strategy and innovation.

What is the single most important thing you learned during the programme?

That I can learn everything, I want!

How did you balance work and studies?

Discipline and backing from my husband.

Any particular challenges to being a woman and studying online, or do you think all students face the same ones?

I do not see any particular challenges women face other than in time and/or culture/geography.

Life post-degree

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash.

What changed, if anything?

What’s new in your life since graduating/starting your studies? Any visible impact already?

I feel very sure and am very curious about the topics. I still keep learning.

Anything you are doing differently now because of the things you learned?

My way of learning has changed. I have been more academic-driven since MALIC. I more often consult studies when evaluating a topic.

Do you feel that getting a Master’s degree or doing other online programmes can reduce gender discrimination in the workplace?

I don’t think it can.

Advice for other women

Or other students, really.

Imagine you could send a message back in time to your pre-degree self: what would it be?

Why didn’t I do it earlier?!

Imagine you could send an object back in time to your pre-degree self: what would it be?

My MALIC Degree 🙂

Closing thoughts

Anything else you would like to add that could help with the goal of increasing women’s participation/access to a Master’s degree?

Completing MALIC was not only fun and smooth due to the topics, but it just gave me so many AHA moments and it clicked so many things I knew from practical work. It was THE BEST thing to do for me! Of course it is not easy doing such a program next to full time work, family, kids,…. BUT it is worth every minute spend. Professionally I grew by doing MALIC. I founded my own company ( where I consult organisations in the areas of culture, leadership and change. While being on the residency week in York, we had the opportunity to see the graduates (a year above us). This picture was THE motivator for me to continue and keep on learning when times got tougher.

If this blog has motivated you to challenge yourself and do a master’s degree, then have a look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and details on discounts we might be offering at this time.

#DILO (A day in the life of) a Robert Kennedy College master’s student

Here’s another gem of our #dilo (a day in the life of) series featuring our students. We asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions and give feedback on how they handled the challenges of online learning.

Learn from those who came before and see if what worked for them will help you become a better student! Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

An Introduction

Who are you, really?

I am an ambitious 40 (soon to be 41) year old woman, juggling a very demanding job while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and continually developing myself on a professional level.

Which programme did you choose and why?

MBA Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership. I manage the HR function of a law firm, and I thought this programme would give me added skills which I can use in my current role.

The Study Plan

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?

I tried to watch all the videos and do as much reading as I possibly could during the first three weeks. I always aimed to start writing by week 4. A great piece of advice I got was, “Just start by writing sentences. The more you read, the more you’ll be able to articulate your ideas”. I found the advice to be very true and a good strategy. I would say I dedicated an average of 20 hours a week approximately.

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)  

I would stay a couple of extra hours in the evening at work and dedicate that time to my studies. I found that to be easier than coming home and starting again. On the weekends, I would typically dedicate mornings to studying.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?  

I honestly cannot quantify that. One particular assignment required a lot more time than others, as it required a lot of practice. So I would say that I dedicated as much time as I could depending on the requirements for each module.

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Travelling and Communication  

How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

My work does not require me to travel, so it was a matter of ensuring that any holidays would be planned in a way that they would not interfere with my studies.

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?  

The online platform makes this pretty easy. Professors are usually quick in replying. I think the residency in York was an essential part of this programme because it made the whole experience real. You realise that most people are struggling with the same issues as you, and keeping in contact with several peers (mainly via Whatsapp) has provided a great support network, especially during dissertation!

A typical day as a master’s student  

What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?  

Go out for a run first thing in the morning before getting ready for work (currently back in the office 3 days a week). Deal with everything the day throws at me. At the end of the working day, I either spend an extra couple of hours at the office to dedicate to my studies or go home. I would summarise it as busy; however, now that I am in the final stages of this programme, I can honestly say that I would do it all over again. Looking back, I can say that the past two years have gone by very quickly, and all the effort was well worth it.

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Any advice?  

Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies.  

Always give yourself sufficient time to write your assignments, and don’t leave them until the last minute. Read, read and read, as that is the only way you’ll be able to write. If you have a block on some days, that’s fine, pick up the next day, and if you don’t know what to write, it means you haven’t read enough.

I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for similar blogs. So, if you have been considering doing a master’s degree and now understand how to study better for an online programme, look at our programmes and see if anything interests you.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and answers to any questions you may have.

Benefits of networking at college and SEVEN tips on how to go about it

Like most young adults, my time at university was spent hanging out with friends and doing the bare minimum to get through the programme. Unfortunately for me, apart from my friends, I interacted very little with my other classmates, alums, and professors. I was friendly and polite when spoken to but did little to leave an impression, positive or negative, on them.

Age and hindsight make all your mistakes more apparent, and my mistakes are so evident to me now.

With just a little effort, I could have made many more friends (some of them might have been lifelong), got a better job or formed future business partnerships. There are so many great examples of businesses formed from networks made at universities, such as Facebook and Apple, to name a couple.

Photo credit: By geralt from Pixabay on Canva

The following are seven simple ways to help you form your network and the benefits you could get from them.

(1) The professors

Photo credit: By Yan Krukov from Pexels on Canva

Unfortunately, some students view the professors as the enemy put on earth by a vengeful deity to torture the poor innocent students with assignments and tests. But the truth is that most professors are there to help and want to help, and most students have a good relationship with their professors. For students who show potential, professors have been known to connect them with alums they are in touch with and help the student get started in their careers.

(2) That classmate who always slept in class

Photo credit: By kanchanachitkhamma on Canva

Most students form some connection with their classmates. Regardless of how irresponsible your classmates might seem today, with time, things will change, as change is the only constant in life. And these classmates go on to build careers across various fields, and companies or even become entrepreneurs. If you have made a strong connection and network with these classmates, it will benefit both of you over time. But don’t limit yourself to only your class; if the opportunity is there to network with students from other courses, then don’t miss out on networking with them.

(3) Alums

I remember meeting with a difficult client a few years ago. My team had been struggling to close this client for a while, and for some reason, they could not do so. When I met with this client, after the initial introductions, we learnt that we had studied at the same college, which broke the ice. We reminisced about old times and the professors we had in common, it was indeed an enjoyable meeting, and we reached a mutually beneficial business understanding. Most universities/colleges try to maintain a good relationship with their alums as the relationship can be helpful for both of them and the college’s current batch of students. So, try to use this relationship between the alums and the college or even the professors with the alums and build a network with the alums.

(4) Social Media

Photo credit: By geralt from Pixabay on Canva

A game changer today, but unfortunately for me, it was in its infancy when I was in college (for those who know, something called Orkut used to be around then). But today, with sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a professional profile, your reach can go well beyond your professors, alums and college mates.  

(5) Social Events

Evens like the graduation ceremony, residency, and other cultural events are excellent grounds for networking. You are exposed to a large group of happy like-minded people, and even a short conversation with someone could lead to the start of a networking opportunity.

(6) Job Fairs

Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

I think this is a subcategory of the above point, but job events are also an excellent opportunity to network, even if it might just be superficial. But with social media, a connection can be made quickly and passive. This network can work for you in the background without your active involvement; you will be able to view updates posted by them, some of which might benefit you sometime in the future.

(7) Make the first move

Don’t be afraid to make the first move. What is the worst that can happen? They say no, they are not interested in networking with you. But making the first move is not enough; you are not there to add them to your social media and give them your resume. It would help if you made an impression, however small, with the limited time you have to interact with them. Try and make your conversation interesting and engaging, something you could call back on when you connect with them in the future to recall their memory of you. If you are having trouble with the conversation, ask questions relevant to them; we all like to talk about ourselves!

Hopefully, these points will help you build a robust, professional and beneficial network. If you have any other tips that might help our readers improve networking skills, please share them here.

If you are ready to add to your network and, at the same time, increase your professional value with a globally recognised master’s degree, then take a look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and details on discounts we might offer.