Continuing with our blog series featuring our female students, we asked our students to share their experiences with us – the challenges of getting back to school, of managing work and study along with family, and the unique challenges they faced being female students.
Ms. Marie-Theres Moser 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 has been reincarnated as a 100% online MBA programme in Leading Innovation and Change.
Now, let us see what she has to say!
Who is …
A short profile
Sahil Devasia (SD): Who are you, really?
Marie-Theres Moser (MTM): I was always interested in acquiring versatile knowledge. I never get bored. I enjoy dealing with many areas of business, socio-cultural issues and looking for ways to improve and apply them in my life. Personal development, education and the interest in current topics are part of my daily life. Therefore, I am always very happy to meet people with a history, a different cultural background and way of thinking. People and the way they shape their lives inspire me. This attitude is reflected in my private life, where I love to travel, share my time with friends, but also professionally when I meet clients. I enjoy this and it gives me meaning.
Getting back into education
Your story of getting back to do a Master’s degree
SD: What was the driving force behind your enrolling for an online degree? Who inspired you? What motivated you?
MTM: The Master’s degree was important for me to be able to meet all the demands of my new job. I had the feeling that I was still missing something, that I still wanted to learn something in order to be up to my job. Then it was clear that I would start looking for a suitable course of studies. It was important for me to be able to study regardless of location, to remain flexible and to be able to manage my full-time job in parallel.
SD: What were the thoughts/situations/people/challenges holding you back from starting (if any)? How did you overcome them?
MTM: During my Master’s I had a very time-consuming job, I travelled several days a week and therefore had to give up a lot of free time. To do a Master’s degree in addition to this was actually near-utopian. In conversations with my friends and family, however, I realized that I had enough ambition and stamina, and that my curiosity was taking me further and further. Therefore, I had confidence in myself and could overcome the fear of not making it.
SD: What surprised you the most when you started your studies?
MTM: It was amazing how well people from all over the world can learn, educate and support each other. Each in his own rhythm, each with his strengths and weaknesses.
SD: Do you feel there are unique challenges women face when deciding to get back into education?
MTM: Basically, I always had the feeling that I had to assert myself even more strongly than a male colleague. If a woman continues to educate herself and gets everything sorted out parallel to her job and family, then that deserves recognition. I think that is something very special.
Getting the degree
The work to get the degree – what did you learn, how did you balance, what would you do differently
SD: Which programme did you do? Why?
MTM: I was enrolled in the MA Leading Innovation and Change, because I am interested in the connection between leadership, organizational culture and the impact on the innovative strength of companies. In my opinion, changing strategic orientations, reacting quickly in a changing economy is only possible if a company is not too rigidly positioned.
SD: What is the single most important thing you learned during the programme?
MTM: It is incredibly important to have fun with everything you do and spend your precious time on, then you can accomplish anything.
SD: How did you balance work and studies?
MTM: That was very difficult because I was very challenged professionally. You should not see studying as a burden, but as an enrichment. It is part of your free time, it creates parallels between your job and your studies – the one should benefit from the other.
SD: Any particular challenges to being a woman and studying online, or do you think all students face the same ones?
MTM: It gives you a high degree of flexibility and self-organisation which may be more important for women with family and children.
Life post degree
What changed, if anything?
SD: What’s new in your life since graduating / starting your studies? Any visible impact already?
MTM: I have the feeling of working more systematically, questioning circumstances and finding solutions.
SD: Anything you are doing differently now because of the things you learned?
MTM: My self-organisation and the prioritisation of tasks works much better since then.
SD: Do you feel that getting a Master’s degree or doing other online programmes can reduce gender discrimination in the work place?
MTM: In any case, it gives women the opportunity to educate themselves, to organize themselves without being bound by time and place. This is certainly important for women who work full-time, have a family and want to continue their education. I think most men do not have this double burden.
Advice for other women
Or other students, really.
SD: Imagine you could send a message back in time to your pre-degree self: what would it be?
MTM: Have more self-confidence, enjoy the time and don’t be so strict with yourself!
SD: Imagine you could send an object back in time to your pre-degree self: what would it be?
MTM: I recently bought a new coffee machine, this would have been good for the time during the Master. When I think of all those evenings, when I looked at my books tired and sometimes frustrated…
SD: Anything else you would like to add that could help with the goal of increasing women’s participation/access to a Master’s degree?
MTM: I enjoyed the Master very much and the possibility to organize everything online took away additional stress. It is a great way to gain additional knowledge and build a good network. Anyone can do it who wants to!
If you have been thinking about getting your master’s degree, proving to yourself and others that you CAN do it, now would be a good time to take the plunge. Have a look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything that could help.
You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programmes offered, application process, and for more information on any discounts we might be running in this rather strange period of our lives.
Thank you for this interview, I found the words I need at the moment: don’t doubt yourself, don’t criticize yourself, it is doable.
I look forward to every post about women in RKC and find it extremely useful and supportive.
Thanks, Oksana. I am glad you find the ‘Women in RKC’ blogs inspirational and useful. Watch out this space for more 🙂
Stay safe and healthy.