All you need to know about Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology

Time is money, and both time and money are evolving rapidly. The discovery of the internet disrupted the way the world operated, bringing political, business, economic and social changes. It improved business processes and made online transactions, and banking, among other things, quicker and less complicated. And this is just the beginning; we humans are, after all, constant inventors and innovators.

Traditionally, political, economic, and legal systems structures are defined by contracts, transactions, and records. Nations and organisations set boundaries of operation to identify and chronicle managerial and social events.

But now it’s time for economic transformation. However, the slow and administrative regulations are stifling the digital transformation. 

Blockchain technology is here to help!

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is an open, distributed technology that enables the process of recording unalterable transactions and tracking assets. Blockchain works on five basic principles:

  1. Distributed database
  2. Immutable records
  3. Transparent access
  4. Algorithm-based computational logic
  5. Two-way participant transmission
Photo credit: Pwc.com

Blockchain gets its name because of the way the transactions are grouped together into blocks of data, then chained together by way of a mathematical function that creates a hash code

Blockchain has disrupted the business industry with its application in financial services, healthcare, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) for supply chain, retail sector, oil and gas, telecommunications, insurance, smart contracts, voting and crypto of course.

So, how do blockchain technology and cryptocurrency work together?

Since its first implementation in 2009, blockchain has not been well known. Blockchain technology is the foundational technology for cryptocurrency, which was first implemented just a decade ago but was revolutionised with the widespread use of the application by Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and operated through blockchain.

Blockchain is the foundational technology for cryptocurrency

Blockchain made it possible to record bitcoin transactions without a central authority establishing trust in a trustless environment. Being a digitalised, decentralised, public ledger, blockchain allows the formation of digital information into blocks, which are stored across a network of computers, creating a database. When verifiable transactions take place, the data is stored in blocks, which, when complete, are added to the chain.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and, USD Coin are used to buy goods and services. And cryptocurrency uses blockchain, an enhanced cryptographic security system, as a public ledger with immutable records that cannot be deleted or altered. 

Cryptocurrency is used as a digital form of cash to buy goods and services through various trading platforms or digital wallets. The blockchain technology here records the transaction when ownership is transferred to the new owner. Every transaction, therefore, is a public ledger, unalterable, secure and time-stamped.

The pace of technology will not slow down. Cryptocurrency and blockchain hand in hand continue to disrupt much more than the financial services industry. 

What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below.

#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Tahera Sultana

Continuing with our series of blogs that answer some of the questions we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get asked frequently by students looking to join one of our online programmes. We asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions, to give their feedback on how they handled the challenges of online learning. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

Let’s learn from those who came before and see if what worked for them will help you become a better student!

Be disciplined and prepared to devote time and energy to the course.

Tahera Sultana

An Introduction

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash.

Who are you?

Hi, my name is Tahera Sultana (it means pure). I am female, married with no children. I am also a Compliance Officer and have worked for different financial institutions for more than 20 years.

Which programme did you choose and why?

I am studying the Master of Laws (LLM) programme. I have been working in the compliance field for over twenty years, and I find more of my colleagues and subordinates are law graduates. I thought to myself, if I pursue a law degree, I could enhance my knowledge grow beyond being a Compliance Officer.

The Study Plan

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

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

I am a full-time employee and a part-time student. Before starting a module, I will understand the module requirement that I am about to enrol. Each week, I print out all presentation material and listen to the recorded lecture; I make my notes and review the lecture a few times until I can digest the topic. I spent approximately one hour per week on lectures and 2-3 hours reading time for the required chapter in the module.

I spent most of the time working on my given assignment. The research process takes up to 10 hours. After reading the related material, I will start writing the paper. As I have done three modules so far in the programme, writing time takes up to 5-6 hours per 1,000 words. As a full-time employee, I work on my assignment in the evening and during the weekend. Assignment time is not an easy task for me, but a very fruitful experience. I enjoy writing on meaningful and interesting topics.

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

I had no choice in choosing my study time. For me, after work is the most suitable time to study. If I had a choice, I would have chosen early mornings to do my studies. For the most part, weekends are not good for me because I work from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm (normal office hours is 9 to 6, but in Hong Kong, we have unofficial long working hours). Over the weekend, I go hiking and spend time with my family. If I have to complete an assignment, I will work extra hours during the week to meet the deadline. I will also skip hiking and family time to achieve the goal.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?

Every 1000 words will take me approximately 5-6 hours of writing time. I devote approximately 20 to 22 hours to each assignment (excluding research & reading material).

Travelling and Communication

The challenges of learning while travelling. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash.

How did travelling impact your ability to study?

I find it very hard to study if I have to travel. I may skip one weeks’ lecture and catch up in the coming weeks, i.e., after my business travel. If I have to submit an assignment during my travel, I carry all my research material onto the aircraft and work during the flight. I remember, it was late Jan 2020, I had to fly from Hong Kong to London; I worked 10 hours on the flight. Fortunately, I had three hours of sleep during that trip.

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

Interacting with peers and professors is no big deal in these modules. We have once or twice zoom / Blue Jean meetings in each module. I am not concerned about the time difference, as I am in Asia; 3:00 pm London/Swiss time is 9:00 pm Hong Kong time. That suits me, for I can join after office hours. However, when I am travelling, there will be a problem with the change in the time difference, and I might end up missing the meeting. At one time I remember I used my computer in the hotel during my business trip to interact with the whole class; I could not hear clearly what they were discussing due to hotel Wi-Fi.

A typical day as a master’s student

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

I find myself glad that there is an online course that I can take advantage of. I can still work as a full-time employee and study during my off-hours, although it is not an easy task when there is travelling involved. I take pride in my decision to gain a Master’s degree; I understand that hard work is needed, and I know this will help me progress and enhance to the next level.

Any advice?

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

Be disciplined and prepared to devote time and energy to the course. Know that all classmates are your partners, and the professors are very experienced and are there to help you succeed. I am glad that I made a good choice to achieve my Master’s degree.


I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for similar blogs. So, if you have been thinking about 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 the programme that is right for you, the application process, and for details on discounts we might be offering at this time.

#Dilo – A day in the life of an RKC student – Wilson K

As a former Education advisor, if I had to pick one of the most frequently asked questions by prospective students, it would be “How many hours do I need to study?”  

The vast majority (if not all) of our students are working and leading hectic professional lives. Some are motivated and have already decided to undertake a master’s, while others contemplate the unknowns of an online programme. In my experience, two things affect their decision the most.   

First – finances, and second, being able to strike the perfect work, study, and life balance. While I cannot completely help you with the finances (partially yes – check out the discount offers currently being offered on our online MBA, MSc, and LL.M programmes), I thought what I could do to help was to bring some facts to light about the other unknowns – what does a typical day in the life of an online master’s student look like?  

I asked a few of our students from different walks of life, occupations, and personal situations to answer a few questions on their study tactics and strategies, plans and reality, and so on.  So, through our ‘#DILO ‘a typical day in the life of a master’s student’ blog series every month, we bring to you one of our actual students or alumni sharing the insights.   

Today, we’re looking at Wilson’s typical study days. Wilson, the Managing Director of an advertising company in Kenya for the past 14 years, offered us these answers:

An Introduction  

Vidhi Kapoor (VK): Which programme did you choose and why?  

Wilson K (WK): I chose an MBA programme in International Business in order to boost my wealth of knowledge for conducting business through a wider lens that could help me steer the company and any new initiatives to greater heights from an informed foundation.

A person writing on a piece of paper

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Stayed focused and consistent

The Study Plan   

VK : 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?  

WK:  While the modules are structured with the ease of flexibility, the fundamental aspect is that each revolves around the individual’s ability to keep the pace as a member of a group class. And this means serious balancing between work expectations and deadlines, not to mention that you must also research and study to reflect the mind of a master’s student. My strategy was to allocate the first 2 hours on Monday, 2 hours Wednesday morning and at least 3 hours on Friday to catch up with the reading and contribute to class work and assignments as well. 

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

WK: I found morning hours very apt especially if the assigned time implied adjusting your wake-up schedule and morning routine. The mind is less polluted and cluttered with the day’s requirement and one is able not only to concentrate but also bring out the best in terms of thinking and concentration.

A clock on a table

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Wilson allocated time based upon the requirements of each assignment

VK: How much time did you devote for each assignment?  

WK: Time devotion for each assignment was dictated by the requirements and details of the questions. In most cases, each weekly assignment needed about 4 hours, but the examinations required at least 4 days considering that one is given the benefit of knowing each paper in advance.

Travelling and Communication  

VK: Did you travel for work? How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

DA:  My work involves a lot of travel around the country but whenever such need arose, I had to plan for a trade-off in terms of hours where either delegation or relegation of priorities had to be effected. Missed classwork and deadlines sounded like the best recipe for failing a module and facing the menacing consequences that are well defined within the rules.

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

WK: With proper planning and calculated awareness of time differences, I really can’t say I had a problem interacting with peers. The University timetable was also well aligned to this as both the classwork and assignment deadlines did not create overly demanding adjustments.

A typical day as a master’s student  

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

WK: A typical day comes with lots of anxiety on not only how well you are faring in class but your preparedness towards the assessments. You also have to keep check of your performance within the organisation especially if you are a leader so that you do not jeopardize the organization you guide.

Any advice?  

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

WK: This programme demands individual discipline especially on time management. The risk of just skimming through the course is real and the most important thing to keep at the back of the head is that this should not just be for passing the exams and getting an award but to ensure that you obtain the incredible insights that propels your line of thought, intelligence, and faculties higher than where you are today.

   

A person working on a computer

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Wilson says the programme aims forthe incredible insights that propels your line of thought, intelligence, and faculties higher than where you are today.

Alright friends, this was a sneak peek of a typical day in Wilson’s life as a master’s student. I hope you find it insightful and informative and that it gives you an idea of what to expect when you enrol for our master’s programmes. Watch this space as we have many more interesting insights coming up! 

#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Premprakash

Sometimes, the fear of the unknown is more of a hindrance in achieving your end goal. Once you are past this fear and are well informed, it is just a matter of planning your path. Similar is the plight of students who want to study of online but face the fear of the unknown, such as : What is the best way to study online? Should you do an online programme? How to better manage time when learning online? And so on. 

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

These are all questions that we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get regularly asked by students looking to join one of our online programmes. Undertaking to do an online master’s degree programme will be an additional commitment to your time and finances, and it is wise to get information beforehand.

Through this continuing series of blog posts, some of our past and current students have shared their experiences, thoughts and opinions and given their feedback on handling some of these choices and situations. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

This time we have an alumnus from the University of Cumbria and Robert Kennedy College, MBA Leadership & Sustainability programme, Premprakash. 

An Introduction

Which Uni are you studying with?

University of Cumbria

Which programme did you choose and why?

MBA Leadership & Sustainability

The Study Plan

A hand holding a phone

Description automatically generated with low confidencePhoto by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

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

Minimum of six hours daily. I work better under pressure. The two modules that I enjoyed the most were IMS (Information Management) and Marketing Management. I did them together, and it turned out to be two distinctions! IMS Professor Radu was someone I really liked. His reply to the forums and interims was why I achieved high marks in IMS.

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

After midnight through to early mornings all week plus the weekends.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?

For the interim assignment I spent one week and, for final assessments about two weeks’ time. I completed my dissertation within the 6-month minimum period. 

Travelling and Communication

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

How did travelling impact your ability to study?

The Online residency was a lifesaver as Covid19 disrupted travel to the UK. 

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

The time difference did not pose any problems for me.

A typical day as a master’s student

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

Studying keeps me happy, focused, and desiring more knowledge.

Any advice?

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

Never give up!!!

A to the point and practical advice by our alumni. I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and provided that motivational boost to your academic plans..You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer and the application process.

Top 5 Master’s programmes trending in 2022 

The purpose of pursuing a master’s programme could be many, advancement in career, aiming for a higher salary, growth opportunities, thirst for knowledge, switching careers, etc. A Master’s degree can be pursued to add knowledge on the subject already studied in an undergraduate degree or a new subject regardless of what was learned earlier. It could be your second degree, one of the several you pursued through the career or the very first degree you wanted to earn and get that formal qualification.  

There are numerous options and specialities that you can choose as your major for your master’s degree. However, a few majors have become hugely popular amongst students as these are in great demand by employers, offering better career prospects and employment opportunities.  

So, which master’s programme has made it to the top of the list in 2022? Let’s have a look: 

Top 5 Master’s programme in 2022

1. Project Management 

Just as the name suggests, a project manager takes the lead role in planning, organising and completing a project. Since the project manager skills are easily transferable, they can work in any industry such as banking, tech, retail, pharma, or telecom industry, to name a few.   

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

There has been an ever-increasing demand for project managers, and the economic hit suffered due to Covid-19 across the globe has only strengthened the need for project managers. The disruptions caused by the pandemic have resulted in governments earmarking and spending trillions of dollars on recovery projects.  

With millions of new projects across several industries being put into production, project management is here to stay.  

2. Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management  

Another hugely sought-after specialisation in 2022 is supply chain management. The entire world faces supply crunches for several goods and essentials, with most being back ordered for months. The role of a good supply chain manager is to analyse business processes, identify efficient procurement sources, establish a stable, reliable, and cost-efficient logistics network, and always ensure sufficient inventory levels while minimising costs.  

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

A master’s degree in the field will ensure global career opportunities in purchasing, logistics and consulting.  

3. Leading Innovation and change 

In any business or organisation, change is inevitable. If you are a professional leading and supporting innovation and change in the organisation or community, this specialisation is right for you. A good innovation manager must be good at managing projects and managing change. They help shape the organisation’s culture and processes and provide necessary training to ensure innovative success. Modern organisations provide ample opportunity and rewarding careers for innovators in different roles such as Chief innovation officer, Business development lead, Innovation consultant, Change agent, Innovation strategist and Transformation manager.  

4. Healthcare Management 

If you are looking for a rewarding career focused on healthcare, a master’s degree in healthcare management can jumpstart your career in the field. As a healthcare administrator in roles such as healthcare consultant, Clinical Director, Administrator, and Healthcare manager, you can serve people and the community in improving their health while being on the administrative side of healthcare. There is an increasing demand for managers to look after the day-to-day operations and efficient management of resources in healthcare. 

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

5. Data Analytics 

In this changing and dynamic business environment, traditional methods of doing business and catering to consumer needs is a thing of the past. Nowadays, all businesses and services are being provided online. There is a need to understand consumer behaviour and cater to their specific and, where possible customised demand. The Internet has shrunk the world, and there is a sudden influx of information and big data. Big corporations want to defeat the competition and gain valuable insights into consumer behaviour by analysing data.  

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

The good news is that Robert Kennedy College offers all the above top trending specialisations of 2022. Talk to one of our advisors today about enrolling in one of these programmes! 

#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Philip Redhead

What is the best way to study online? Should you do an online programme? How to better manage time when learning online?

How to deal with the challenges of learning online? Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash.

These are all questions that we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get regularly asked by students looking to join one of our online programmes. Undertaking to do an online master’s degree programme will be an additional commitment to your time and finances, and it is wise to get information beforehand.

Through this continuing series of blog posts, some of our past and current students have shared their experiences, thoughts and opinions and given their feedback on handling some of these choices and situations. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

“Expect it to be tough but rewarding.”

Philip Redhead

An Introduction

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash.

Who are you?

Philip Redhead

Which Uni are you studying with?

York St John University

Which programme did you choose and why?

MBA Leading Innovation and Change. I selected this course to build on my MSc in Educational Leadership and Management in terms of a broader business and strategy angle.

The Study Plan

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

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

Each module really does require 200-300 hours. I planned for 2-3 hours per day on most weekdays and extended periods at weekends. I also took leave at crucial times to ensure submission deadlines were met.

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

Evenings through the week and full days at weekends and on the days I took leave leading up to the draft and final submissions.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?

200-300 hours

Travelling and Communication

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash.

How did travelling impact your ability to study?

As a consultant, I was travelling regularly, which helped me have alone time in hotels to focus on my studies. I even got quite a lot done on planes.

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

This was fine. I was always within 3-4 hours of Zurich and York. Also, being ‘ahead’ gave me an extra feeling of comfort over deadlines!

A typical day as a master’s student

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

Depends. On working weekdays maybe 2 hours most evenings. Then planned, long days in cafes.

Any advice?

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

Expect it to be tough but rewarding. Plan time across the 12 weeks of each module when you know, you will be alone and not be disturbed. The better you plan and communicate your plan, the more understanding and supportive your family and employer will be! Select your module dates according to your commitments, and don’t be afraid to change. Resist the temptation to do this quickly and overlap courses if you are also working full time.


I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for more similar blogs. You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer and the application process.

“Focus on your key objectives in 2022” – Dean’s message for the New Year!

A new year means new resolutions. As we all fasten our seat belts and rush to achieve our newly formulated objectives, Prof. David Costa, Dean, Robert Kennedy College (RKC), advises to the contrary and suggests we take it slow. Dr Costa proposes not to get overwhelmed or distracted with a long list of resolutions but to focus on small and critical objectives to start with.

We have a great support system for our students at Robert Kennedy College. From highly qualified faculty to a world-class professional alumni network, you’ll know you made the right decision to study for your master’s degree with RKC. Join us today.

#DILO – A day in the life of an RKC Master’s student – Guochang Li

As a former Education advisor, if I had to pick one of the most frequently asked questions by prospective students, it would be “How many hours do I need to study?”  

The vast majority (if not all) of our students are working and leading hectic professional lives. Some are motivated and have already decided to undertake a master’s, while others contemplate the unknowns of an online programme. In my experience, two things affect their decision the most.   

First – finances, and second, being able to strike the perfect work, study, and life balance. While I cannot completely help you with the finances (partially yes – check out the discount offers currently being offered on our online MBA, MSc, and LL.M programmes), I thought what I could do to help was to bring some facts to light about the other unknowns – what does a typical day in the life of an online master’s student look like?  

Today, we’re looking at Guochang Li’s typical study days. Guochang, an RKC & York St. John University graduate, offered us these answers:  

An Introduction  

Vidhi Kapoor (VK): Which programme did you choose and why?  

Guochang Li (GL): Innovation Leadership and Consulting. In my opinion, innovation is the vitality for an enterprise to survive and develop. Individuals with innovation leadership have more substantial competitive advantages in their career development. Innovation requires individuals to keep an open mind, which is beneficial for a good communication between individuals and society.

The Study Plan   

VK : 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?  

GL: I planned to put 2-3 hours per day into studying the module. But the reality is – that is not enough. Especially for the amount of reading that is required. So I ended up setting about 3-4 hours per day eventually.  

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

GL: Early mornings were the most suitable time to study for me.

Guochang allocated approximately 2to 3 hours a day for module study

VK: How much time did you devote for each assignment?  

GL: About 2 weeks for the mid-assignment, and 4 weeks for the final assignment.

Travelling and Communication  

VK: Did you travel for work? How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

GL: Travelling (especially the business travelling) do impact the study. I need to pur more time before or after travelling to catch up on my study plan.

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

GL: The forum and email were the best way for me to interact with professors and peers. I also joined the study group of my classmates in the same time zone. We helped each other and discussed for studies together.

A typical day as a master’s student  

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

GL: I divided my day as follows: Early morning(2 hours): read the recommended material to understand the courses, and make reading notes. Lunch break or afternoon(1 hour): go through the new courses, and make notes. Evening (1 hour): reading. Weekend Morning: Reading, or writing the assignment.

Any advice?  

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

GL: 1. Reading the recommended material is very important for understanding the courses. In my experience reading at least 1-2 study material of each course comes helpful in the module study and in writing the assignment. 2. Planning module study and assignment writing, and following the plan 3. Keep the deadlines in your mind to complete the plan, and allow yourself 2-3 days to review and revise the assignments. 4. Use reading tools, as Acrobat for reading, Zotero for notes.

 

Guochang used reading tools, as Acrobat for reading, Zotero for note…

All right, so this was a sneak peek of a typical day in Guochang’s life as a master’s student. I hope you find it insightful and informative and that it gives you an idea of what to expect when you enrol for our master’s programmes. Watch this space as we have many more interesting insights coming up! 

Mature Students – 2 of the biggest challenges of getting back to school

I recently celebrated a birthday, and, in my melancholy, I got a little philosophical and started to think about growing old, achieving, or failing to achieve milestones, etc. You get the picture. Then I started thinking about our students, and I can honestly say they inspired me to write this blog. A majority of our students are mature students, and they choose to challenge themselves by doing a master’s degree.

A master’s degree is a challenge by itself, and added to this are the additional challenges that most mature students face, and I just have one world for our students – RESPECT!

RKC Graduation 2018 @YorkStJohn

I want to start this blog with the preface that I know there are a lot of challenges mature students face when they get back to studying. And I am not saying that any of the other challenges mature students face are not worthy of being considered a “big” challenge; one person’s Everest might be another person’s molehill, by which I mean for each of the challenges we face are the biggest and the only ones that matter.

This blog is about the two most significant, most common challenges faced by mature students, in my opinion, based on what I have seen, heard, and researched. They are –

  1. Job
  2. Family

I consider two other challenges equally important; I find that they are deeply integrated into the above two “big” challenges, so I am putting them in a subcategory. They are – time and finances.

Job

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

There are several reasons what one might decide to a master’s degree late in life.  One of the worries most people would naturally have when they choose to get back to studies after a break is how they will manage work and study at the same time? The fact of the matter is it is not going to be easy! Most of us are set in our ways and have a routine that we are used to, and as human beings, we do not like change.

But you decided to do a master’s degree for a reason. Either you are not happy with the job that you are doing and want to change to a career that gives you fulfilment, or you are among the lucky few that have found a career that gives you job satisfaction and are looking for a leg up either in terms of academic knowledge or padding your resume to provide you with an edge in your next appraisal cycle.

So, keep this in mind the next time you feel down and stressed. Yes, it will be hard, and you will have to make changes to your schedule to work in a daily study time. You will have the challenges of completing assignments on time and doing research. But you will learn from everything you do, and things will improve.

Family

Family time. Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

Family is another aspect of your life that will be impacted by your decision of going back to school. And for those of you who are single, with minimum family responsibilities, family for you here means your social life (friends). You will have to make sacrifices; you are working towards earning your master’s degree! Keep in mind, a little hardship and sacrifice can result in great rewards in the future.

Work with your family, explain why you have decided to get back to studying and how you plan to change your schedule. Don’t sugarcoat it, tell them it will be hard, and your time will not be your own, but it will be only for a short time and will be worth it in the long run. It might surprise you how supportive your family can be, and you will require their strength and support when you get stressed.

The other challenges

Finance

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Time to tighten your belt and cut down on frivolous expenses. Doing a master’s degree can be an expensive prospect, especially if it is from an accredited, globally recognised university. Noting is free, and anything worth getting will cost. You get what you paid for! Budgeting for the additional expense of a master’s degree will have an impact on your lifestyle and family. It also brings into focus the importance of having and keeping your job. But if you plan and start budgeting early, it can be done comfortably. 

Check with the college about the payment terms. You might find the down payment to start the programme reasonable with multiple easy monthly instalment plans options. Check and see what works best within your budget. And don’t forget, a little hardship now can lead to greater rewards in the future.

Time

Time management is the key. Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Time is the one thing that waits for no one. There are multiple challenges when it comes to managing time. Can time be managed? First, you must decide if this is the right time to go back to school. Can you wait any further? Are you losing out if you delay? How are you going to manage your work, family, and study at the same time?

The answer is to plan and schedule everything. People who use a calendar know how useful it can be to increase efficiency. The organiser/calendar is a tool that can be far more useful than to remind you of your next meeting. Create a calendar that contains every minutia of your daily activities for the week/month/quarter (however long you can go), from household chores to study/work deadlines. Then populate the calendar with your family’s schedule; this will give you a good idea of your schedule, inform you when to expect distractions from your family, and help you plan for it.

Time management is the key! IT. CAN. BE. DONE.


Now, if you don’t want to delay anymore and are ready to start a master’s degree programme, chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors today.

The Subtle Art of Saying No

Ever wondered why we tend to say “yes” to people when we really don’t want to? Blame it on human psychology or human beings being social animals. We find it extremely difficult to say no to anyone.  

We adore attention and feel gratified when others admire us, trust and look up to us. But when this takes the form of constant requests and more work for yourself, you detest being the go-to person. People want to say yes because they are afraid, afraid to disappoint others. We feel personally responsible for letting others down if we decline their proposition or their request for help. During these troubled times, with businesses being in jeopardy, everyone is overwhelmed, constantly working, and juggling work and relationships. Everyone is over-extended, and it is not the best soil to grow ideas or make sound business decisions.  

Are you saying a “good yes” or a “bad yes”?

What begins as an intent to help becomes a bad “yes” – simply because you do not have the productive capacity or knowledge to complete the task. Such a “yes” is bound for failure. When there is so much asking around in an organisation and collaborative overload, one should focus on moving to good yesses and good nos to avoid failures.  

How to say No?  

You have decided that you are going to turn down someone’s request to undertake a task. Now comes the even more difficult part: actually saying “no”! How do you effectively communicate your decision?  

Begin with a positive statement by appreciating the opportunity extended your way, that you were considered worthy enough to do justice to the job. But present your “but” in a way that shows you have carefully considered the proposition and convey the “why” of your decision. Let them realise that you did not decide to say no lightly, that the “no” was not because you are lazy, un-zealous to learn, or simply being difficult.  

Saying no can be an onerous process but trust me, it will prove to be more productive for yourself and the business. Base your decision on this checklist:  

1.    Do not let fear decide  

If you fear that saying “no” will stress your work relationship, remember that saying “yes” when you cannot deliver the results will stress you and the relationship even more. If the working relationship turns sour just because you said “no”, then it was never meant to be. Let it go.  

A decision taken under duress leads to stress on oneself and on work relationships

2.    Evaluate the proposition  

I know from personal experience when we are new to an organisation or a job, we are eager to learn because knowledge is power. Gain that power but keeping in view the quality you are gaining. Ask yourself what ‘value addition’ can you get from this task. Ask questions such as why, when, and what is needed for the task. Doing due diligence on someone’s request is respecting them and yourself.  

3.   Remember what you want to be known for  

What may seem like an opportunity to learn for you could become an opportunity for others to learn a thing or two about you. When you say “no”, back it up with legitimate and fair reasons, tell them why the proposition is not worth your time or effort or simply that you do not have that kind of time to invest in this project. You already have enough on your plate. When the other person: your boss, your client, your colleague, hears your side of the story, they will understand your situation, and you will become known for your work ethics and values. You will be known for authenticity and for being a good decision-maker. Everyone will respect your decision when you say “no” the next time because they will know there is a genuine reason behind it, and it’s just not a lack of interest or laziness involved. They will even bring better propositions to you that you will find difficult to turn down. They will try to please you and not the other way round.  

When you say “yes” to someone’s request, you commit to executing and delivering results.

4.    Deliver results  

The only consideration that should drive your professional decisions should be results. When you say “yes” to someone’s request, you commit to executing and delivering results. You do not want to be in a position where you realise later that either you cannot, are not allowed to, or should not do so. Do not bite more than you can chew. Do not be hard on yourself thinking that you are being difficult. Convey that you are making a good business decision.  

5.    Provide options  

While it is not easy to say “no” to someone who had high hopes on your saying “yes” and was relying on you for completing the task, remember that people come to you because you are a problem-solver and are resourceful. If you cannot do the job yourself, give them other options on how to complete the job or provide solutions to resolve the issue. It will save your time and help build trust with team members that learnt something valuable when they approached you.   

You can also choose to defer the project instead of completely shutting it down. Offer them a plan where you can join the team at a later stage and be more valuable once the project’s gone past its conception stage.   

6.    Don’t be afraid to say the ‘C’ word  

The majority of the time, bosses try to use influence to get things done. Little do they realise that when they use power, they lose influence.  

Photo credit: Canva.com

Every employer has a budget, and the more he can get done without expending his budget, the better (the lesser the merrier, in this case). This is one of the most frustrating and de-motivating situations when you are asked to deliver more results and but are not “C”ompensated for that extra work. You might say “yes” to the extra load now and then, just to be nice or on the pretext of learning something new, or simply because the boss asked you to do so, but this will eventually burn you out. Be firm to tell the work is simply beyond your pay scale and justifies an extra dollar or two.  

It is a misconception that you must be a “Yes Man” or a “Yes Woman” to be successful and boost your career. Remember Jim Carrey’s movie – Yes Man? The film is a classic story where the protagonist is encouraged and made to promise to answer “Yes!” to every opportunity, request, or invitation that presents itself. After a series of interesting events in his life, he realises that the covenant was merely a starting point to open his mind to other possibilities, not to permanently take away his ability to say no if he needed to.  

So, are you the go-to person at your workplace? Do you always end up saying yes? How do you strategically say no?