We continue our blog series that answers some of the questions we get here at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) by prospective 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!
Who are you, really?
My name is Lebo Buthelezi. I am a family-oriented person, ambitious and can be a bit pessimistic sometimes. Passionate about diversity, inclusion, women empowerment and gender equality. Professionally I work as a project cost controller in the mining industry, where I have been learning the corporate reputation and shaping the perceptions of the company in projects for more than a decade. I am also a founder and director of LebVic Design fashion clothing line start-up.
Which Uni are you studying with?
University of Salford
Which programme did you choose and why?
MSc in Project Management, I want to have a qualification for the career that I have chosen. I aspire to have my own Project Management consultancy company. I have learned that studying is an incredible opportunity to learn about business prospects and how to effectively transition to economic opportunities.
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 planned to study at least 25 hours a week: Monday to Friday 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evenings, and Saturday 5 hours. Reality: The study hours fluctuated as I found myself spending more hours of studies during weekends and less during the week as anticipated.
What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)
Early mornings during the week and most of the hours on weekends.
How much time did you devote to each assignment?
The plan was to spend two weeks on assignments. In most instances, I overthink and over analyse assignments and end up taking more days after the two weeks.
Travelling and Communication
How did travelling impact your ability to study?
It improved my personal development, discovered different cultures, contributed to a better academic performance and social interaction with other students. Learning in a new or different environment offers a different perspective on how other countries conduct businesses—expanding career horizons when you earn the international qualification. [Editor’s note: remember pre-Covid times? One week long residencies were a thing – and Lebo attended one in Salford]
How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?
Technology played the most important role, even though there are time differences. Using the online campus gives flexibility as you can communicate anytime, and feedback is given promptly. The way the online campus is set makes life easy because most of the questions are answered on the platform. The zoom classes as well contributed, and a WhatsApp group was created between students.
A typical day as a master’s student
What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?
I would wake up, study for 2 hours, get ready for work, and off I go. In the afternoon, I get home, follow up on business, and study for 2 hours before I sleep. Saturday morning work in my business until lunchtime, after lunch, I study. Sunday, I rest and spend it with family. Studying online comes with the room of being flexible with your studies and making it easy to have a work-life balance.
Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies.
The moment you enrol yourself to study, make sure that you break the habit of multitasking. I had to learn the hard way; managing work, business and studies comes with challenges. However, it is not impossible to manage all of them. It is important to set up a study strategy, have a life study schedule to track your progress. Time management is crucial, have a study plan with deadlines and stick with them. Studying can be challenging and take us out of our comfort zone; when that happens, we should be resilient and disciplined with our studies till we reach our goal of graduating.
I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this space 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.