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.
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.
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.
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.