Laurence Borel

Back to school: looking back on 12 months of juggling work and studies

tumblr_lpypyuuDNx1qjcgmco1_400Where has the summer gone?  I’ll be back at university for the second year of my masters, ‘the scary year’, as I am expected to produce a major piece of academic research.

Here’s what I have  learnt over the past 12 months of juggling a full time job and a part-time MRes.

Masters are hard work and they’re expensive

– Just because you work in marketing doesn’t mean studying towards a masters in Marketing will be easy. Quite the opposite actually; masters are hard work, but it would be boring if it was easy, right?

– Keep calm and study on: it’s OK to take a couple of days off from studying now and again if you feel under the weather.

– Make sure your friends are supporting you in this adventure; there are days where you’ll feel you can’t do it. Give your friends a call for moral support. This helps a lot.

– Talking of friends, even though I am technically at uni once a week, I have made some amazing new friends, both full time and part-time students, and I very much look forward to our new adventures next year!

–  The financial cost of a masters goes beyond paying for university fees (10K in total); you’ll have to pay for books ranging from £50-£100 per book, plus time off (i.e. unpaid leave) to write your research (in my case at least 3 months) and also possible market research costs (surveys, incentives etc), stationery. University is not cheap!

– Invest in a sturdy laptop; you’ll probably end up spending 20 hours + a week on your personal laptop researching, writing essays or using stats softwares. The last thing you want if you work FT is having to go to university on Sunday to use library computers. Trust me on that one! Get a good laptop – it’s a necessity (check out this amazing offer on Macs at John Lewis)

Did I put you off studying yet? I hope not! Going back to university is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Onwards and upwards, here’s to the next 12 months!

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