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“Despite my skills and experience in retail, hospitality, and the fitness industry, I knew employers were looking for candidates with a university qualification.”

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What were the personal and professional motivations for changing your career?

I was previously working with an employer where I had worked hard and progressed to become a senior manager. In this role, I was responsible for training and developing new and current team members. I also assisted with product launches and other initiatives. Despite my skills and experience in retail, hospitality, and the fitness industry, I knew employers were looking for candidates with a university qualification.

How did you know it was time to make a change?

Every time I saw job roles that required a university degree, I knew I needed to do something.  My decision to study marketing came from an opportunity at work where I got to see what goes into a marketing campaign. Seeing what goes on behind the scenes and how marketing decisions are made was fascinating to me and ultimately served as the catalyst for my career change. 

Enrolling in a university degree was also a very personal decision. As a single mum, I wanted to be able to give my son the best life possible and to be a positive role model for him growing up. He is my biggest motivation for everything I do in life.

“I was a newly single mum who was also working full-time in a role that required 24/7 availability.”
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Was there anything holding you back from starting your degree?

One of the biggest concerns I had before starting my degree was whether I’d be able to cope with the demands of full-time study. I was a newly single mum who was also working full-time in a role that required 24/7 availability. After my first term, these concerns were quickly extinguished as I was able to set a study schedule that worked for me while also creating a work-life-study balance that I was happy with.

My second concern was whether I would be smart enough to complete a university degree. I had graduated from year 12 in 2009 and had only completed a Cert III and Cert IV before leaving school. It had been such a long time since I studied! Now, as a graduate, I have never been prouder of myself being able to combat all my concerns and come away with a university degree. It’s something that I never thought I would be able to accomplish.

How do you manage to work full-time, be a mum, and study at the same time?

Coffee has definitely helped! As any parent would understand, there are always challenges or unexpected events that can occur. Sometimes bedtime might take longer than it needs to. Or, your child may be sick. For me, it was finding those quiet moments throughout the day. I would make the most of my time by listening to a course video while I was doing something around the house. Or, I would continue with an assignment while my son was napping. It was a process of trial and error until I found the right balance that worked.

Another tip is to reach out to your online academics or Student Advisers. They have been such a huge support to me and have always found ways to help when I’ve needed it the most.

“Graduating with a uni degree is something that I never thought I would be able to accomplish.”
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How did you feel at your graduation?

I felt excited and nervous all at the same time. I got to meet some of the other online students who I had studied with for the first time – it was so exciting and rewarding to celebrate with them. Later that night, my family and I had a lovely dinner together. Completing this degree has given me a new sense of confidence both in my professional and personal life. Coming away from this degree, I now believe in myself and my capabilities and know that I will be able to use my new skills and knowledge in future roles.

What did it mean for your family to be there with you at graduation?

It meant the whole world to have my family there. My son has been my inspiration throughout my degree so having him there with me was an unbelievable feeling. My mum has been an amazing help and support throughout my study – she’s offered help when I’ve needed to complete assignments or sit an online exam. Without my support network, I don’t think I could have achieved what I have.

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Why study with UniSA Online?

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#1 in Australia and #6 worldwide for quality education

(2020 THE University Impact Rankings)

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85% UniSA Online student satisfaction for learning resources and student support

(Commencing UniSA Online Students, 2020 ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey (Undergraduate, Domestic Students). National average for learning resources: 79%)

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87% satisfaction for teaching quality and student support

(Commencing UniSA Online Students, 2020 ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey (Undergraduate, Domestic Students). National average for teaching quality: 82% National average for student support: 77%)

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UniSA is one of Australia’s largest online universities

Ranked 5th, 2019 Department of Education and Training Data –Commencing Domestic Bachelor Degree Students (External)

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Top 5 Young University in Australia

Ranked #4, THE Young University Rankings 2020

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Ranked in the world's top 50 under 50

(Ranked #25, 2020 THE Young University Rankings Ranked #29, 2021 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50)