Returning to Study
‘Old ways won’t open new doors’. Truer words have never been spoken in my opinion. In today’s globalised world where change is the only thing that is constant, continuous learning is the only way to keep up and remain relevant. Just as food fuels our bodies, knowledge fuels our minds, and this knowledge can come from anywhere. So this is not me saying you have to go to school nor is it a ploy to get you to enrol at Loughborough University although it would be splendid if you did!
For me, the desire to change my perspective and find new and improved ways to open the doors ahead of me is a major reason I decided to return to studying after graduating in 2016. I have big dreams of where I want to go in life, professionally speaking and I just knew deep down that for me to get there, I needed to be grounded in the theoretical and practical elements of business and so I chose to take a master’s degree in International Business. Additionally, I finished my undergrad with an unrealised goal which was to graduate with a First Class. I finished with a 2:1 and was three points away from a First and it might sound silly, but it knocked my confidence down because I worked hard to ensure I achieved my goal. I wanted another chance and right now, I am on track for a First Class which is great.
Between graduating in July 2016 and returning to uni in October 2022, I’ve worked in various progressive roles and across various industries. I started out as Marketing Assistant with a travel company and worked my way to becoming an Assistant Brand Manager at an FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) company which is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola. In my role, I was responsible for developing and supporting the successful execution of marketing and brand campaigns to deliver the organisation’s objectives and drive business growth. So putting a progressive career on hold to return to school was a major decision.
Postgraduate study is a different to undergraduate study. PG study is the kind of holiday where you hike to every attraction site and hope you can find a lift back to your hotel. The hiking trip is where you learn your core strengths and competencies. It’s also where you identify your shortfalls and make necessary adjustments to make them less of a weakness.
PG study prepares you for the real world whereby nothing is handed to you. You learn to find your way and that way, the knowledge and experience is wholly yours.
The major challenge for me was getting my mind back into academia because I missed working but it was ephemeral. By the second half of Semester 1, I had found my crew of like-minded people and we supported each other at every stage of the way with occasional meet-ups for drinks in between. The new perspective I now have, whilst still undergoing my course, has enabled me to work in the capacity of a consultant for friends, family and intergovernmental organisations all from the comfort of my student accommodation. I have a better understanding of the business environment, of industries of interest and of people. Post-graduation, I have no doubt that I’ll be back to work but better at it. So, if you’re thinking of taking a break from working to return to studying, this is the call to do so. Knowledge is never wasted.
Written by Morolake Macaulay (Rola)
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