What is it like to study for a Post Graduate Certificate while working full time? I’m not going to tell you it’s easy but it is achievable.
So lets start at the beginning. I finished my degree gosh erm 5 years ago which is pretty terrifying come to think of it and 3 years of degree had me all studied out.
Now, rewind to this time last year so January 2016, I had just turned 26 and was enrolled and just starting my journey on a Post Graduate Certificate. I was worried; I had not typed an essay or completed an assignment in over 4 years. Never mind the dreaded referencing and bibliography that filled my soul with fear.
This post is basically going to be how I survived working 37.5hrs a week, having a little bit of a social life and successfully completing a PGC.
Rightio here goes –
1. If your course offers induction days, make sure you attended them. They are easy to push to the side but you will learn lots about the course, what is expected of you, how to get help and if you’re lucky tea and biscuits; maybe even lunch.
2. Plan your time, this sounds cheesy but time management really plays a large part in not getting stressed and submitting on time. If you’re lucky and doing your PGC through work, depending on your bosses you may be allocated time during the week to get some study done. If not an hour after your tea and maybe a couple on a Saturday/Sunday morning will stop work backing up.
3. Microsoft Office References tab, this honestly saved me from going insane and why didn’t I know about it years ago? You basically click insert citation, fill in the fields, click ok and boom it inserts it into your writing. When you’ve finished, you choose works citied, it builds a whole magical references list for you. Easy easy and a million hours saved.
4. When it comes to research, you kind of have to step this up a level. It is unlikely that just copy and pasting bits of the internet is going to work here. Go old school and look at books, speak to people and my favourite is look for articles in journals as they come across much more professional than good old Wikipedia.
5. Proof read. This was/is a massive downfall of mine. 3000 words down and the last thing you want to do it re read your whole assignment that you’ve been working on for the last month. You’re already sick of seeing it but please look at it again, daft mistakes can cost you marks.
6. Keep in contact with your tutors, normally they are easy to get hold of via email and they may be able to give you a call if needed to help or discuss anything. Especially if you are struggling and it doesn’t look that promising you will hand in on time. Many will understand and help you submit mitigating circumstances. BUT communication is key, just let them know.
7. The holy grail of being a student again … student discount! I signed up for a NUS card and there are no regrets for this one. It’s easy, simple and quick to do!
I’m sure there is plenty to add this post and if you think of anything else let me know and I’ll add it