Pictured from left to right: Jots Sehmbi; graduate of Bsc Information Systems and Management 2012, Rosie Gosling; Former Director University of London International Programmes at LSE, Frank Wisselink; graduate of BSc Economics and Management 2010 and Liz Wise; graduate of Bsc Politics and International Relations 2010.
As she says “I chose to study this course for a number of reasons: because it complemented my career in Information Technology providing me with knowledge in all aspects of IT and Management, the reputation of the International Programmes and also because the course offered me the flexibility to study alongside working full time.”
The flexibility of the programme allowed Jots to study her course over 7 years during which she took out 2 years to focus on work and other commitments. This proved to be a wise move as she is now an IT Programme Manager for University College London and been listed as a finalist for the APM Project Manager of the Year.
During her time studying with the University of London International Programmes Jots worked with a core set of students to establish a study group and unofficial online community knows as YANSA (You Are Not Studying Alone). In 2007 this group organised the first Kick off weekend. (LSE Office for University of London programmes now run these sessions.) You can read more about YANSA’s activities in Jot’s previous blog post titled ‘Kicking off and kicking back’.
In this blog, Jots would like to welcome back our returning students and give a very warm welcome to all those who are starting their studies in 2012.
“The start of a new academic year for both new students and those continuing their students is an exciting time of selecting new subjects, creating networks and friendships with other fellow students and planning another year of studies. I’m an alumnus of UOL, after having completed BSc Information Systems and Management in 2011 with a First Class and I wanted to offer some advice on kicking off your studies and how to balance studies with life’s other commitments.
I was working full time when I was studying so know from experience how difficult it can be to balance the time needed for work, study and family, however I’m here to tell you it can be done. From my experience I can offer the following tips on how you too can achieve your goals of completing a degree course with UOL.
1. Build a support network – you are here because you have made the choice to study a degree course; your reasons are perhaps to better your career prospects or to increase your knowledge in a particular subject. Whatever your reason, you have made the first step to study and for this you will need some support. Support can come in many forms form establishing links with other students at events such as the Kick off Weekend to having someone to talk to about your subject when you are studying, perhaps a family member. Whatever you do, it’s important to build up a support network that works for you to support your studies.
2. Utilise your resources – LSE offers many comprehensive resources including the VLE, ensure you use these resources as well as your course materials. When I have spoken to students in the past, I have been surprised that many students do not use the electronic resources available to them. The VLE offers discussion boards to connect with other students, detailed study materials and other valuable resources – make the most of them to support your studies.
3. Striking a balance – studying independently is challenging and therefore needs to be balanced with other commitments. There will be times where there are conflicting priorities such as family and work. It’s best to aim to create a realistic study plan from the start of the academic year and also include in this plan quality time with friends and family. Make the most of time when you are not studying such as the summer and other well deserved breaks.
4. Flexibility is your friend – all the degree courses at UOL are flexible, therefore you are in control of your studies and can take the exams when you are ready. Some students complete their degrees in minimum time; others take the full 8 years. There is no perfect time in which to complete your course therefore when trying to balance all your commitments use the flexibility available. Even if you only manage to complete a single course in an academic year, that’s one step closer to your goal.
I wish you all the best of luck with your studies for 2012.
We congratulate Jots on her achievements and we hope that her experiences will inspire you with your studies this year.