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Vasilka Harding from Barbados graduated in July 2016 with an MSc in Project Management, specialising in Construction and Infrastructure.

Why did you choose to study for an online programme with the University of Liverpool?
I have been working in projects for more than 16 years and wanted to know more about what goes on in project management. I am a Training Officer, not a hands-on project manager.

I work for the Ministry of Education Science, Technology and Innovation, attached to the Project Unit which works closely with other project units across the Ministry to ensure that special projects are implemented with speed and within budget, this includes the building and maintenance of schools.

What did you enjoy most about the programme?
I was able to mesh each module with the work of my colleagues on a day-to-day basis. I could understand fully what was going on in my workplace, whether it was construction, maintenance, or legal aspects.

What was it like to study in an online classroom?
You interact with people from different regions which for me was a plus, because then it isn’t only Barbadians in the classroom. I found that students collaborated with each other. If you were stuck in one area and you asked someone a question, they would not necessarily give you the answer, but they would point you in the right direction to help you find the information.

What challenges did you face?
It was very hard at first because my daughter was seven, and she wanted time with mum. I had to tuck her in and stay with her until she fell asleep. I’d get up at two or three in the morning to finish work on the programme. She would say: “I know you have work to submit, but can you please stay with me?” It became a little easier, but the deadlines were always hard.

What did you research for your dissertation?
I did my research on water infrastructure management in Barbados. We are water-scarce, and if we are not careful we will have to import water from somewhere else. We need to put measures in place to stop leakage and wastage across the whole infrastructure.

Would you recommend the University of Liverpool to other people in Barbados?
I already have! It is a flexible way of learning, and you get to meet a lot of other interesting people.

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