London-based Dee Tamlin works for a global law firm and is a graduate of the University of Liverpool Online’s MSc in Project Management. Andy Seale, who works for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, is a graduate of Liverpool Online’s Master of Public Health (MPH). Together they discussed their experience of studying online with a Russell Group university.
What was your motivation to study at this stage in your life?
Dee: “I was an IT project manager, but I wasn’t doing any client-facing or business change projects. I was starting to find that a little restrictive. Taking a master’s enabled me to step up to larger client-facing projects and work on IT projects that change how we work around the world.”
Andy: “I wanted to get a deeper understanding of public health, to help me better appreciate and enjoy my work and potentially explore other opportunities in the future.”
Why did you choose to study online?
Dee: “I’m not the sort of person with the discipline to attend a lecture every week at 7pm on a Tuesday night. Things get too hectic, work overtakes, and it would have just been impossible to fit into my schedule.”
Andy: “I explored some of the university options in Geneva, but they didn’t have the course I was looking for. I quickly realised that studying online would be the best way forward for me.”
Why did you choose the University of Liverpool Online?
Dee: “I knew I wanted to study 100% online, and then my aspiration was to go to the best university that offered my criteria. When I started looking for universities, Liverpool came top of my list: it offered the programme I wanted and it was completely online. That it’s a redbrick university and part of the Russell Group was an added bonus.”
Andy: “I looked at which universities had the best reputation for public health, and where a degree would really mean something. Once I’d narrowed it down to those factors, the choice become relatively easy.”
How was your online learning experience?
Dee: “Amazing. As soon as I started the course, I could almost feel the connections in my brain linking up. It was incredibly intense, but regularly reading academic papers, then converting that information into a logical essay, meant I learned so much.
“If I’d have gone into a classroom situation, I’d have just met other local people. But doing this online course meant I met people from all over the world, which added a lot of breadth and depth to the course. You were also studying alongside people working in different industries, which created another wealth of information.”
Andy: “I did a master’s degree about ten years ago. I wasn’t expecting this to be similar – but it was surprisingly so, particularly in terms of the interactions, the dynamics, the friendships. There was the same social element to the learning experience, and that kept you going when things were difficult. On top of that, I could do the study at my own convenience at times that suited me.”
How has your online studies impacted your career?
Dee: “My colleagues certainly noticed a difference. Even before I’d finished the course, I’d already had a promotion and a pay rise. My director has told that he’d never have imagined, three years ago, that I’d achieve what I have done.”
Andy: “It helped me in real time. I was literally taking the learning from each module and finding ways to build it into the policy work I was doing in my day job.”
Do you have any time management tips for people interested in enrolling on an online programme?
Dee: “You need to have your family on board and make sure they are committed, too. It’s about prioritising the things that are the most important.
“You also need to find somewhere to actually sit and study, somewhere to make your own. Try to identify a quiet space where you can go and do you work. Take yourself off to that place every time and do you work there, so it becomes yours.”
Andy: “We all need to have time to relax, but I’m now very conscious of how I use my time. This learning experience has made me realise that I’m the one in charge of my time. This master’s forced me to be better with boundaries. My production at work got better because I protected my time at the evening and weekend to complete my studies.”
Thinking of studying online? Enrol with the University of Liverpool Online and experience this truly global learning environment for yourself.