This is a sponsored post for Open Training Institute.
Y’all, my brain is jam-packed. In a good way, though.
For most of this year, I have been studying a Certificate IV in Marketing with Open Training Institute. And while it’s been somewhat of a juggle, it has also been incredibly rewarding.
Amidst the play dough and the laundry, the sleepless nights and the endless making of peanut butter sandwiches, there were snippets of time where I just felt like me, writing assignments, learning stuff, not having to referee a fight over tiny toy cars. It felt good, like putting on an old pair of comfy tracksuit pants, while simultaneously working towards being able to buy better pants. Like the bits of time I was studying were all contributing to something bigger.
I also learned plenty of things along the way that will be beneficial to someone wanting to study, but are thinking “is online best for me?”. Read on, my friend!
1. Online study is great if you need flexibility
If you’re like me and have a thousand other things to navigate (parenthood, working from home, travel, moving interstate, last-minute schedule changes), flexibility is invaluable. You can pack everything in all at once, or you can only work when you have the time. Like my ebb and flow, study can change as your circumstances do.
2. Make sure you are flexible, though
Making the most of time in between everything has been my way to success. Even when I haven’t wanted to (sunshine calling my name now that spring is here!), I’ve been firm and done some work. If you’re waiting for more spare time before you start something like this, you may find it’s never going to come. Often the feeling of overwhelm is enough to make anyone pack it in before they really get going. Break it down, work where you can. You can do this!
3. Have a think about what types of lessons appeal to you
And make sure the training is set up that way. I found the lessons I was taking were perfectly suited to my way of learning – AND they were interesting and diverse. The slides weren’t too wordy, they were broken up with images, graphs, interactive sections, and dot points. It’s the best way for me to not zone out with boredom, as the lessons have held my attention right through to the end. Figure out if you’re a more visual learner, or a hands-on kinda student. It will make such a difference if your lessons are presented to you in a way you have a natural affinity with.
4. Will it get you where you are going?
It seems like you can study just about anything online these days. I am tempted by a million other things, but realistically only have time for the courses that will benefit me right now. I am studying a Certificate in Marketing, because my career took somewhat of a turn. Blogging full time is definitely a different beast to journalism (which is what my degree is in) and it needs an element of marketing knowledge that I just didn’t have. Being the editor of other sites has also meant I need to be across current online trends, and this affords me the ability to learn this info quick smart, and in my own time.
5. Have you got a support system?
I’ll never forget the day I just couldn’t push myself any more, and a fail grade (my first EVER) meant I left that uni campus with the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I didn’t return. I didn’t have family support, and I didn’t have any money. I had been working at a double degree for three years and had two years left to go. Probably all I needed was a break, but it can be isolating and sad when you’re slugging it out on your own, and I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Make sure you’ve got a supportive spouse, an understanding friend, or even just a fellow student that will help boost you up when you’re not sure if you can make it. It will make all the difference in the world.
6. Even social folk can benefit from studying at home alone
You might think that you need to actually attend classes or you won’t stay motivated (or worse, get bored studying alone!), but there are plenty of ways to stay connected with folks at Open Training. Your trainer is only a click away, and the support is always available. There’s a forum for you and your fellow students to chat in, and your trainer often asks getting-to-know you questions and other small incentives to get talking. You can also hang out at the Open Training Facebook page, and their blog.
I’ve really enjoyed my time studying with OTI and I’m glad it’s not quite over yet. But I’m already looking at what I can do after this – Diploma of Project Management, anyone? 😉
Thanks so much to everyone who has followed along with this series, I hope it has been useful to you. Special thanks to Open Training Institute for coming onboard the Veggie Mama train and allowing me to study with them to bring you this series. Just… high fives all round guys.
Other posts in this series