4 postgrad students tell us what returning to uni is really like

Returning to study as a postgraduate student.

Returning to study. It’s a big choice. Especially when it comes to postgraduate study.

Will this degree help me get my career to the next level? Can I afford it? Will it be worth it? I don’t know if I can manage the juggling act of full-time study and everyday life!

If you often find those thoughts running through your head – this article is for you. It’s time to get the real lowdown on returning to study at Charles Sturt as a postgrad student.

Flexibility is key when returning to study

When most people decide to take on postgraduate study, it’s often at a time of their life when they have a lot of other stuff going on. Babies, marriage, full-time work – there’s plenty to juggle. Take Laura Cohalan, for instance. Laura is currently on maternity leave after having her first child and is studying her Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Charles Sturt University at the same time.

“When I initially wanted to undertake my MBA, I did quite a lot of research. I had a look at lots of different unis, particularly online ones. I narrowed it down to a couple of choices, but I found that a lot of the courses were very rigid.”

“The reason I chose Charles Sturt was because they were so flexible and had a huge range of subjects on offer.

“A lot of other unis market themselves as super flexible, but I found that wasn’t actually the case. Some MBAs had a compulsory night school each semester – which isn’t really flexible for someone with a newborn baby. The fact that Charles Sturt’s MBA was 100 per cent online was a game-changer for me.

“I also really liked that there were lots of specialisations to pick from, as well as electives. I had the option to choose subjects that aligned with where I wanted to take my career, and to choose subjects I was truly interested in. It was a bonus that I could use my subject selection to play to my strengths, while actually furthering my career at the same time.”

Support is always available – make sure you use it!

When you study with Charles Sturt University, support is a big part of the package. It’s something Frances Brogan tapped into when she returned to uni to study her Master of Nursing.

“It had been 20 years since my undergraduate degree, so I was nervous about going back, and I wasn’t quite convinced I could actually do it. But I did a lot of study skills workshops that the university supplied to help prepare myself. Study has changed over 20 years, and I had changed a lot during that time. It was such a different experience as I was such a different student.”

There’s a range of other support services available for postgraduate students returning to study. Aside from academic support, you can access the library, career advice and 24/7 IT support. We’ve also got a childcare centres on some of our campuses.

The bottom line? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. We’ll make it work together.

Manage your time wisely (but don’t push yourself too hard)

Time management. You’re either a boss at it – or you’re a procrastinator. Guess which one you need to be to succeed at postgrad study? I think we all know…

Laura is one of those boss chicks that has nailed her time management skills.

“I’m really lucky that my daughter has always been a good sleeper. So every day I know that I have at least two hours to get my stuff done. I’ve become better at allocating my time so I get a little bit of work done more often – whereas before I had my baby, I would power through four or five hours straight. But because my time is so limited now, I have no choice. I have to make it work. Every spare minute is valuable, so procrastination is not an option.”

With a full-time job, a family and study, Frances also had a lot on and needed to find her work-life balance. Her husband and children were key to her success.

“We coped with the pressure as a family. I always say, this is not my degree, it’s the family’s degree. Everyone had to make sacrifices to enable me to do it. My husband would take the kids out to give me time to do an assignment, and my kids accepted that I needed that space.”

Know what it’s going to cost – and budget accordingly

Uni study can be costly. But at Charles Sturt University, we’re making education affordable for everyone. Because we see that everyone has potential to make this world a better place. And we don’t want the cost of study to hold you back.

For Laura, the cost of her MBA was a deciding factor in choosing the right uni for her.

“One of the factors in choosing Charles Sturt University was the fact that it was a bit cheaper than other unis. When you look at some of the fees at metro unis – some subjects were over $4000 each, whereas Charles Sturt University’s are about $3200.”

Every little bit counts, so make sure you weigh up the cost of attending a regional or a metro uni. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what we can offer you in the finance department at Charles Sturt University.

Ready to take the postgrad plunge?

Smart choice. We can’t wait to have you. Check out our range of postgraduate courses – or get in touch to find out how we can help you make your next move count.