Where have I been?

Hello to all my fellow readers! I’m back.

Havent completely dissapeared from this blog. May was a busy month for me from Game of Zones fitness, Laser Tag, foodie outing and university. The last weekend was spent writing my last, shall I say challenging paper for the term. Never done a policy brief before and I found that it challenged me intellectually :).  Now class is done until August!

Really enjoyed my last class for univeristy as it was based on health policy, one of the fields I aspire to work in.

Aside from that, I’ve recently seen jobs pop up that are of interest and in the process of applying for a few more.

Update with my work hours (part time): Not approved :(.  The only way is part time job applications. I’ll still go for full time as well. I did have an interview earlier this week and have applied for more positions.  Having both options opens up the opportunity for more to come. My turn will come…

Mood wise I’m feeling a little better but am still motivated to move on hence the above. I have my days but it passes.

BTW, I am officially doing city2surf in August and Blackmores in September! Something that I have never done or considered out of my comfort zone! In the past month, been doing twice a week runs (one treadmil) and one outdoors. May ramp this up from this month or next..

Anyways, over and out!

Why did I choose to study Public Health?

Hello dear readers,

As you already know from my previous posts that I am currently studying public health and currently working in health adminsitration (records to be specific).  I thought I’ll share my story on why I choose this and not a course related to my job?

Basically I graduated with a bachelor of Science in Safety, Health and Environment. After sitting in uni for sometime and graduating 5 years ago, I knew I needed to find full-time work. Months before my grduation ceremony in November 2011, my mum mentioned working in hospital and took it as an opportunity to try. During my studies, I did a range of volunteer work at univeristy and took on student casual jobs mostly in student adminsitration, even a stint in christmas retail the first year of univeristy ended. These were mainly to bump my experience so I didn’t want to be a graduate without experience (yes this happens). From these experiences, I enjoyed being able to make a difference to students and acquire general clerical experience. I did a stint at a pharmacy a few months after but the experience and environment was isolating, overwhelming and depressing, nor did I want to work for elderly pharmacy store owners and so I quit and it wasn’t for me.

I started looking for health jobs and applied for a local but wasnt successful that time. That was December 2011 and then I went on holiday and held off job hunting until I got back. January 2012,  I applied for a records position but at a hosptial on the North Side, interviewed twice but ended up with a temporary position and May was when I started full time. Mostly behind the scenes work and a year later and my contract was extended. However, I wasn’t being fullfilled as it became repetitive and that time I started looking for permanent jobs and I was successful in securing one closer to home in a newly created department to where I am now, same field.

August 2015 hit and I decided to go back into study as I needed change from the indutry I am currently in. At that stage, I was getting exposure to outside the department and I still remember being a secretary for the steering committee for a project. Management changed and unfortunately I haven’t had an opportuniy to outside thie department last year. I also paid all my debt from my previous study. One of my aspirations was health policy but now am considering enviromental health, communciable disease or research / project roles. At that stage, I decided to attend the post-graduate nights in Septmeber and then the univeristy i’m currently at was introducing my current degree to commence in 2016 and went ot that to. I applied online and then November 2015. I was offered my current degree and am about to resume second year very soon.

I’ve also mentioned in one of my previous posts that I am no longer inspired and fullfilled on where I am working. Intellect is also what I am looking in my future job. Yes I have colleagues that are doing coding courses / health administration courses but honestly, I am not interested nor is it my passion in that area. For the time being, I’ll just take on roles that suit me until I can get roles in my desired areas.  I really need to get out of this bubble that I in.

I would rather work with research / projects / rather than being chained to a clerical dead end job with uninspiring colleagues way off my league, brain turned into mush and feeling dead inside. A year ago I was working on my skills but after last minute changes in roles not being filled approrpriately in the final quarter of last year and seeing it all,  I’m done. Yes for reselience but you reach a a point and need to get out. Another rant done.

I find that public health does serve a purpose in life in preventing, promoting and prolonging life.

At times I do worry whether I will get a foot in the door in public health. Where I work isn’t helping me achieve this so time to seek another avenue. I’m not on campus frequently either. Maybe I want to switch to health policy degree or switch to something else or transfer. I’m at a loss here… The jobs I see and interested in require a completed masters, experience  and skils in course that I haven’t even done yet :(.  A lot of these roles are temporary and I know I am a long way to where I want to be.

On the upside, 2 Distinctions so far :).

There’s my story and I hope you enjoyed reading it or if you are feeling the same then I empathise with you.

Blogging here makes me feel better.

Until next time.

x L

Post-graduate study application process.

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since updating this blog. I took a little break from blogging this month just to think about my next topic, and enjoy life. Now that uni is over for the year, I have time to blog.

As mentioned in my previous posts, I plan to write several univeristy posts. The title mentioned in the post will be the topic that I will cover today.

What is involved in ‘post-graduate’ process?? You have your undergraduate degree and the application process is exactly the same right?  In my experience, it’s a slightly different process.

First of all it depends on what you want to study, whether it is coursework or research. Most universities have information nights where you can choose to apply on the night, directly though the univeristy or choose to apply online through the ‘Univeristy Admission Centre’ or equivalent which a centralised platform for application to universities in NSW and ACT (for those in Australia)

In terms of application process, the majority of univeristies will require a completion of an undergradate degree as a minimum.  In addition, most would require relevant working experience to the degree that you want to apply for. When I applied for my degree, I had to get a statement of service from my current and former places, which outlined the duration of the job and the duties involved. There will be degrees that require you to have completed a degree related to the field or similar (this will be stated in the criteria). I’ve also seen criteria which states answering statements to why you want to pursue study in X degree; certain degrees requiring X average mark as obtained in your undergradaute degree.

The most crucial document to have is your undergraduate transcript. The transcript must be original and direct from the univeristy. All universities will ask for this if you choose to apply directly which is free of charge. If you do choose to apply throughout the UAC, the centre will source the transcript from your undergraduate for you but there is a cost to apply online. Make sure to pay attention to the closing dates as if you apply after the cutoff dates,  your application will be subject to places and your application may or may not be considered for the course you applied for. Another tip is that apply earlier as there are courses that have high demand and you may miss out.

Once you have all the documentation ready, then you list the order of courses you wish to recieve an offer for. After that it’s a waiting game since you could be invited to an interview (depending on the course) or unsure whether your application was successful. This time last year I was stoked when I recieved an offer to go back to univeristy!! Although I didn’t get into Health Policy degree, I wanted to do public health instead as i thought that would give me more flexibility and head into that health policy field.

One year on, I’m still in that degree and slowly getting there. So far it’s been one of the most flexible degrees as I an actively seeking changing jobs. Maybe I might consider transfering into health policy degree later on, who knows.

In summary:

-Read the criteria

-Transcripts (original), resume, statement of service (when required)

-Waiting game

For those who are thinking of applying, don’t hesitiate and go for it, and good luck!!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

x

Undergraduate vs Postgraduate: Differences

Hello everybody!

So yes, university is offically back this semester (and as i type this I should be continuing with pre-class preparaton readings). ‘One’ set of readings done though. Anyways, I have the weekend and a day off  soon so will be catching up on my readings then. Then my two days of classes start then.

Anyways, enough with the ramble. Today’s post will be based on the differences that I’ve noticed when I was in my undergraduate years compared to my post-graduate life now.

Undergraduate life:

Reliance on casual work during semester and/or on university holidays. This rings true if you had a heavy coursework during semester. Just as long as you can get experience is the most important thing. I’ve worked various jobs from note-taking at uni, to being part of student services. My consisent holiday job was at an educational services company where they hired univeristy halls to run high school classes.

Never underestimate volunteering during univeristy. I volunteered with a couple of mentoring programs during my univeristy. One program in particular involved me travelling to schools in low socio-econimic backgrounds and involved in raising awareness in tertiary education throughout my univeristy time. From this experience, it adds a whole lot of diveristy to the skillset.

I’ve noticed science / medicine related subjects were completely different from high school and were quite technical, especially beyond first year. Those subjects took a lot of my time during the week. After two-three years doing a physiology / pharmacology major for that time, I decided that it wasn’t for me. Safety, health and environment was another major that I had it mind during that time as the subjects were more of my thing and were understandable. Mind you, my grades were improving at that point upon making the switch.

As the years went on and especially in the later years, I found myself wanting to get out of uni and start working. I wasn’t enjoying uni life anymore at that stage. I found a great group of uni friends that I still hang out to this date from first year. Sure there were acquaintances throughout the years but honestly that doesn’t matter.

Doing a language at univeristy is hard work! I dropped the arts part of it mid-way through my degree. First two years was enjoyable, but later on it became a chore.

I wasn’t doing much socially during my univeristy years, besides being invited to parties occasionally and/or outings. My social group was pretty limited to them, my high school friend (who I still see time again) and primary (but these days now, it’s rare as people change over the years)

People at my undergraduate were completely different to the uni that I’m in now. Nerdish, smart, weird, rather blah, booksmart boring at my undergraduate univeristy. It’s quite a contrast with the university that I’m with now. Kind of old-school but that’s what you get with univeristies that aren’t innovative.

Most of the subjects that I did, besides the safety related and a management one were a total mind-boggle to me and I have no recollection of them. I really had a hard time maintaining my grades for those subjects (ans espeiclly the language subjects).

Too much free time killed me to be honest. During that time, I was looking for work just to earn that money.

The univeristy I went to relied on attending lectures, see the slides and expect to learn. I’ve had lecturers where I would fall asleep, tune out during class, simply because they would keep on talking. Of course, there were some first year courses where students were talking during the lecture and honestly, it was distracting. There were older students that are paying X amount and taking time out of their schedules to attend class. I think I’ll say the same thing, had i ever gone through an undergradute degree again.

Now onto the Postgraduate life:

Now that i’m in this stage, full time work and part time study is the way to go Time managment is crucial as time  and days are limited. I found that weekends (and days off) were the best time as studying during weekenights and during lunchbreaks wasn’t working for me, espeically when you’ve come home from a day of work and gym.

Now that I’m older, I have an interest in the degree that I’m currently doing as I am keen on changing careers. Most of my students that I’ve encountered are older and have been through university again.

Once you hit the working life, there isn’t much time during the week and so weekends are a must to catch up on things. Savour the free time that’s avaiable during your student years.

The universtiy that I’m in now is better than the previous one. Vibrant, innovative and in the heart of the city, where my working life has been (well, I did travel past the city from the North side before finding a job closer to home).

I feel that I’m engaging with the material a lot more. Studying at the same time as working breaks up the everyday life of work work work and something to look forward too. I can say that I am glad to experience studying again!

So far, people have asked how I do it and suprised that I am doing both at the same time. Of course, one has to give i.e you do one or the other full time, not both.

Anyways, that’s the comparisons in a snapshot.

Uni and life thoughts atm.

Howdy!

Yes i turned my last assignment for the semester!! It’s been a nice start to my masters degree although i didn’t need to take too much leave (as i learned). I’ve got more leave and may need to take it for a day or two before the assignment due. I’ve got a TIL that i have yet to use (maybe for uni) :(. Feeling rather gloomy that it’s done for the semester but that thought fades. Can’t wait until the next term starts (end July), but for now, time to slave away full time. Which brings me to my next point.

I’ve reached that stage where the type of work I do is not my ‘true calling’ anymore. I’ve been feeling low a few times over the past 2-3 weeks ranging from being irritable, grumpy low to being slow and confused. I still get this slight uneasy gut feeling if i overthink things too much. I’m currently going through a refresher stage at work and see if that does wanders (no need to me psyched up about it). Once that’s over, then i’ll focus on what I really want to get into: public health. That’s the reason I chose to do a public health degree, is to transition out from a dead-end clerical job to somewhere in public health. I’ve wasted my monies worth in my first degree (thank god i didn’t pursue a scientific career) and wanted to start in health. Sure it was good from the start but if you’re stuck doing similar roles for years and not using the skills you’ve learned from uni, then yeah. I know my key strengths is writing but to get to where i wanna go, time to work other skills. I don’t want this public health degree to go to waste and end  up in the same place after my degree, without experience. It’s a downer when work can’t guarantee exposure in the fields that you want to get into.The only upside is the flexibility and days off, however that is much harder now that we don’t have as much staff, which is frustrating. Rant over. Focus on the now atm…

Past that, fitness wise has been o.k. I’ve had to change a few things over the past month such as training locally more often and reducing my city gym visits as it gets too hard later on in the week to visit. Freeletics has become my savior and runs on the weekend too. Now I’ve decided to train smarter and take 2 days off instead of one and it’s made a difference to my mood and energy levels. Decided to take it easy this week by training 3 days and then getting back into it this week. Time to be mindful with my booze intake (mostly wine)  as over this past fortnight, I went through 5 days straight of red wine and more at the wedding 2 weeks ago as mentioned below, and i got ill plus I had uni mid-week and during that week, I was irritable too. I’ve also decided to sign to an in house fitness competition in a fortnight. There’s also gym drinks the night before but need to think about that one since one has to give in. I’ll see…

To be in the better mood, I need sleep and found that carbs and a glass of wine helps me sleep and feel better the next day.

Social life wise, went to a wedding where I enjoyed it but had too much wine and my throat was killing me after, which is why i got sick. Nice to see the bride and groom as it was from my circle of friends from uni. Brilliant weather too. I was gonna hang out afterwards however their plans were later on and everyone was bailing, and I was at that stage where I really wanted to secret meet and lucky he was free later that night. All good.

I did a naughty shop at Victoria’s secret where they had 7 for $40 (AUD) deals. I bought 14 of those haha but hey, stock up when these deals on. Btw, the semi annual sale is around this month and time to go crazy with the lacies and see other things from their range.

Anyways, over and out.

The start of my degree…

So yes, the university semester has begun!

This long weekend so far has got me doing uni work and yes I’ve got my first assignment. Even though it’s a while away, I still need to get a head start with my uni work. Considering I work full time, this is where time management is crucial!! My city gym days for this semester will be reduced during that time and of course lunchtimes in that gym during time off work. I’ve also taken time off in the lead up to my assignment due dates.

So today was similar with study, then chilled and ate at a local restaurant. Killing time!!

My thoughts so far? I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed a.t.m because it’s been a while since I’ve written stuff for assignments and back into the swing of things. I want to do well in my first year. Sometimes I think – is this the correct way to write, is the information sufficient are my main concerns. My first study day can hopefully give me an idea on the way to structure my first assignment. I’ve done my pre-class homework already which was good.

Workouts wise it was Freeletics, Freeletics Run and rest. I ate too much good food and once work starts, it’s back on it! Since semester has hit, my favourite gym classes (in the city) will be down to 2-3 times a week. The rest will be training at my local gym and outside, and this is where freeletics comes into place!

What else have I been up to over the Easter break? Besides using the library on Saturday and today, my brother invited his friends over on Friday and it was eating and drinking all the way! I’ve also had a secret meeting chill-out after my study session on Saturday and it was good. Had a fair bit to drink over the past 48 hours too but I needed it anyways. 🙂 Oh and I drank champagne last night too but it didnt hit me hard.

From this point on, when semester starts, my weekends will be based in the library to study (i can’t study at home). Social life to be arranged around as well, and a good excuse to have secret meet-up on the weekends. Time off work to be used for that as well.

Wish me luck and i’ll update my progress at the end of semester. It’s an exciting yet challenging journey now.

Orientation week so far..

Hey all,

It’s only been a week since my last post of my upcoming leave and now it’s  finally come (yay!). I visited my campus properly on Thursday the first time since getting my student card last month and it’s quite nice and relaxed. The elevators were even technology advanced i.e lift buttons were all touch screen. This university is well know for innovation, which is why i chose this university instead of my previous uni I studied at. My degree is new as well.

Friday was my library tour (only half an hour though) and then I decided to visit my favourite gym it across the city at lunchtime. I thought I was the only oldie however there were more people that looked around my age. In between I re-visited my past time shopping place in my early uni days and I’ll be frequenting that area during my time off work / weekends. After that I spent the day walking around, enjoying myself and time off work.

My post-grad /mature age (yes I belong to both those categories) welcome was on Saturday morning and to my surprise, there were a lot more people than I expected. There were talks by two people (whom were really engaging) and a dance by an indigenous group. Again they were engaging too, where people got to perform on stage. After that there was a quick talk about the uni systems. I don’t need to go to another session since they already covered it that day. After that there was lunch provided and there was another afternoon session but I dropped out at the last minute.

Today was actually doing work, properly cleaning the bathroom, did a run and got a massage. I wanted to secret meet but had his friend over, so that can wait until this coming week. What I like when I go on leave is that I can make my own way there and meet him at his place. I’ve also arranged leave during assignment times so all good.

Maybe I should do a day in the life of me of work/uni/life/hobbies as a one of my blog posts?  🙂

Time to enjoy this upcoming week free of work!

Till next time x

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