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

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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.

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