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5 Reasons to Study for a Masters Degree

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Perhaps you’re in the final year of your undergraduate studies and considering your options; perhaps you’ve left university and got your foot in the door of an industry, but you would like to further progress in your career. Or, quite simply, you miss being in education, pushing yourself past your known limits intellectually and learning more within your field. If any of this speaks to you, here are our top 5 reasons to study for a masters degree.

Continue Studying What You Love

First and foremost, an MA undoubtedly gives you the chance to keep studying what you’re passionate about. During the penultimate and final years of your studies, you probably found that you were just beginning to find your feet academically, exceeding your own expectations and pursuing more specialist work.

Why stop now? There are countless taught and research-type Masters courses led by some of the best academics in your field; they will support you and help you to realise your vision for what you want to contribute to the academic community. This is your chance to ease yourself away from the safety blanket of other people’s opinions and start placing more weight on your own. These are no longer out of reach to you during the postgraduate study – they are your peers, and so are your tutors.

Spread Your Wings & Learn More

This said, an MA does more than just broaden your mind; if you’re considering studying your MA at a different university, this will broaden your outlook and your academic experience in general. Breaking out of your comfort zone will ultimately encourage your ability to adapt to a different academic environment and if you are considering pursuing teaching or a doctorate, different lecturing styles and approaches to a programme.

Develop Your Career Options

Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to study an MA besides salary prospects; however, in the current climate of “credentials inflation,” it is certainly something to consider. More and more jobs are beginning to list an MA as a requirement as it demonstrates a huge amount of commitment and hard work as well as thinking more independently, not to mention time management, as most individuals who study at postgraduate level do so full-time alongside a part-time or full-time job. Don’t let the intimidation of job competition after your undergraduate degree pressure you into postgraduate study, though – it’s a big decision, and it’s important to go into it for the right reasons. It is also worth keeping in mind that employers will sometimes sponsor an MA for an employee when it’s related to progression in the role

Change Your Career Path

On the other hand, perhaps you would like to use the study skills you learned in your Undergraduate degree and apply these to a completely different discipline. According to All About Law, ‘close to half of all candidates applying for training contracts and pupillages each year are those who have not studied law at undergraduate level’; many non-law graduates, including Literature bachelors, go on to study Law. Maybe a conversion course would be something to look into if you’re looking for a career-focussed postgraduate course.

Funding Options – MA Scholarships

You may have heard about the increasing demand for Postgraduate degrees as the number of graduates is on the rise. Relative to this climate, governments have responded to the pressure. Universities worldwide are offering more international scholarships in order to get their hands on the best international graduates; for example, the Netherlands is now offering international loans, and there are a great number of bursaries and scholarships available in various funds in home countries as well as by schools of universities themselves. Imperial College London has demonstrated the keenness to do this by offering nine fully funded medical faculty scholarships for the academic year 2016-17.

If you are a UK national looking to study your MA in the UK, following the UK government’s Autumn Statement release the new loan of up to £10,000 for Postgraduate study to anyone under the age of 60 opens for application this Summer in time for the start of term, although a specific date has not yet been confirmed.

If you feel by the end of your bachelor degree that your academic career has been too short and you would like to take your specialism to the next level with a more active role in contributing to the field, a Masters is a course for you. As with any major educational decision, it is advisable to weigh up the advantages in your field and if you feel that the extra 1-2 years in higher education will benefit you, both personally and professionally. It is certainly not a one-size-fits-all.

Laura Kelly is a recently graduated Bachelor of Arts student at Oxford Brookes University, where she studied English Literature. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Gothic Studies and enjoys vampire novels and photography. She shares her experience of studying in the UK on her blog.

From Global MBA to global citizen: Olivia’s career in TV Journalism

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Olivia studied her MBA at SP Jain School of Global Management and now works in TV Journalism. This is her story.

Olivia is originally from Indonesia, but she now lives and works in Singapore for Channel NewsAsia, part of MediaCorp. I could tell that she oozes confidence and professionalism by the way she conducted our interview – walking through the busy streets of Singapore after work. I wanted to know more about her, and how she got into the world of TV Journalism.

The World of TV Journalism

“I’m currently a Senior Journalist at MediaCorp which is the biggest media group in Singapore. I work at the English news station, Channel NewsAsia, also known as CNA. At the moment I am assigned to write business stories, working Monday to Friday. I also follow market news in Singapore and around Asia.

“Being the only Indonesian reporter in the office, I felt very privileged that they sent me to cover the Indonesian general election. It was only my first month in the office. I also got to do a follow-up story on how the business community reacted to the re-election of the incumbent president, Joko Widodo.”

How did you get into TV Journalism?

“Before my Global MBA, I was working for CNN Indonesia, which is part of the big CNN international franchise. I was a news anchor for about two years, and before that, I was working for Bloomberg TV Indonesia (although that has now shut down). Before that, I mostly worked for local TV stations. I guess having Bloomberg and CNN on my CV, plus my recent MBA and experience are what helped me progress my career in Singapore. It’s a highly competitive place.”

Growing up in Indonesia

“I’m a reasonably happy person because I always see things from the bright side. I try to think positively at all times, although I had quite a sad childhood. I was raised by a single mum as my dad passed away due to cancer when I was 10, leaving me and my two little brothers pretty much struggling. My childhood years in Jakarta were, I suppose, full of limitations and sorrows. And my mum had to work very hard to make ends meet and feed the three kids.

“I think that’s how my spiritual journey started, out of those limitations, and I now lead an amazing life. Thankfully, I got into the best schooling on a scholarship, and I got to do my undergraduate degree in New Zealand on a scholarship as well. And for my master’s degree, I got another scholarship. I’ve been really blessed throughout my life. Getting access to high-quality education at an affordable price has shaped who I am today. I was never the smartest kid in the classroom, I just got lucky. I am very blessed. This is all God’s grace. I was not academically exceptional. I was not like number one or number two in the class, but I was always a happy and positive person.”

Check out our reasons why you should complete an MBA programme.

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Olivia’s MBA abroad at SP Jain School of Global Management

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Olivia did her Global MBA abroad at SP Jain School of Global Management, Australia.

Olivia Marzuki currently lives in Singapore, where she works as a senior journalist at Channel NewsAsia, part of MediaCorp. I wanted to find out more about her time studying for her Global MBA abroad, so I asked her to introduce herself.

“Hi, I’m Olivia. I was enrolled at SP Jain School of Global Management in 2018. The Global MBA program included travel around the world, to three different cities. Originally I’m from Jakarta, Indonesia, but I did my undergraduate degree in New Zealand. I worked for various organisations, including a bank and the Australian State Government of Queensland’s Trade & Investment Office, before joining TV. I’ve travelled quite a bit, I guess! I would consider myself a global citizen.”

Why study a Global MBA abroad?

“I was busy enjoying my life and working in interesting jobs, but I wanted to do further study so I always kept it in the back of my mind. One day I received a great offer – to apply for an international student scholarship from SP Jain. So I just gave it a try, and I got pretty much full scholarship! Because it’s a very global program and includes studying in three different cities as part of the course, I didn’t think twice!

“Having spent most of my working life in business journalism, I felt that a business-related masters would enrich my knowledge and sharpen my skills. And, in fact, I found the course very effective. SP Jain really opened my horizons. The course brought me back to the core fundamentals of business – profit and loss, balance statements, that kind of thing. Things I didn’t really study in my undergrad years. Studying a Global MBA abroad really helped sharpen my business journalism work professionally.”

Check out our reasons why you should complete an MBA programme.

The SP Jain Global MBA – 1 course, 3 cities

“Studying my Global MBA abroad exposed me to how business is done in different international continents – the Middle East, Australia and Asia. This gave me a new perspective on how to approach things and taught me to take things like cultural nuances into consideration. Now, because I have been there, I know how things are done, so it really gave me a different perspective. And it makes me a global citizen.

“I don’t see any other universities doing the same type of model. SP Jain claims to be one of the top four universities offering this kind of one-year international MBA program. So they’re right up there at the top of the list of Forbes ranking. We went to Dubai for the first semester, January to April. Then four months in Sydney for the second semester. And finally, we went to Singapore to complete the final semester. This gave me the opportunity to find a job in Singapore, and that’s where I’m still working now.

From Dubai to Sydney to Singapore

“Dubai was very interesting. We went there in January so it wasn’t that hot, but it was becoming warmer. It was interesting because Dubai starts the week on a Sunday so their weekends are Friday and Saturday. The day seems longer there for some reason and there is sand everywhere, so we were always covered from head to toe! We were taken on excursions as part of the tuition, including a desert safari trip and a trip to Ferrari World. They took us to places outside of the classroom, which we really enjoyed. In Sydney, I rented a vehicle and headed out to the beautiful countryside of New South Wales – to Wollongong and the beaches. In Singapore, I was working to complete my MBA that’s where I started looking for a job.

“I think the Global MBA abroad program was great because it was challenging. As a business journalist, I am quite well versed in business topics, so all of the case studies were a walk in the park for me. But there are parts of business studies that I found difficult, like corporate finance because I’m not very strong with numbers and mathematics. I felt like I was really starting from zero because I had never studied corporate finance or accounting before. At the end of the day, I learned about new fields in business and gained a lot from the experience.”

Find out more about Olivia’s life as a TV Journalist here.

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Ligia’s study abroad experience in Australia

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Ligia is a marketing professional working in Sydney. She came to Australia from Brazil to study her MBA at Western Sydney University. This is her study abroad experience.

Do you want to study abroad in Australia? Ligia has put herself through plenty of challenges as an international student and emerged from them all triumphantly. We caught up with her to chat about her time as an international student in Australia, and the events in her life that got her there.

Putting family first

The first thing Ligia wanted to talk about in our interview was her family and what they mean to her, which speaks volumes about the kind of person she is.

“I think firstly I have to mention that I have a “special” brother. His name is Vitor and he was born with cerebral palsy. I am just starting off with this because this makes my family’s dynamic slightly different from everyone else’s. I’m very attached to my family. It may sound cliché, but everything that I do is based on what’s better for them, not just for me.”

family graduation photo
Family graduation photo

Throughout our interview, these remarks hold special significance as it becomes clear just how much Ligia missed being close to family and to Brazil. Illustrating just how determined and resilient she is. Ligia has been familiar with the world of business from an early age as her dad works as a customer success manager for an insurance company in Brazil. She quickly realised that she needed to do something that would earn her enough money to support her family. But she also wanted a good job, a career and to uphold her commitment to them.

“I chose to do my bachelors in Brazil when I was 17 and straight out of school. So I started studying at a great private college called ESPM, which translates as ‘Superior School of Advertising and Marketing’. I did an undergraduate course in Advertising and Marketing, which is consistently ranked as one of the best in Brazil. I guess everything started there in terms of my career and my relationship with business and marketing.”

Find out more about Ligia’s MBA at Western Sydney University.

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Ligia’s MBA in Australia – Western Sydney University

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Ligia graduated with an MBA from Western Sydney University in 2018. She now works in Sydney as a Marketing Manager. This is her story.

Why an MBA in Australia?

I studied a degree in Communications, Advertising and Marketing in Brazil, but what I really wanted to do was study English in Australia. So I did, and after four months in Australia, I started studying for a diploma in Business. Then I realised that if I wanted to stay in Australia, I had to enrol on a postgraduate course in order to qualify for a visa. So, I decided to just go for it and apply for an MBA.

I had wanted to do a Masters anyway because it was the next level for me after my degree in Brazil, so it seemed like the next step. I also wanted to stay in Australia because I knew it would offer me a lot of opportunities in terms of working and career progression.

Check out our reasons why you should complete an MBA programme.

Why Western Sydney University?

I made contact with Isis Kowaliauskas – a fellow Brazilian who works for the international department at the university. She has now become a colleague, but at the time we met through a Facebook post in one of the Brazilian communities. After looking at her Facebook post about Western Sydney, I knew I wanted to go there and see what it was like. In the beginning, it was just what I needed because I didn’t know anybody else. She was so sweet and helpful. She introduced me to the whole university and the whole course and everything. And then I said, yes, that’s where I want to do my masters.

I went through all the modules and did all the research, and then I went to the campus and could immediately see myself studying there. It was like falling in love. I know that sounds romantic, but that’s what happened: it felt right. I think it was the biggest factor for me because I’m very into feelings – they are important when making choices.

Scholarships

Then there were the practical reasons. I’d say that Western Sydney University was the most cost-effective out of Sydney’s biggest unis (UTS, Sydney University, the University of New South Wales and Western Sydney). Among these, in terms of price, it was the best option. Western Sydney University also offers scholarships for international students, as well as their public scholarships. I was nervous but it was like any university thing, I needed to just go for it. So I applied to try and be the lucky one, and I was!

Click here for our top 5 government-funded scholarships for international students.

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