One of the last pieces of work I completed while studying for my degree was for the module titled Professional Context, a module that is designed to package students ready for working in their chosen advertising field. And when I looked back on my work of the last semester in a reflective manner and recognising areas for future progression, I made the pledge to start writing my blog again. So where better place to start, than my experiences and reflection of my degree.
When I made the choice to return to further education nearly four years ago, many questioned my sanity (including myself) and also why? Over the three years of hard and intense work, it’s still a question I cannot narrow down to one clear simple answer other than because ‘I can and I will’.
To study for a degree that’s marked on merit and skills and not one that’s marked on the ability to memorise facts and regurgitate them almost word for word in exam conditions was no mean feat, and when I look back on the learning experience now, I still cannot quite get my head around that I’ve actually accomplished it and made a half-tidy job of it at the same time.
It wasn’t just the study side of the degree that I embarked upon, it was the lifestyle changes and the ability to keep numerous balls in the air at the same time, after all being a single parent is a challenge in its self, but throw in hundreds of hours of study time into the mix and things can get pretty hectic. This was also the time I learned of my hidden talent of perfecting the art of procrastination. Never had I experienced the desire to do the ironing, clean the bathroom, watch the rain water running down the windows (I live in Wales, it rains a lot) in preference to putting together endless pages of project research documents that formed a large percentage of my final marks. But the work was completed as was the ironing and the bathroom cleaned, and it still rains in Wales too.
Dr Don Parker came to our JustAd_ Grad show last month and having not seen him for over a year it was great to catch up again and put the world to rights at the same time. As the original senior lecturer that interviewed me when I applied to study at the University of South Wales and accepted me on to the course too, it was rather fitting that he asked: “if it was all worth it?” And I have to say wholeheartedly that yes it was, it was at times difficult and seemingly impossible, but I did, and I did it well, and that’s all I can do in the greater scheme if things. I learned so much about advertising, consumer behaviour, branding, marketing and social media, but also the art of storytelling and communication, two skills I appear to excel in, but equally, I learned so much about me too.
So to all those teachers when I was at secondary school all those years ago that said I wasn’t degree material, I proved you all wrong I was and I still am, just in a creative genre and not the stuffy academic pathways that you tried to fashion me to fit into.