First month of Master’s degree – check. – OurWarwick

First month of Master’s degree – check.

Olivia Christoforidou | Postgraduate Career Development and Coaching Studies Contact Olivia

Week 1: Induction Week

As the Induction date for my MA in Career Development and Coaching was approaching, that ‘tied knot’ feeling in my stomach kept growing and growing. Coming from an Accounting undergraduate degree, I realized how my career was not set to excel in the daily examination of financial statements to ensure compliance with defined requirements – no offence to those that is! But at the same time, the thought of engaging with a whole new area of expertise within 1 year’s time created a fear of failing to make the right decision allover again.

What if I cannot keep up? What if it is too complex? What if, what if, what if? The pandemic was no help either, considering that I would ship off from a country of double-digit cases daily, to a record of 12,000 (at the time…) recorded the week that I arrived. Nonetheless, instead of indulging myself in such anxious, hypothetical scenarios, I decided to take the leap and make the best out of an uncertain situation that I will surely blog about over the upcoming year – hope you stay tuned.

Week 2: Workshop Days

An activity I was definitely surprised by is the wholly virtual learning environment. I for one was always taking advantage of the face-to-face contact in all my meetings, lectures and tutorials so far; even those dreadful 9AMs. However, I found it amazing how it was equally contributing, and even better.

The 9-5 commitment was surely a bit tiring at first, but the information and engagement you get out of it makes it worth it in the end. An element that I was actually seeking in my masters was a greater discussion of the material, and not just solving towards an answer or studying towards an exam. Actually forcing us into breakout rooms and giving us the flexibility to determine the structure of the discussion involved has been enabling in a sense of compensating each other’s point of view on key topics. Specifically, I have admired collaborating with people from such diverse backgrounds. I have gained perspective from part-timers, full-timers, experienced and inexperienced peers within the field, in addition to making great new connections.

Week 3-4: Assignment Prep

The first month also included completing my first 5000-word essay under 3 weeks, and may I say YIKES. I was exhibiting a sense of stress in my, so-many, queries just upon finishing the workshops, to the point that my personal tutor jokingly emailed me to have a good weekend with a well-needed break from career theory.

On the opposing side of hunching over my laptop for so many hours, something that was a relief and motivating is how the assignment looked more into our original application of the career theories. Structuring and performing our own interview data regarding individuals to be analyzed career-wise created an IKEA effect to it all; being able to relate to the essay just made it even more exhilarating when completing it, and at the same time caring more about the effort put into it.

Week 5: Submission and Rep Meetings

Submission has certainly taken a load off. On the other hand, submitting on the same day the second UK lockdown started did not pretty much allow me to go out with friends (household bubble, of course) and celebrate with some outdoor fun for a change. Alternatively, I treated myself to a gigantic double cheeseburger with crispy onions and pickle toppings, with a side of sweet potato fries, and American Murder: The Family Next Door playing on Netflix (a must see!).

Lastly, during this week, I have also certainly been enjoying my new role as student representative of my course. It is an aspect that I have been actively involved with in my previous university, and I intend to do so at Warwick as well. I have always valued devoting the time to take in constructive feedback discussed between my peers and ‘tackling’ it with senior staff. Just seeing that element of achievement in improving our learning experience has always given me a great sense of gratification – makes sense that I want to become a career practitioner right?

Olivia Christoforidou | Postgraduate Career Development and Coaching Studies Contact Olivia

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