This article was submitted by Zita Torok, a Masters of Professional Economics student.
Dear fellow postgrad students,
Have you ever been in a situation when you felt the need for a profound change? The kind of change what shakes your world and turns everything upside down – or I guess, depending on the outcome, right side up? I found myself having to make a difficult decision in 2015, setting me on the path of undertaking postgraduate studies at UoN.
To cut a long story short, I committed myself to start a new life with my two children. Now some of you might judge me, and I don’t mind – I got used to it along the way. But remember, I am the only one who truly knows what led to my choice, and if I was to consider it again, I would make the same decision because it was the best one in my life.
I would describe the circumstances as a sinking ship because, if I had stayed on it, the outcome would definitely not be a happy ending. However, leaving the sinking ship required me to swim across the ocean. Choosing the latter option, I had to face a few near-drownings on the way and a few ocean predators.
What sort of danger was threatening me on my journey to safe, dry land? I wouldn’t wish to entertain you with the saucy twists (I will keep those for the future in the form of an interesting novel of mine). I would rather just give you the boring raw details.
So, after setting up a home and commencing a relatively normal life, in September 2016 I could finally enrol in the Master of Professional Economics program as a postgraduate online student. First of all, as I was not born in Australia like some other fortunate citizens – I had to obtain citizenship, and am now a proud dual citizen.
Secondly, I graduated overseas in my mother language, which is not English, in case you haven’t guessed it so far. Therefore, my Bachelor degree needed to be recognised in Australia, which required me to dig through tons of official documents and have certificates translated.
On top of everything, as most international students would be aware, I still had to sit for an academic language exam, even though I had lived in the country for eight years at the time. After finally passing that test, I was soon faced with the challenge of returning to study following a gap of twelve years, since I obtained my undergraduate degree in 2004.
Now I tell you what, returning to studying after that many years, in another country and in a different language, is nothing like a sweet dream but more like a nightmare. Not to mention being a single mum of two children with no family support around. But I got through the challenges of the first trimester – moreover, I was awarded Distinctions in both of my subjects.
I know that most of you have a full-time job, a business, a hobby and probably a family as well, and still achieved High Distinctions, but for me this was a really good start. However, after getting through eight courses, I still haven’t finished my journey yet.
Unfortunately, the road to a Masters Degree is crooked and winding. The program in the middle of my studies has ceased, and therefore I only could gain a Graduate Certificate in Professional Economics, which I am very happy for. I applied for credit transfer, though, to be able to continue my studies with a Masters of Business Administration, so I still need to complete five more courses to graduate with a Masters Degree.
Out of the water, a mountain might be ahead of me, and now to favour the hiking enthusiasts with my metaphors, at this stage I am not sure if I am about to climb Mount Everest or Kosciuszko. I would like to finally get to the top of that mountain, which would mean hope for a satisfying job that fits in well with my family and career objectives, giving my family a good foundation for the future.
To wrap up my story, I would like to quote the Australian writer Barry Jones: “Failure to act appears to favour the present but it certainly prejudices the future.” So, if you feel you need to make a change, do it, as you will probably regret if later you don’t.
Wish you well on the journey of following your heart and passion,