What I Got From a University Degree

My university degree didn’t automatically grant me a job. It didn’t give me a career nor did it earn me a promotion in my job once I graduated. To be completely honest, in my first professional job, people with less qualifications and experience got further in their careers than I did! I sometimes had to reflect on what advantages I achieved from attending university. So in the end was it worth it? What did I get out of finishing a university degree?

How to Think

Firstly, university taught me how to think. Thanks to my degree, I can now express my thoughts on many subjects. During this time, I had to research publications that align with my thoughts and present those findings in a coherent way. Even in my tutorial classes, I had to express ideas and defend them in an impromptu manner. It also helped me appreciate the views that were different to mine and understand how this actually enriches discussion on any topic.

Deal with Pressure

The degree I studied put me in situations of pressure and stress and I am grateful. This was of course more apparent during the assessment periods of each semester and heightened at exam time. Outside of university, I have also been through periods of pressure in various jobs and it makes it easier to withstand because I’ve been through this before.

Build a Network

The other benefit is that university allowed me to meet some great people. Three of my best friends that I have today I met while studying my undergraduate degree.

Strengthen Communication Skills

University strengthened my communication skills. The way I interacted with lecturers, tutors and class mates have helped me develop a productive communication style which serves me well today. Apart from day to day interactions, I learned how to improve my presentation skills. It’s thanks to the many group assignments that I learned how to collate a group effort and share the responsibilities of a joined presentation.

A university degree means something different to each person. The journey is quite unique and personal. All of which I’ve mentioned above can be accomplished without going through university. This happens to be the journey that I went through and what I came away with. I am grateful for my experience but a university degree isn’t everything. I found this out in the years after graduating. I wouldn’t change anything given a second chance though.

Four years on and counting

I’ve now had this blog for a little over four years. I first bought this domain in 2007 but left it with just a humble ‘under construction’ front page for almost two years. Then back in 2009, my partner suggested that I use the site to record my opinions. I’m so grateful for that advice.

So I learned how to install WordPress on my domain and within a few weeks, I was blogging with ease.

Four years on and I am pleased with how much I’ve accomplished. I have no programming knowledge or developer skills. I think it’s great that you don’t need any to run a blog these days.

It’s fantastic to read old posts and remember what things were happening in my life at the time. Back then, I hadn’t graduated from university and I was trying to  establish a business analyst career even though I was living overseas.

The purpose of this blog was to record all the things that seemed important to me and to track my career journey. It has been great to achieve all the goals I’ve set for myself since then.

My posts have become less frequent but the content I have to share nowadays is what I wanted all along. It’s good to know I have this blog next to me all the time to share snippets of time throughout my life.

I hope you enjoy reading this content. I recommend blogging to anyone. It’s a great pastime.

New theme new direction

So I’ve updated my theme to change things up. I’ve also decided that I will use this space to track the progress of my goal to become a business analyst. For some of you, it may seem like a modest aspiration but for me it’s one goal I haven’t achieved. I know that when I do become a business analyst, I will have a different goal in front of me.

Back to the new theme.

I’m using a default theme that came with the new version of wordpress, it’s called “twenty eleven”. I think default themes have come a long way since I first glanced at kubrick. The new theme is quite minimalist and I think it’s a great match for the new direction I’m taking. I don’t think a blog or a theme should get in the way of someone who wants to write and share opinions. I think this theme will serve me well over the next two years.

I’m done with experimenting with plugins and widgets. When I use wordpress, I want to only write. I’m glad I’ve got the spring clean done and can now get on with the job of documenting my journey to becoming a professional business analyst.

New social media strategy

Most people who are constant producers of information in social media will now understand that the space is getting crowded with popular services. Where once we had the one blog to update, we now have to dedicate time to facebook, twitter, tumblr and google plus.

This has made me think about my social media strategy. The truth is, I don’t really have one. When this blog started in 2009, the strategy was to produce via this medium and draw interest and attention back to this page. Since then, I’ve joined twitter, created a tumble log, joined linked in and various other services.

I’m now forced to think about how I spend my time on these networks and which ones I chose to contribute to the most. The problem is that they all seem worthwhile and enjoyable. So I will have to prioritise. This is how I think I will do it.

My blog – this blog

This blog will be the space most serious to me. As I pay money to keep this domain every year and have the url printed on my business card, I may as well keep this in good order. I haven’t written here consistently. There are two reasons for this. One is that I’ve been distracted with less meaningful social media services. The other reason is that I’d rather have well thought out posts on this blog, which means that I don’t often have interesting material to share here or it takes some time to write and edit everything in a decent manner. This blog will however become my most important internet presence. Continue reading

One year on, here I am

A year ago I was sitting with my laptop in Chile setting up wordpress on my self-hosted domain. It was very exciting to approach publishing something that was mine on my own space.

I didn’t have much to write about then as I was cautious about opening up too much on the internet, I thought I’d write a few posts about travelling and my experience as an Australian living in Chile. Continue reading