I completed my MBA (Master of Business Administration) in 1998. Apparently that is more than a decade ago. Even more than two decades ago. Apparently.
I’d started the MBA before heading overseas to work in international development so completed it by distance and have vivid memories of trying to explain to a lecturer – via fax or telephone (ie. before internet) – that I was living in Mozambique. A Portuguese-speaking country and had no access to any English texts or literature of any kind.
Anyhoo… it’s a long time since I’ve done any formal study. And I should admit, I hated study. Hated it. I always did far better at subjects requiring understanding and ‘doing’ rather than ‘learning’.
I’ve done a stack of courses since. Project management courses, depending on the flavour of the day: logframes, Prince 2, MSP and most recently agile methodology. As well as writing courses, workshops, a one-year long online course, several weeks of night classes and even the week-long writing retreat in Tuscany.
I am however, thinking of doing some formal study. It started as a throw-away comment. A flight of fancy. But the idea has been marinating around my mind ever since.
In many ways (returning to study) seems ridiculous. I’m 52yrs old. Surely too old for such things. But at the same time I’m worried I’m increasingly unemployable in my old project management field. It wouldn’t have been the case had I not made my seachange. I’d still be moving from project to project and feeling confident and comfortable. But here, opportunities have been very limited. Project management contract work has appeared in fits and starts and soon it will be two years since I finished my last full-time stint. I’ve only been doing a few hours a week along with some content writing and can’t see anything changing anytime soon – job-wise. Particularly in this challenging economic (pandemic) time.
I had a conversation with someone on Facebook about ageing the other day. She’s 50, so a massive two years my junior and was talking about other job opportunities. I’ve changed careers a number of times but I said, at 52 I feel I’m on the downhill run. Getting into new opportunities at my age may be problematic. And of course, there are youngsters with more recent qualifications and experience.
It’s because of this and despite this however I’m contemplating returning to study. I’ve now spent a week or so checking out postgraduate courses in creative writing, writing, editing and publishing and the like.
Through my many writing courses and book reviewing I actually know quite a lot of lecturers and tutors at various institutions around the country. Of course the challenge will be to find something that allows me to remain on the Fraser Coast BUT offers access to quality teaching. However sooooo much is done online now I’m hoping it’s possible.
In some ways it feels a bit frivolous to think about returning to full-time study. I’d try to keep some consulting and contract work – and hopefully I might pursue more freelance writing opportunities. But I’d certainly need some government support and I think the last time I applied for Austudy was in the mid 1980s. God knows how it all works now.
Any info, suggestions or feedback re courses or Universities would be very much welcomed! Also… do you think there’s a point you reach when you’re ‘too old’ to think about new ventures?
* main image: Nathan Dunlao via Unsplash