Managing the demand on your time that a Master’s degree has, I’m not going to deny it it’s difficult. When I did it I was at a particular life stage, I had a young family, I had a business, I had ageing relatives. It was tricky. There were times when I thought, “Well, I don’t think I’ve got the time to continue,” but I did. I had some family deaths and that really knocked me for six. However, I decided that it was worth doing, I was going to go through it because the outcomes were going to be really, really useful.
Have an agreement
In terms of the practicalities of it all, there is no doubt that you have to have an agreement with your loved ones, that you are going to be absent for hours at a time. You have that conversation beforehand so that they know, and you work around it and say, ‘Maybe one Sunday in four, I won’t be doing this work’. The other thing I also found is that I had to demarcate time that I was going to do the work, and I had to stick to it because that was the time that I’d set aside to do the work. That really helped me.
“It’s not overwhelming. You just have to manage it into your day to day life”
It was a real discipline and I’m not saying it was easy in the first year, but by the time I got into the second year, I’d worked out a way of saying to my family, ‘That’s when I’m going to do this work’. Therefore, they could then go off and do other things or find other things to do and then I would come back and we’d do the family stuff. You do have to be disciplined. If you’re the kind of person that take things a bit free and easy, you might find yourself struggling with the commitment. It’s a commitment, right? But it’s not overwhelming. You just have to manage it into your day to day life. I’m not the kind of person that naturally does that, so the discipline of actually demarcating time that was for the MSc really, really helped me.