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Learning around my life

by Jack Phillips

When Kim moved states with her family, she decided it was time to turn her people skills into a rewarding career improving the lives of older people. She fit online study around her volunteering to kick start her career in Aged Care.

Kim Borg always wanted to do something positive with her life but it wasn’t until she and her family moved states that she decided to revisit her childhood dream of working in the care sector.

As a mother of two teenagers, Kim knew she needed an education program that worked around her family commitments and quickly discovered that the benefits of online study would empower her to learn around her busy life. “I decided to study a Certificate III in Aged Care because it’s always been a goal of mine to care for people in need and be able to help them” she says.

Kim wanted to equip herself with the necessary skills to embark upon a new career. She also longed for a route into the workplace to build upon the theoretical knowledge she hoped to gain. Online study is at the forefront of education in Australia because of the increased benefits of learning remotely and Kim quickly decided that this would be the right path for her.

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Studies have shown that learning online is just as efficient as traditional classroom programs. Giving students the reins to their own education means they are actively invested in how and when they want to learn. Kim knew that this learner-centric approach to education would help her to achieve her potential, in an environment she felt comfortable in.

It was a decision that would forever change Kim’s life. Not only would she later realise her childhood dream of helping people; but the passion and knowledge she had built up over time as a mother, would help to do it. In this way, online study became the kick-start Kim needed to get moving.

A flexible schedule

With an online study course, Kim could access her course at any time, from anywhere she could log on. This meant that as a parent, a working student, and a career professional, she had the option of attending classes no matter what her work schedule. She could read when she wanted to read and work when she had time to work. “I found that it suited my lifestyle, I could study in my own time and work around my own lifestyle,” explains Kim, who only needed a computer and Internet access to take online classes.

Always accessible

Coursework was accessible for Kim when she needed it. She could review lectures, discussions, explanations, and comments whenever it suited her. Kim also found it advantageous to share notes with other students to help facilitate her learning. “Sometimes I needed to lean on someone who was going through the same experience. It was helpful to have that contact with others that were also doing the same thing”, she says.

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Kim’s study buddy, Nitro.

Here to help

Kim knew that she wanted to work in care, but many people need more help locating that perfect course. The great thing about online study is that there are many courses to choose from and people on hand to help you along the process so finding the right fit is only a small part of your journey. “When I rang up for support they were so, so good and guided me step-by-step through the process on the phone.”

Stay in control

With two children to care for, Kim needed to be able to work around her hobbies and those of her family. On-campus courses are typically scheduled in a more rigid format but with online study Kim was still able to take walks on the beach and go snorkelling and kayaking whenever the mood took her, safe in the knowledge that her study material would be waiting when she returned. Online study lessons can be paused when needed, and notes read at the student’s convenience.

A new and fulfilling career

It was important for Kim to use the theoretical knowledge she had gained in a real life setting and a work placement helped her to do that. “I rung a care centre and they asked me to come in” Kim says, “I had a little interview and I ended up volunteering.”

Her studying fit around her new work commitments and informed her day-to-day care work. “I continued to volunteer for about eight weeks and then they offered me a position.”

Kim’s story is a great example of how education, practical application of knowledge and flexibility can offer new avenues for happiness and career progression. Her drive to fulfil her career goal, coupled with the convenience of online study allowed Kim to make a real, lasting change to her life and most importantly, achieve her dream of helping others.

Start a career helping others

If you’d like to begin a career helping to bring joy to older people, a course in Aged Care could be for you. Study around your life to reach your career goals with Open Colleges.

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