Studying for success
A pregnant wife, two young children and selling a house - not,
you would think, an ideal background to undertaking a part time
Open University course. However this is exactly what Graeme
Humphrey, Operations Director at Codify did. In November 2006
Graeme started a six month part time project management course.
He explains, "It's not quite as bad as it sounds, we weren't
planning to move house when I started the course but life doesn't
go on hold and the time was right to sell so that was what we had
to do. Because I had committed to doing the course I just made sure
that I stayed focussed and continued to study and meet my self
Graeme carried out extensive research into the available courses
before deciding which one was right for him. "As Operations
Director at Codify project management is an essential part of my
role. I knew that I wanted to study something that would benefit me
at work so it was a case of looking around and determining which
course met my requirements. The Open University project management
course was the best choice for me as it is a part time self study
He adds, "That's not to say it's an easy option though - I had
to commit to undertaking 15 hours of study per week. That's a lot
to take on when you already have a busy full time job and a young
Prior to enrolling on the Open University project management
course Graeme thought long and hard about the commitment he was
intending to make. "I had to be sure that I would be able to meet
the deadlines associated with the course and that I could complete
the course - I had no intention of starting something that I
couldn't finish." He adds, "I was fortunate that my work agreed to
pay for the course, this gave me added impetus to make sure that I
was committed to completing it too!"
Having made the decision to start the course Graeme put
strategies in place to ensure that he would achieve his goal. "50%
of the final mark was based on three assignments that were
completed during the course and the remaining 50% was an exam. I
used the assignment deadlines as a basis for my study plan and made
sure that I stuck to it."
According to Graeme breaks from both work and studying were
crucial in ensuring that he completed the course. "For me it was
very important to not only have a plan in place to show what I
needed to have covered and by when but also to have regular time
off from studying. Throughout the six month course I always made
sure that I had two days a week when I didn't have to hit the
books. This certainly helped me to stick to my study plan."
He continues, "Anyone thinking of studying whilst working needs
to be sure that the course they are doing is the right one, that
they have the time available to commit to completing their studies
and that they will be disciplined with themselves when it comes to
studying at the end of the working day."
Graeme doesn't yet know his final result for the course however
he is under no illusion as to the benefits he will reap from it.
"I'm already utilising knowledge that I gained from the course in
my day to day role. It's extremely rewarding to have done something
I can implement on a daily basis. The course covered everything
from project inception to completion/handover; I can't think of a
single element that won't be of use to me at work."