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RMIT University

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Felicity Kelly

The course assisted me to make my teaching more efficient.

What did you study at undergraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now? Are you studying and working at the same time?

Not working at the moment. I studied music as an undergraduate, completed in 1999. I completed a postgraduate Diploma of Information Management in 2012. In 2018 I completed a Diploma of Medical Transcription. I am not studying anything now. During my information management degree I was studying and working at the same time.

What have been the most important stages of your life?

Moving from bad primary (violence & yelling) school to a good, happy primary school. My job at the Arts Centre whilst completing my music degree. Trip overseas to Canada & USA playing in a youth orchestra. Music lessons in Los Angeles and New York and meeting two authors I had been in contact with during my music degree. My Information Management degree. Living in Paris for three months. Receiving a diagnosis after 12 years of treatment that I had to give up music playing and teaching. Quitting teaching altogether. Deciding not to work. Moving to a new city. 

How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and how long have you been working there?

I got my last two major job positions through my colleagues - One I had studied with in a course, and the other I was actually having lessons from. 

What made you decide to progress with further study?

To update my skills and feel like I was more a part of the world. To diversify from the job I was in and create variety in my work. I believe that professionals need ongoing study and skills need upgrading. New perspectives and ways of thinking are important as we go along throughout life.

How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?

I was choosing between doing a further teaching degree, which I didn't really want as I didn't want to teach classroom, or to further my interest in books and libraries, which was useful for my own music collection. The information management degree opened up potential for me to work for orchestras as an orchestral librarian, or in a music library.

What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?

To get into the information management course, I had to provide a full CV outlining my current profession, and any relevant experience. I also had to write a 300 word paragraph on why I wanted to do the course, and provide verification of my current employment. My supervisor had to fill in a form also.

What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)

My study involved not taking too many subjects at once, so that I could absorb the course properly. There was a lot of information to take in and it was an overload for even the full-time students. So time management was very important, and breaks were vital. I would listen to a weekly lecture on the computer, work on an assignment or report by doing research, writing, or finding resources. I would put myself in the student study centre as often as I could for assistance with my assignments. I was having a lot of trouble at first, as I didn't know how to put the reports together nor did I have any study strategies. So my plan of attack was to live there as much as possible until things were done and submitted. I found that I really needed one on one help a lot, and there was so much more involved in assignments than what I could pick up on in the lectures and instructions.

Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.

My information management course has been so beneficial in my life. The course assisted me to make my teaching more efficient, such as with communications to parents, students, schools, and quickly putting together high-quality documents that yielded great results and responses. During the undertaking of this course I didn't realise that I'm actually disabled to the point where I can't work in a normal workplace. Even though I have never worked in a library, it gave me the skills to navigate through legal, medical and government processes to get the help I needed. 

What do you love the most about your course?

To be learning extensively about something I am genuinely interested in. Meeting people with the same interests, whether they be fellow students or staff. The course helped me to feel like I was more a part of the world, as I gathered more skills in IT, and learnt how to organise and communicate in much greater volumes and more effectively.

What are the limitations of your course?

The online subjects weren't very successfully, especially the IT-related ones. I found I couldn't always get the right information I needed or all the help I needed. The limitations are that you learn what you learn at the time that you learn it. Three or four years later, it's all going to be different and your skills are immediately out of date!  

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.

  • Quality breaks that re-energise are crucial. Whether it be sitting under a tree outside, something with your favourite smell, or catching a movie in the middle of the day - knowing what gives you rejuvenation is very important so you can use it effectively.
  • It is a luxury to study. Our education is a luxury. It is your gold. Do it properly - whether that means taking one less subject or working less so that you absorb your course properly.
  • Moral support is important. Make sure you have someone to cheer you on or encourage you.