Part time OU degree, new baby, working full time

(7 Posts)
craftycottontail Thu 25-Apr-13 23:57:27

Plathism - thank you, really invaluable advice. Yep it's my first, getting excited! Tomorrow is my last day at work and feels like a whole new world about to open up.

Wadscollop - wow, you sound like a total superwoman! Very admirable smile

Worldgonecrazy - another superwoman! And thank you, more to think about there. DH and I are very much a little unit on our own (toxic / absent / needy parents and not much family nearby) so not much support there. My work is nice but not sure they'd be that flexible as a lot of my work involves supporting others who work regular hours.

I'm going to check out deadlines for applying because partly I just can't picture what it's going to be like having a baby. It's all very surreal at the moment!

Not so stealth boast - I returned to work full time when DD was 14 weeks (away over 12 hours a day). I also bf to 15 months and started an OU degree when she was 5 months old. It can be done BUT you need a really good support network. My employer has no problem with me spending quiet times working on my OU course, and I have used work contacts to help me complete assignments as I'm doing a business-based degree, so I don't actually have to spend much time at home studying. You need that support and to ensure that you have care in place for any weekend schools, etc.

Is there someone at work you can speak to, say you're thinking of doing this degree and would like the support of your employer, not necessarily in financial terms, but perhaps with some flexibility on how you manage your time?

If you're employer and family are "signed up" to helping and supporting you, it makes the whole thing much easier.

WadsCollop Thu 25-Apr-13 10:28:31

I had a new baby, a toddler, a FT job (teaching and middle management), a PhD and an evening job.

Was tough, but doable with the right child care in place. (DH!)

Plathism Thu 25-Apr-13 09:58:28

It depends what you want to get out of the English degree I think - if you are just doing it to get a degree (which will open up a lot of jobs for you in all kinds of areas) and because you love the idea of studying English, then I'd say go for it. But if you want some training that will qualify you for a particular job or to work in a particular sector, then yes, I think English is too versatile. So many people leave uni with an English degree that it doesn't really differentiate you from other job applicants.

I did an English MA after my degree on a really obscure topic, just because I wanted to, not because I thought it would be useful. Then I did a bit of publishing-related training and I now have a job that uses all of that study. But I think that's unusual and I'm quite lucky!

Anyway, good luck for next month!! Is it your first? smile

craftycottontail Wed 24-Apr-13 19:19:20

I like my hobbies too, maybe this is a step too far!

So have you had to do extra training to use your degree ? Apart from loving English I thought it would be a faily versatile degree, but perhaps too versatile from what you're saying?

thanks smile

Plathism Tue 23-Apr-13 12:52:21

I can't offer you much advice re. baby, OU degree and full time work because I haven't been there, but a friend has just completed her p/t OU degree while working full time and found it very tough - and she doesn't have any DCs! She had very little time for other interests, friends, rest etc. Some people are more organised and driven than others though - I'm sure people have managed all three at once (esp if there's someone else around to look after the baby) but it sounds like a recipe for disaster to me! I am quite lazy though and do like to have time for hobbies and chilling out.

Also, I have an English degree. It's not particularly useful on its own.

craftycottontail Tue 23-Apr-13 09:30:15

Am I stupid to contemplate it?

I keep returning to the idea of doing a part time OU degree in English Literature and Language, but the cost has always been an issue. Reading up on student loans lately it seems to be a lot simpler to qualify than a couple of years ago.

I fell into working in risk earning not very much for a big company that doesn't offer much prospect for advancement. Plus the possibility of being made redunadnt crops up every couple of years.

Long term I'd like to do something more me, an English degree might achieve that.

But baby is due next month - it would be silly to think about applying for October, right? I'd be on mat leave til Jan/Feb. Has anyone juggled work, baby and part time study successfully?

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