Joanne Rose Wong enrolled for the Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management at Wawasan Open University (WOU) because she wanted to broaden her job choices in life. “Instead of taking up a degree in nursing, I was looking for something that gives me different opportunities to develop my career,” said Wong, an ex-senior staff nurse who holds a Diploma in Nursing and also in Public Relations and Corporate Communications.
“After years in nursing, I was offered an opportunity to handle public relations in a private hospital,” she said. A high achiever who is not afraid to try new things, she then ventured into public relations, dealing with customer care as manager of marketing and public relations before assuming her current position.
She was challenged to rise up academically by her former boss’ remark that paper qualifications were more important than experience when it comes to career. Little did she know that the statement turned out to be positive in motivating her to pursue a degree despite her apprehensions.
Being an adult learner made her a better student as she could clearly understand why certain procedures are implemented in the workplace. “When I study from the course modules and compare them with what exactly happens in the office, I believe that working and studying at the same time makes the syllabus more relevant.”
As she strongly believes in lifelong learning, Wong perseveres and makes sure to spend at least four hours reading and revising her studies after work. She is comfortable with the open distance learning mode and logs on to WOU’s learning management system, WawasanLearn, to connect with her course mates. She maps out a schedule plan for her studies, revision and assignments and carries her laptop wherever she goes.
Her advice to working adults planning to further their studies is to “choose programmes which are flexible as then you need not rush to complete your degree. Although the courses may be tough, with a little bit of self discipline, you will achieve self-satisfaction and be a step closer to achieving your goals”.
Over 6,000 working adults like Wong have to date seized the learning opportunities afforded at WOU while they continue in their jobs.
WOU’s School of Business and Administration (SBA) offers eight degrees, four graduate diplomas and two graduate certificates in the fields of management, accounting, banking and finance, logistics and supply chain management, sales and marketing, business information systems, corporate administration, and in entrepreneurship and small business management. The programmes focus on work-based learning approaches to develop and disseminate business management knowledge to fulfil the needs of the business community. The School also offers the Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) and MPA (CeMPA) programmes, coordinated by WOU’s Centre for Graduate Studies.
For details on WOU programmes, call the toll-free Careline at 1 300 888 WOU (968) or visit: wou.edu.my.