In 2018, I entered a competition which offered women the opportunity to study further.
As the mom of 7, in my 40’s and without the financial resources to study further I entered.
As I wrote the words, I realized how much of my own future growth I had abandoned as a young mom to raise my family.
Whilst I would not ever change a thing, I would certainly have wished for mentors who perhaps pushed me to take the opportunities I was presented with, knowing that the more I studied and the more opportunities I had, the further I could advance in my chosen career and the more I could provide for my family.
The competition offered a full scholarship from Get Smarter learning institute and I immediately looked at their wide array of courses, convinced I was actually way past my prime to qualify for a scholarship.
As a blogger I immediately looked for a course that offered copywriter experience and their Social media marketing course was the prize I secretly longed to win.
Then I forgot about the competition.
Back to college
Finally, one day, I received an email stating I had won. I was elated.
Winning a free full scholarship offered me the opportunity to study without sacrificing my children’s needs.
I was able to study online and part time so for me this was also a great saving on both time and transport money.
It was increadibly daunting. I had not studied in over 20 years. My first concerns were would I be disciplined enough to finish the course.
I was also now studying online, with the use of computer screens, online submissions and lectures via video.
This was overwhelming. As someone who was used to physical pen and paper, I struggled in the beginning to focus on the lectures, often having to watch them several times.
I found myself flustered at learning the programs and technology needed to do simple tasks and intimidated in a classroom of people my children’s age.
The work itself was simple, as I had been working in social media marketing for many years already.
My task scores were wonderful but I found myself losing points on engagement as I was running a busy blog, over coming a pulmonary embolism, running my home and still looking after an 18 month old toddler who demanded every inch of my attention.
And, although I passed with an incredibly high final grade,I realized the one and true thing I lacked was a motivated and encouraging mentor
A mentor is described as an “experienced and trusted advisor “
Someone who has often walked your path, successfully navigated it and was able to offer practical and helpful advice to guide you.
Most successful women have had the good fortune to have had the strong influence of an exceptional professional in their field mentor them.
In the words of Nancy Etz, from creative Arts Agency
” I’ve had the opportunity to have been mentored by exceptional professionals. This mentorship is what I believe is attributed to my overall success.”
Scholarships and further studies
A full scholarship may be hard to come by, but there are many companies and schools that offer subsidies and scholarships to learners who excell or fall into certain criteria.
If you are looking for a scholarship to study further, it is best to research your chosen career path and see if any of the companies offer scholarships alongside working experience.
You can also contact the universities, colleges and schools directly and ask them about their scholarships.
For those who are older I may suggest following several of the tertiary institutions as many of the smaller colleges offer competitions for free courses.
Many community colleges also offer free mentorship and courses with diplomas.
No matter your circumstances, your age or your experience know that there is always an opportunity to study further, grow in knowledge and set yourself up for success.
Thoroughly investigate your options, look for opportunities and seek out a strong mentor in your field.
Keep dreaming and working towards those dreams.