If you’re new to online learning, it’s natural to have questions about the process and how your online learning environment will support your needs.
Our Course Adviser Team is always happy to answer any enquiries about distance learning, course structures, and anything else relating to your education with us. However, we also understand the value of hearing from students with hands-on experience with our degree programmes.
To offer such insights, Ricardo de Paula, one of our Course Advisers, sat down with current student Dana El-Tawil for a livestreamed Q&A with prospective students of the Bayes Business School (formerly Cass).
This is the second part of our interview with Dana. To read the first half, visit our conversation with Dana El-Tawil.
Ricardo: Dana, you started your course last September – have you felt any sort of impact since then on a personal or professional level?
Dana: Absolutely. One thing that you'll definitely walk out with is a briefcase full of tools that you would have never learnt otherwise. Not just business skills, but interpersonal skills as well.
For me, one thing that I've noticed tremendously over the last 10 months is that my confidence has definitely improved. The fact that you're constantly engaging with other people from other disciplines, whether they’re older than you or younger than you, really does build your confidence.
Learning and empowerment are interlinked for me. The more I know, the more empowered I feel. With the course, I feel like I can apply myself at work a lot better and with more assurance of what I'm bringing to the table.
Another thing that has led from this is curiosity. As kids, we're all really curious, and I think as you grow older, you start losing that. You get stuck in your ways and you do what you know. But the course has really ignited that in me – being curious, learning more, diving deeper in areas that I didn't think I would ever be interested in.
Ricardo: That's really interesting because you're not the first student to say this! I think one of the strengths that everyone will develop throughout the programme is confidence, along with key leadership skills that you need to succeed in more senior positions. My next question is about your time. How are you managing your time at the moment with work and studies?
Dana: That's a really great question. We tend to always say, ‘I don't have enough time to do X, Y, and Z’ until you actually commit to it.
To be completely transparent and honest, time management wasn’t a skill I really had before this. I mean, I always meet deadlines and I'm always on time, but a lot of the time that feels like it’s just by chance. Now with my studies and a full-time job, I can't leave it to chance. Learning how to manage your time is crucial.
For me, what works is being consistent. You have to be consistent every single day. I'm generally a very spontaneous person, but I think being structured in your routine is extremely important.
Another thing for me writing lists. I love listing things because once it's on the paper, it’s out of my mind. I don't need to think about it anymore. The changes that consistency brought for me is what changed my perspective on time management completely.
Ricardo: Here’s a question from another person considering the course: What skill are required to be a successful student, in your opinion?
Dana: That's an interesting one, because there's going to be so many different people from so many different walks of life that will be joining you. There's around 50 people in our cohort. It sounds like a big number, but you really get to know everyone. So, I would say the most important skill is the ability to be open.
You have to be open to the experience. You have to be open to learning. You have to be open to meeting other people. I would say another one is tolerance. Not everyone is the same. You're going to have to be respectful of that. People work differently. People like to learn in different ways. Something that doesn't really appeal to you might be someone else's bread and butter.
You have to be motivated as well. And it's difficult right now to self-motivate. We're all sitting at home in front of screens in our bedrooms and we might have kids or pets running around that are so much more fun to deal with than being on your computer all day. You need to remind yourself about why you’re doing this. It's super important.
And as I mentioned before, being curious is a really vital skill. Be curious about the material, curious about the moderators that are teaching you, curious about your cohort. Ask questions, go out of your way.
Your moderators are exceptional. Your cohort are experienced and extremely intelligent individuals that have been hand-picked from around the world. You might never have this experience of being exposed to so many different kinds of people again. Make the most of it!
Ricardo: You mentioned you are with around 50 students doing the programme. And I actually have some interesting statistics maybe for people about your cohort – I noticed that 23 nationalities are represented. Have you had the chance to talk with some of the students? Are you still getting to know one another?
Dana: It's been really interesting because we were put in original teams and now every three modules we get reshuffled. It gives you a nice opportunity to get to know the whole cohort. It's incredible because for three modules you really do work together through all the group assignments. You really do get to know each other. We all went out of our way to get to know each other, through WhatsApp groups and all of that.
I feel like I genuinely know the majority of my cohort. I still chat with my original team all the time. We have a special connection because we got to know each other when we first joined. So yes, you definitely make friends. You learn about things that you might not know about otherwise.
I was one of those people that was like, ‘Maybe I should go on campus, to get more out of it.’ I was completely wrong. You can network and get to know people just as intimately as you would in person. It's been a great experience for me.
Ricardo: A question from a student who is starting in September. How do you find online learning, Dana, and how did you get used to it?
Dana: First of all, congratulations and welcome to the family. It's probably one of the best decisions you'll make. You won't regret it, honestly.
I was quite foreign to online learning. I'm a very ‘in-person’ individual. I like physical interaction. I like being around people. So, doing this was a bit daunting, but I'm genuinely so happy I did. Moodle [the Bayes Business School’s online learning platform] made it very easy. I've never used it before in any of my previous jobs or roles, but I love how simple and straightforward it is. You just follow the steps and go through the material.
Everyone works in different ways. I know some people on my team enjoy making notes. Other people just read the transcripts and watch the videos. There's a lot of video-based learning, which for me is incredible because I'm a very visual person, so I really like the videos that are posted each week.
There isn't a one size fits all in this, so you can find your own rhythm and it's super exciting stuff. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
If you’d like to learn more about earning a degree online, feel free to reach out to our Course Adviser team for help. They’ll be happy to assist you with questions about our online learning platform, course assignments, student support services, or any other information you need.