What did you study and where did you work?
I am proud to say that I have three degrees that I managed to achieve while working. The first one was in European Civil Law back home in Georgia in 2009. At the time I didn’t need to work as my family supported me, but I wanted to get experience. I applied for an internship at Maersk (the world’s largest container shipping company) when I was only 17. My interview was all in English as the company was from Copenhagen and I was chosen out of 350 graduates candidates. They offered me an excellent job after the internship period ended. My second degree is in Business Management at the University of Sunderland.
This time I moved to London, and for a financial reason, I had to work. My first job in England was in an Italian restaurant as a waitress for six months. It was physically and emotionally very hard. I then worked in Selfridges as a shop assistant for Donna Karan and Michael Kors. I enjoyed this role as I am passionate about fashion. During my summer break, I then decided to find an internship at a company where I could better utilise my skills acquired while studying. Here I got recruited by Appy Food & Drinks – where I currently work.
Once I graduated I was offered a full-time position. In 2017, I decided to follow my dreams and I did a Master in Marketing at Brunel University London, where I recently graduated. Here I had great support from the company, especially from the owner Bobby Patel.
How did you juggle between work and study in the last year?
I have to say that achieving my Master was harder as the time required for study was longer, the amount of materials to study much more, and the dissertation needed a deeper research. I spent few nights at the library (opened 24/7), especially during the exam periods. I am grateful that Appy Food & Drinks allowed me to work flexible hours.
What is the biggest challenge?
To focus. You don’t know if you are working or studying as both of them are extremely important. I cared about my job, which is my career but at the same time, I didn’t want to quit university as I spent so much time and money. Both my family and my colleagues had high expectations of me, therefore, I had to make sure I was successful.
Any tips for workers who want to go back into study?
I have two tips. The first one is time management; it is essential for you to learn to use your time carefully. The second one is to find a way to distress. At Brunel, there were courses to help students release their stress with the help of psychologists. I didn’t use these facilities as I found my way of switching off from both work and study. You will need to find your way.