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Graduate compares online and on-campus study

Best friends Barbara Zois and Lauren Scrimshaw were working in child care when they decided to start a new course online. Now Barbara is part of Swinburne Online’s first graduating class and says it was the support from on and off line students that helped her finish a Bachelor of Business.

“Lauren and I were both nannies when we decided to pursue new careers. It’s been great knowing someone throughout the same course so we can help each other. She has one more Teaching Period to go so I hope I can keep supporting her through her final months.

“But despite knowing Lauren, I found it easy to meet other students. I think by studying online we are talking to each other quite frequently, so if we have an exam at the same place or are working on a group assignment, it’s exciting to be able to meet up in person.”

Barbara graduated from a Bachelor of Education from RMIT with first class honours in 2012. However, after a few years in the industry realised she was passionate about business.

“In the end working in education wasn’t for me. I was pretty young when I made the decision to go into education, but I’m glad I was able to experience working in the field, it shaped my decision to go into business.

The 25 year old says she enjoyed the flexibility of online study and leveraged it to accelerate her degree by taking on-campus subjects.

“I wanted to get my bachelor done quickly as I had already spent so much time studying my education degree, so enrolled in a subject offered on Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus.

“It was interesting to see all the same material delivered in a different setting and was telling of all the effort that went into online study.”

After experiencing both online and on campus study, Barbara says the difference can be compared to reading a book or watching a movie.

“With on-campus study it’s like going to watch a movie. It goes for a certain length of time and if you miss anything you have to start the movie again. Online study is like reading a book, you can pick it up, put it down, and go back go forward, that flexibility is what I needed to finish.”

While Lauren plans to finish her degree in mid-2014, Barbara will now put her new skills into use and start up a new business.

“My partner is a carpenter and currently in the process of becoming a registered builder. Hopefully with our skills combined, we can run our own business together.”

Barbara’s tips for success:

Use experience to shape your education goals. “I was pretty young when I made the decision to go into education, but I’m glad I was able to experience working in the field, it shaped my decision to go into business.”

Surround yourself with a network of peers. “I found it easy to meet other students, by studying online we are talking to each other quite frequently.”