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Graduating with your mum

Earlier this year, mother and son duo Hayden and Lynette celebrated the completion of their respective degrees with Swinburne Online by graduating together. With Hayden studying Business Management and Lynette studying a graduate diploma in Education, they were each other’s biggest cheerleaders the whole way through. To celebrate mother’s day, we caught up with this pair to introduce their story. 

What was it like graduating together?

Hayden: I was very proud of my mum throughout the whole time she studied. She definitely had it much harder than me, working full time hours as a business manager. She completed her degree to challenge herself, and prove to herself that she was capable. That to me is the most admirable part, and I would have been stoked to graduate next to anyone with that level of determination and will power. 

Watching my own mother succeed under those circumstances taught me more important life-lessons than any course of study ever could. 

Lynette: WOW…that was one of the most memorable days of my life. Not too many mums can say they graduated with their son!

My family attending included my elderly parents and they were in awe of what they were witnessing.  It was so unusual that the photographer on the day said to me “stand near your husband for a photo”. Hayden and I both laughed and Hayden's response was “she’s my mum not my wife!” 

Did you ever swap study advice?

Hayden: My mum and I did study together, particularly during exam times. It certainly helped when one of us had completed a unit prior to the other, and could explain some of the theories. Seeing the pressure my mum put herself under, given her work commitments, certainly motivated me to succeed.

Lynette: Studying with my son was an amazing experience, we would study together and offer advice to each other and CRAM when needed! Hayden kept me focused and became a tutor for me as well.

I started my course earlier than Hayden but could only manage two units per TP due to other commitments so mine dragged on for longer than his. Seeing him finish his degree encouraged me even more to keep slogging away at mine.

Why Swinburne Online?

Hayden: I wanted to work towards building a business while I studied. The flexibility of online study suited my lifestyle, and I was able to complete the business degree that I had already undertaken before starting with Swinburne Online. 

Lynette: I decided to study at Swinburne Online for the convenience of being able to continue working fulltime with flexible study. I ultimately decided to continue my studies at Swinburne for the excellent reputation the university has. I made my decision after numerous conversations with the student support area before I registered to commence the degree as I wanted to be sure that I would have the flexibility and support I needed throughout the course. They assured me that I would have access to all the support I needed and I most certainly did.

What are your plans now you have graduated?

Hayden: My goal in creating a fitness business was to further my education, and with online study I was able to achieve that goal. Now I can continue to grow my business, and supplement my income by practicing as a casual relief teacher as well.

Lynette: What’s next….well I’m planning on taking a break to have some ‘me’ time. I have kept in contact with some students from SOL and have offered them help until they complete their degrees. One of them is a mature student like me, so I can relate to her struggles with technology and working with the younger generation.

I will continue my professional development by attending work related training with the Department of Education but apart from that I plan on sitting back and watching my amazing sons unfold their wings and live their dreams.

Watch Lynette and Hayden in our latest graduation video