How my master's has prepared me for my career
Hello everyone. I’m Nate, an international student from the USA and this blog is going to be about how my master’s course has prepared me for my career and can help you prepare for yours as well.
While every student goes into their master’s course for different reasons, mine was based around my love to travel around the world and the want to play rugby and study in a different country. I was craving a change of scenery and hoping that a master's would give me an idea of what I might what to do with my life after sport. I picked a master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning knowing that I would find it interesting. I also hoped it would provide me with the opportunity to study and play sport at the same time. Doing a master's can increase your career options. Having a master's education combined with the other skills taught in the graduate programme will definitely help you get ahead, stand out and get to your desired job which is a definite appeal to studying a postgraduate course.
One of the biggest things I learned from my master’s program was how to really understand and critique scientific literature. I learned how to form a basis of understanding the science behind methods and techniques in my field of study.
Most importantly I learned how to use that evidence to properly form an opinion for myself on the a given subject. While a master’s program is designed to help you on your way to becoming an expert in your field, only part of becoming successful has to do with the technical knowledge we learn in textbooks and a large part of it is people skills and practical learning. This approach and being able to communication your high levels of knowledge in your fields to other people and gain a deeper understanding was emphasised from the start of my program at Leeds Beckett.
For example, in my master’s program the importance of having the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team or people with other areas of expertise was heavily stressed throughout the modules. From a practical perspective many disciplines in the field overlap so I learned the importance of taking others’ opinions on situations into account and understanding their point of view before making a decision. Skills like these will take me a lot further in my career success than just having a technical knowledge that would be expected from any master’s student.
Leeds Beckett not only offers a deeper understanding of how to be successful in your career but also gives you practical ways to help you get there.
Internship and job postings are frequent throughout the year depending your degree program and they can help you develop your skills and practical knowledge through organisations that work directly with the university. Although I haven't used any of these university links yet, I have had work opportunities with a couple of internships at a school and professional rugby team in the U.S. I regularly conversed with my professors about these placements and what I was doing outside of class and it was extremely helpful to be able to learn material and apply methodologies outside the classroom for my learning development. Many lectures are also accompanied by seminars where I could talk freely about the concepts discussed in the lecture and have the opportunity to work in team style settings practicing those all-important soft skills and communicating within my technical understanding. In my final course I had a whole presentation on how to better ourselves in our practice as well as developing a plan for advancing our career after graduation.
Plans after university
My current plans after university will be to head back to the U.S. Once I get home, I plan to get a job to start earning some money and continue to coach at the high school I worked at previously. I also plan to continue my education through multiple platforms either through internships or classes, and hopefully continue to expand my experience and knowledge into finding a full-time role.
I have a few general rules that I will stick to and will pass along here for good knowledge:
- The first is to understand the career you want for yourself. While this may change, the better understanding you have of the field you’re going into, the easier it will be to get to the top.
- Next is to create a timeline to achieve the things you would need to create a resume that would get you to that job you want. Be realistic yet firm, if you don’t have a timeline for how to get there it will make it hard to start.
- The last and most important is to execute the plan. If there is one certain thing in life, it’s that things almost never go according to plan. So, while where you are in life may change, if you create a plan for something you really want, just know you have what it takes to get there eventually.