Monday, 18:00 – I leave the office and hurry to my weekly music rehearsal. Yup, I’ve got a packed week ahead: customer appointments, workshops, not to mention hobbies. Can I really fit in a training course as well? No doubt many people ask themselves this question before embarking on a part-time programme. And in my case, the answer is a resounding “yes!”. My name is Cindy Wachtveitl, I’m 24 years young, and I work as a business customer adviser at Sparkasse Oberösterreich. As they say, “knowledge is power”, so back in May 2018 I decided to do a Banking Specialist course alongside my full-time job. Why? To advance my career, fulfil my personal ambitions and realise my vision – because I quickly realised that qualifying as a banking specialist would take me a big step towards achieving my professional goals. And I also realised that because working life is often stressful, if I wanted to combine study with work, a part-time course would be the ideal solution.
Learn on Saturday – put into practice on Monday
Because the course is geared to the real world, I can quickly put everything I learn into practice at work. This was a powerful argument in favour of a Banking Specialist course: not just acquiring knowledge, but also being able to apply it in reality. Even so, you still need to answer the question: What’s the best way to reconcile your working life with your studies and social life? Since May 2018, Saturday lectures have become an integral part of my weekend schedule.
Lecture-free periods and vacations
I have to admit, you do need a certain amount of ambition and stamina to stay on the ball. But lecture-free periods and vacations mean that in reality, you have enough time for relaxation and keeping up with your social life.
When fellow students become friends
And even when you’re in class, things aren’t so bad. You and your fellow students are all in the same boat, pursuing the same objectives. This draws you together – fellow students quickly become friends. And as you make your way to lectures, you start looking forward to seeing your like-minded friends again.
Of course you still have to learn, and that takes up a certain amount of time and energy. But the practical nature of what you’re learning makes it possible to put your classroom work straight into practice. And this in turn reinforces what you’ve learned. Actually, these are my favourite moments – when I realise that I can apply what I’ve just learned to my work. The fact that I’m developing my real-world skills by acquiring all this theoretical knowledge is also helping me develop my self-confidence and enjoy the learning process.
Ambition, courage and passion
These are the qualities that have always kept me going during my studies. Anyone who embarks on a training course has a particular goal in mind. A part-time course of study is not just a step in the right direction – it’s a new stage in your life. Being passionate about your job, having the ambition to attain your objectives, building up the courage to take the steps you need to take – they all make the stress of tests and examinations worthwhile. By contrast, lecture-free periods, the sheer joy of learning, clear objectives – these all help you balance your studies with your social life. And pave the way to a successful career!