Welcome to ISM's Blog, Think Tank

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Trying to work full-time while studying can be quite the challenge. You’re trying to juggle work, study, your social life and the battle to stay sane.

Well, believe it or not, a lot of our students hold a full time job while studying.The secret to their success? Balance.

We recently sat down with one of our amazing students, Lana Horgan, who just completed her BSB30115 Certificate III in Business whilst working full time to get some tips of how she managed it all!


What did you study and why?

When I started working at ISM, I approached them to tell them I was interested in studying a Certificate III in Business. As I came from a different career path as a beauty therapist where I learnt many skills, I did this particular course to gain new skills and knowledge for my change of job. The Certificate III in Business was perfect as it gave me fundamentals and tools to be a great administrator. 

How did you prioritise? Did you make a plan before you started studying?

One of the best things I found about studying with ISM is that they make the students learning experience as easy as possible. I completed one of ISMs individual learning plans that set in place a month by month plan for each unit i was completing - this was a total advantage as I was able to prioritise and set goals even prior to starting the course.

How did you manage working full time work and study?

  • My commute time - I live about 1 hour from work and catch the train so I was able to use this time to and from work. I actually really enjoyed this, it always made the commute go much faster!
  • Designated time in my calendar for study - I was very lucky that my work was supportive of my studies and encouraged me to use time out of my work week to do my course. 
  • Always remembered my goal - there is no doubt that at times working and studying can be tough and overwhelming but at the end of the day, I always focused on my goal. It helped me stay motivated and on track.  

How would you recommend people ask their manager for support to studying whilst working?

I would say... approach your manager with the course you want to do and why it will align with your current job role. It is important to explain why it will benefit not only yourself but also them. If they're going to invest in you, whether it be their time or money, it is important they feel they will receive a return on their investment. 

What are 3 challenges about studying while working

  • Staying motivated (however at ISM, you get your own dedicated course coordinator who keeps you on track and is very supportive throughout the process)
  • Time management 
  • You have to make sacrifices (but they won't last forever!) 

what are 3 benefits of studying while working?

  • Expanding your knowledge
  • Being able to use the knowledge that you learn on the job
  • Feeling capable to take on higher responsibilities

How did you manage to keep your work-life balance?

Keeping course work for the weekdays and weekend for my personal life (for the most part!). My social life is very important to me and it kept me sane. Of course, there were times I would have to study on the weekends and you do have to make sacrifices but for the most part I would make sure I dedicated my weekends to myself. 

What was the feeling when you finally finished?

ECSTATIC! I was so proud I had achieved my certificate. To top it all off i got a beautiful ISM hard case certificate sent to my house - I felt very special. 

You too, can have it all! Find out more about out the courses that we offer here

Tags: #training, #workplace, #leadership, #investment, #broker, #Customer Owned Banking, #commerciallending

Annabel Sullivan

Annabel started with ISM in early 2020 and has hit the ground running. Annabel works on ISM's marketing and social media and building relationships with our amazing clients.