Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A little background...

I feel a bit of background information is in order, just to get up to speed with where I am at present.  Here's the abridged version:

In 2004 began studies with the OU.  In 2005 upon completion of 2nd unit took some time out from OU while I did a Foundation Degree paid for by my employer, came back to the OU last year.  Due to graduate with a BSc in May 2011 with a degree made up of 2 social science courses, 2 philosophy courses and credit points transferred from my FD (which was in Quantity Surveying).  Decided last year that I'd quite like to do a Masters too and started snooping around the OU Postgrad prospectus.  Decided earlier this year that I'd love to do a Doctorate too in order to get my "dream" job and started snooping around at PhD scholarships.
Upon deciding I'd like to do a PhD I put my logical cap on and worked backwards from there to figure out what I would need to do in order to get there and asked a few Dr friends for their opinions.  This is what I worked out:

  1. For my last OU unit I should do something relevant to my intended Masters.
  2. Since I'm doing all of my studying whilst still working a full time job, I won't be able to get much experience from my paid employment so I need to get it from somewhere else - voluntary work.
  3. When I enrol on a Masters degree I need to start thinking about research subjects for a PhD and so will utilise the wealth of knowledge within the OU to help me create that plan.
I've already put 1 & 2 into action.  3 will have to wait for obvious reasons of chronology.

To satisfy number 1, I have enrolled on a Social Policy course as the final unit required for my BSc Hons.  This begins in October so there's about a one week crossover where I'll be taking my Philosophy exam and starting reading for the Social Policy course.

To satisfy number 2 I have been working my socks off lately.  I have begun a 4 year post as Local Education Authority Governor of 3 schools in my community (a federated Governing body, not 3 separate schools), this has given me access to training schemes run by the local council.
I've also helped lead the regeneration of my local branch of the OU Students Association (OUSA) and subsequently been voted Chair, I'm helping with the regeneration of neighbouring branches too which will hopefully lead to the reformation of a Regional Forum which I intend to stand for Officer on too.
I've also been accepted as a Central Representative, this involves sitting as an OUSA rep on the OU's governance committees.
Lastly for now, I've joined my local Community Forum.  I've lived in this community my whole life anyway so I figured they deserve my attendance at least, I went to my first forum meeting last month and LOVED it.

There's probably a few other things I could mention too; extra night classes I've done, other voluntary things I'm involved in, but that's the main bulk of my efforts towards a Doctorate so far.  I'm not done yet though...  There's always room for something extra  ;o)


  1. Given what you've said, are you a "glass half full" or "glass half empty" type of person?

  2. Depends what mood I'm in. I stray more towards glass half empty with odd bursts of enthusiasm for replenishment.

    But then I'm currently studying Philosophy of the Mind so my academic answer to that is that there is no glass in the first place.