She Took 20 Courses Over 7 Months While Pursuing A Part-time Masters – Here’s Why!

21 Sep 2021 Posted in ⟨Stories⟩

Over 7 months, Julie Chia took 20 courses with NTUC LearningHub to develop an all-rounded skill set in business and technical knowledge. Julie committed to at least one course a quarter – despite her busy schedule as a marketing manager, mother, and part-time Masters student!

Here’s how this superwoman gets her motivation for learning.

While most of us relax over weekends with family and friends, Julie Chia spends them with her nose in a book, or attending online lessons. Between December 2020 and June 2021, she took 20 courses with NTUC LearningHub, ranging from marketing to DevOps and blockchain.

It was a conversation with a friend that sparked Julie’s upskilling journey. As a self-employed professional, Julie’s friend found the subsidised courses with NTUC LearningHub very helpful for her career path and strongly encouraged her to sign up too.

Inspired by her friend’s rewarding experiences, Julie got in touch with an NTUC LearningHub consultant, who advised her on a course sequence that would build up her skills from basic to advanced.

As Julie was not working between December 2020 and January 2021, she spent her downtime fruitfully by attending courses on weekdays and weekends.

After a one-on-one session with her consultant, she was advised to first enroll in a Microsoft Excel course to expand her existing knowledge before venturing into technical courses like Agile, Scrum, and DevOps for deeper insights into these relevant fields.

Julie’s consultant also gave her personalized course recommendations based on her interests and the previous courses she took, which made her even more eager to learn. With his timely updates about upcoming courses, Julie could plan her schedule better and commit to courses she was interested in.

The subsidies from NTUC LearningHub also defrayed Julie’s course fees significantly. As an NTUC member, she was eligible for $250 in Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) funding per year. Julie also used her SkillsFuture Credit and enrolled in Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) accredited courses, which were eligible for 95%* course funding at that time. (*90% course funding as of 1 July 2021)

Reflecting on the beginnings of her learning journey with NTUC LearningHub, Julie says, “Society is always changing, so it’s important to stay curious and upgrade one’s skills with the times”.

Julie’s keen attitude towards learning also stems from her motivation to be a positive role model for her 11-year-old daughter and inspire her to work hard in school.

Memorable experiences while upskilling

Since Julie enrolled in these NTUC LearningHub courses during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of her lessons were conducted virtually. Thankfully, the skilled trainers were able to replicate an engaging classroom experience online.

For instance, Julie’s trainer for ICAgile – Agile Coaching used virtual breakout rooms and role-playing to demonstrate how to approach conversations with empathy. Instead of lecturing, he would guide the class to arrive at the answers for themselves through questions and prompts.

He was also extremely observant. Even through Zoom, he could tell when Julie or her classmates were confused and would elaborate on the content to help them understand. Despite having not met in person, Julie and her classmates created informal Whatsapp chat groups to keep in touch outside class hours, where they would help one another and share course reviews.

To her pleasant surprise, Julie met a fellow coursemate again in another HFI User Experience course after completing her Agile Coaching course. It was a blessing that they reconnected, because they could help one another with the challenging course material. To prepare for the exam, Julie even borrowed ebooks from the library to make up for her lack of industry experience.

Julie's motivation for continuous learning

Apart from broadening her skill set with Agile and User Experience, Julie also enrolled in marketing courses to deepen her career expertise.

Even though she already had 13 years of work experience in marketing, Julie still found the Content Marketing Strategy and Enhanced Digital Marketing courses that she took very useful. From these courses, she learnt technical marketing terms and concepts to supplement her industry experience.

When Julie applied for her current position at Netrust Private Limited, she added her NTUC LearningHub courses to her resume to boost her employability and demonstrate that she could combine theory and practice. The courses and experience also made her stand out from other applicants – her CEO and deputy CEO were impressed that she found time to upskill.

When asked how she managed it all, Julie shared that she did it through good time management and staying committed. “There will always be time to learn. It’s just how you manage your time,” Julie said.

Since 2004, NTUC LearningHub has upskilled over 21,000 organisations and achieved over 2.6 million training places across more than 500 courses with a pool of over 400 certified trainers. We are the leading Continuing Education and Training provider in Singapore and we are here to transform your lifelong employability.

For more information on how we can help, leave an enquiry with our course consultants or contact our Live Chat Agents today.


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