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CSU Live Testimonial

Sally Chik
Master of Information Studies (Community Informatics)

Sally Chik"I considered a range of options when I decided to return to study. I wanted to develop my passion for the library and wider information industry. I also wanted to have the option of furthering my career and all my mentors advised me that I’d need to get a qualification to apply for librarian positions. I selected Charles Sturt University (CSU) because the course had ALIA accreditation – this was the first thing I looked for. CSU’s sessions appealed to me as it meant that I could finish the degree more quickly. I also had a number of colleagues who were studying the same course at CSU.

"I lived in Sydney while I was studying at CSU as an online student. I was working full-time as a library assistant and later as a casual and project-based research assistant. The study was directly relevant to my roles and future. In fact, I was able to have my specialisation (Community Informatics) core units modified with the permission of the Course Director so I could tailor the degree to my working experience in local history. My previous qualification was in writing and media and I loved it, attaining First Class Honours, so I wanted to keep applying those writing and research skills.

"When I started working in libraries, I wanted to learn more about the information industry so studying was a natural progression.  Studying fitted in reasonably well around my life, even with shift work and weekend commitments. I had the full support of my family and employers. My work in libraries actually made it easier to complete my assessment tasks as my managers and colleagues were always helpful – it was like having my very own classroom! The advantage of studying online was the flexibility. I wanted to continue working so attending classes in person would have been difficult with my shift work and I’d lose a lot of time commuting.

"I received great advice from a lecturer in my first term at CSU. He encouraged me to consider taking my study a unit at a time. I did and I believe it helped me enjoy the experience a lot more. The course gave me research skills that I could apply in the industry but more than that, it put me in touch with a network of professionals who have helped me develop my career. It connected me with other information professionals on social media and gave me a place to hone my online communication skills. It gave me a broader understanding of the library and information industry. I was able to explore areas outside of libraries that I was interested in including community informatics, metadata and research methods.

"The students I studied with were a wonderful and supportive online community. I was very lucky to find peers everywhere I went.  Even when I started a new job, I still had colleagues studying the same course. It was great to have this shared experience.  Everyone pulled together and helped each other out especially during assessment times! From study trips and work placement, I’ve met some amazing people who I’m still in touch with today. I really enjoyed the work placement experience as I was able to be on the desk with the library staff, attend meetings and be part of several teams. It was a really worthwhile experience and everyone made me feel very welcome – would love to get a chance to work there one day!

"I’m currently working full-time in the libraries and information industry in a client service role as well as a researcher and writer for a knowledge management publication. I came across the research and writing role in a student forum. This provided me with a unique job opportunity to bring both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies together. This was really important to me, given I had chosen to study for a postgraduate course that was different to my previous qualification. It’s like having the best of both worlds.

"I have many great memories of moments and people I’ve met during my course but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be graduation day. It was great to put faces to names, thank staff in person and share the day with my family. It was the first time my grandparents and extended family were able to attend my graduation, so it was a special day for me.

"I looked at all the options available to me and I chose CSU. It’s changed my life. It led me to a really unique working opportunity that brought together my passion for writing and research. It takes dedication and good time management but you’re a part of an inspiring group of staff and students – it’s worth it."