Psychologists say it takes less than a tenth of a second to make a first impression judgement. My goal is to capture your attention for a bit longer than this and hook you on the first entry of my ‘Blended Learning’ series. My aim is to showcase possibilities and practical resources for other distance learners who may want to or will be studying on campus.
My name is Jillian Kowalchuk and I am in my second year and final year of the MSc Public Health programme. It has been an intense endeavor taking six modules, juggling work and social obligations my first year. I am undertaking three distance courses, I will be taking two blended learning modules starting mid January, while working on my thesis project. I have structured my last year to have a bit of a ‘break’ from the distance learning and change locations and learning dynamics for a few months.
Pursuing my MSc in Public Health seemed like a no brainer for a career that enables me to help others while traveling, continually learn and experience the many breadths of human lives and cultures. Aside from studying, I work at a public health consultancy as a Project Coordinator and Research Assistant (www.bethechangegroup.com). My work and volunteer experience has predominately been with marginalized populations who are living with HIV/AIDS or at high risks of contracting it. I also maintain several volunteer positions with HIV/AIDS organizations to give back and continually learn about local community issues and innovations. I have growing interests in sexual health and education, monitoring and evaluation, behaviour change communications and health policy.
I truly believe no two distance learners are the same and in my case I have the financial means, flexibility with work, and no family obligations at this time to allow me to study at the LSHTM campus. I believe this experience will be invaluable to my career and personal development in the networking opportunities available, experience of studying on a historic campus with world-renowned professors and living the day-to-day life of a Londoner.
My hope is you can follow me on my journey through my preparation, arrival, perspective of classroom learning, University resources available, networking on and off campus opportunities, things to do around London (on a limited budget), and finally departing and reflecting on the lessons and experiences I have gained.
Let the Journey to the Centre of Campus begin!
P.S. Follow me on Instagram using the hashtag #JourneytoCC
Jillian is studying the MSc in Public Health.