Words by Jodie Gunders
My goal for today is to write a thousand words. Tomorrow’s goal is identical. I’ve carefully planned these days; applied for study leave, marked them in my diary and worked out exactly what I need to do. Welcome to my life as a full-time journalist, and part-time student!
My first semester as the 2022 Women in Media Queensland Career Boost scholarship winner flew by in a flash, followed by four blissful study-free months. This semester, with a fair bit more on my plate in work and life, I briefly considered deferring my next Grad Cert Business subject.
But sitting at my desk, a blank page in front of me, I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m studying workplace diversity and inclusion and I get to devote these two days to writing a business case for inclusion, specifically the inclusion of people with disabilities in the media.
Around one in six Australians has lived experience of disability. But the participation of people with disability in the workforce is far lower than it should be. Newsrooms and media organisations that exclude people with disability are missing out.
There’s an abundance of evidence that diversity and inclusion initiatives not only introduce new ideas and fresh perspectives to an organisation, but those workplaces where diversity is championed and inclusion is genuine, outperform those where it isn’t. In other words, diverse teams work better.
The Women in Media Career Boost Scholarship is the reason I’m able to take this time to do study that matters and then give back from what I’ve learned. And you can, too. Applications close soon and rather than ask yourself ‘should I apply?’ try asking ‘what would I do with this scholarship?’
Here are a few tips from a far-too-busy, fingers-in-too-many-pies, mum-of-two who thinks it is possible to do some study to boost your career:
Work out what you really need to do and read up on assessments first as they’ll guide your focus. Don’t waste the little time you have on the least relevant readings.
Plan! Mark out in your diary, a weekend here and a few days there that you’ll focus chunks of time on getting the assessments done.
Ask for study leave from work and, if it’s not available, book some annual leave. It’s worth it!
I don’t do coursework on weekends, but rather wedge it in where it fits – a few pages before bed, a podcast while waiting for my daughter to finish ballet. I deleted socials from my phone to avoid the trap of mindless scrolling.
Reward yourself for the work you get done. For me now, it’s an episode of Poker Face or a chapter of The Palace Papers. I don’t watch or read much during the semester, but some downtime is essential.
I’ve got more to share about disability and inclusion, but right now that blank page is staring back at me. And your challenge is to think about what you could do with a Women in MediaCareer Boost Scholarship.
Jodie Gunders is the 2022 recipient of the Women in Media Queensland Career Boost Scholarship.