Studying and working? Its possible with the SAE Master of Creative Industries

Online (Aus)

14 Nov 2018




Studying and working? Its possible with the SAE Master of Creative Industries

14 Nov 2018

When deciding to undertake further studies, the question on how to maintain a healthy work/life/study balance is one of the biggest factors to consider. Mark Wagenaar is an SAE Master of Creative Industries student and he talks to us about how he navigates studying online while running his own business Storyfully media.

Why did you decide to study a Master of Creative Industries with SAE?

After a long and illustrious career of over 30 years in various corporate senior IT & finance positions, I decided that 2018 would be the year for a complete seachange. Firstly, I started working for myself extending what was once a passionate hobby in photography and videography to a full time business called Storyfully Media. 

For me it was all about genuine visual storytelling.  I've always been a creative and in some respects wish that I'd pursued that area when I was much younger, so as a word of advice, follow your dreams and your passion especially if you're a creative… or if you really want to be an accountant that's fine too, I won't hold it against you!!

Being self-employed I needed to find ways to be motivated to really embrace my business goals and embarking on some study and ensuring the grey matter remained challenged was going to be an important part of that focus.

After doing some research as to options, I decided on SAE’s Masters in Creative Industries. This course of study was not only relevant to my new career directions, but also flexible in that it provided opportunities to combine real life work projects into the units. Not only that, engaging with SAE is so much easier than other institutions.  

You mentioned that you run your own business, have you noticed tangible benefits to your career from studying the course content of the Masters degree in real time? 

The MCI degree has been great so far. It has really challenged me to think about lots of different aspects of working in the creative space and it's certainly helped stretch me into areas of thinking that I would otherwise never have considered.

The lecturers have all provided invaluable feedback to projects and assessments that have in turn translated into real time improvements to both my photography and videography projects. 

Maintaining a balanced work/life/study lifestyle can be a worry for those looking to undertake postgraduate studies, what are your top tips for creating a balanced lifestyle? 

As the saying goes, it's not about having enough time, it's about using your time effectively. So whether it's the discipline of good productive work habits or study habits, in the end it's about good time management.

For me (and probably for most creatives), I need to structure my week with intentional block of study time.  It's even more crucial when you're studying online as you need to take control of your study routine.

How does SAE help students feel supported while studying online? 

One of the great advantages of SAE is that the lecturers and Dr Jens Schroeder, the big kahuna of the MCI study program, are so accessible. They're all genuinely interested in you as a person and your field of work. And they're all just a video conference or email away if I get stuck. 

The Trimester structure is fantastic. The units are conducted in 6 week and 12 week bursts, that makes study milestones far more achievable and helps generate the feeling that you're achieving real progress through the course of study.

 MCI Structure


How do you stay motivated while working and studying concurrently?

The suitability of the MCI program to my work and vice versa makes is a great fit. When the two are so complimentary the lines between study and work seem to just gel really well. 

What is your advice to those thinking about taking the plunge and undertaking postgraduate study?

If you want to challenge your thinking and grow in your understanding of what it means to work and achieve in the creative industries space, then the MCI program is definitely worth undertaking. The good bit is that regardless of whether you're working in photo, video, sound or game development, the MCI program will most certainly help you. 

And finally, how do you like to relax in your downtime? 

The biggest reason I work is so that I can enjoy spending time with my family, wife and I have three wonderful grandchildren (so far) who bring much joy and delight to our lives. (And yes I know what you're thinking - how can someone who looks so young be a grandfather!) Having said that, relaxation time still seems to bring out a camera of some sort! 

Thinking of taking your career to the next level?

Chat to one of our knowledgeable Course Advisors today about SAE postgraduate programs.

You can also apply via the experienced based entry process, visit HERE for more information.