Studying part-time is no small matter but worth it all pays off: because when you have finished you receive plenty of recognition and kudos and it is a real career booster.
It was a strong desire to change something that motivated Susanne Haenlein to embark on the part time degree programme, Process Management in Health and Care at FH OÖ Campus Steyr after 18 years as a qualified nurse. “My work enabled me to recognize potential for improvement in many processes in hospitals and in the health care system as a whole.”, says the 47-year-old. “In the position I held at the time I was, however, only able to give impulses for change to a very small extent and only in relation to my own working environment”. The Process Management in Health and Care bachelor’s degree programme struck, Ms Haenlein, who comes from Vienna, as just the right qualification to enable her to get closer to her professional goal, albeit involving a significant amount of effort. This means she had to first change her place of work in order to obtain the necessary job with a 5-day-week, to commute regularly from Vienna to Steyr and to erase the word holiday from her vocabulary for a few years. Haenlein: “For the first three years I spent nearly every weekend during the semester in Steyr. In addition to this there was one week of intensive courses per semester, sometimes there were also examinations in the evenings during the week and projects for which it was necessary to sacrifice some holiday.”.
What counts in such situations is backing and support. Haenlein: “My family were always behind me and supported me. My husband is great and relieves me of a lot of responsibilities now as he did then, although he works full-time himself. My daughter had already completed an academic degree before me, my eldest son is currently studying for a master’s degree and my youngest son has also just embarked on a course of study. This means that we have a lot of understanding for each other as we all know what it feels like to be faced with examinations and project work.”.
Embarking on a dream career
Susanne Haenlein, who today is Head of the Quality Management Department at the General Hospital in Vienna, has also completed a master’s degree part-time. “Today I have a job that fulfils me as well as allowing me to use my competencies in many areas of the health sector”.
In Haenlein’s view, primarily people who “are prepared to do without certain conveniences for a certain period of time and/or to exchange these for a large amount of intellectual work” are suited.
Personally, she found this double-effort easy to master “because I had a goal in sight that in retrospect should rather be called a vision.” She has gained a further insight too: “If an impulse for change arises, it doesn’t matter how old you are – it is always worth it”!