The University of Newcastle, Australia

Teaching, traveling the world and pursuing postgraduate study, who says you can’t have it all? For Master of Creative Industries alumnus Mikaela, this is what life has been like for the last two years.

As a creative arts educator, Mikaela has spent more than 10 years working in Australia, Argentina and now Malaysia – but was looking for an opportunity to upskill in an area outside her educational profession.

“I’m a visionary by nature – coming up with many creative business ideas – but wanted to be more qualified and researched behind my ideas.

“I was keen to have a degree that supported my learning journey as a student, rather than being taken through a program that I had to try and fit my passion and area of expertise into. This is what I enjoyed the most about the Master of Creative Industries.

“I loved how relevant it was to developing creative projects in the real world, and not just academically. It also provided me with project development skills, entrepreneurship experience and allowed me to put my research into action,” Mikaela said.

Even though she was studying online, Mikaela was always able to connect with teachers, mentors and other students using the University’s online platforms, so she never felt she was doing it alone.

“I loved having the opportunity to connect with my program supervisor and University mentors face-to-face over Blackboard Collaborate or Skype. This made my learning experience so personalised and distinguished, even as an online student,” Mikaela said.

Since finishing her degree, Mikaela is already reaping the benefits of her newfound skills.

“I didn’t just come away with a qualification, I also came away with a creative business that I’ve been developing in Kuala Lumpur. I was able to extend myself beyond being a visual arts educator in a school and take on a whole new area of learning and research that I’d never thought possible.

“I try to imagine studying this program 10 years ago, straight after my undergraduate degree, and I don’t think it would have had the same impact or success as it has for me now.

“My postgraduate study journey has been exciting, relevant and rewarding for me as a creative arts professional,” Mikaela finished.

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Mikaela Koelma

Mikaela Koelma completed a Master of Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle.

My postgraduate study journey has been exciting, relevant and rewarding for me as a creative arts professional.