The transition from working to studying

Many of you may have experienced the jump from studying a bachelors degree to studying a masters degree. However, some of my classmates are currently experiencing the transition from working to studying.

I asked two of my classmates how they felt about returning to university. Both of them had positive experiences. Here’s what they were up to before they applied for their masters degree: 

  • Worked at a Food Safety Agency as a Risk Assessor (7 years). To increase my scope of knowledge and start a new challenge.
  • Worked at research institutions (2 years). I was adamant on becoming a toxicologist.

They each decided to return to university for different reasons. One said they made the return to studying to increase their scope of knowledge and start a new challenge whereas the other was adamant on becoming a toxicologist. Both agree that their work experience has given them valuable skills in terms of group work in university, but they say it does not come without its challenges.

Challenges whilst studying

I have always been attached to my family and been away from them for the past couple of months has not been easy on my part, and this has made it difficult to completely focus on my education.

Returning to the theoretical basis and the whole study to get tested was a weird transition. Studying for lab work is also different than studying from lectures. Also the student’s schedule is more fluid than when working. For example when working your weekends are completely free unless something urgent comes up. With studying even though oftentimes you are more carefree, your schedule (at least mine) may be a bit all over the place.

Getting used to a set schedule and spending time away from family are two important factors when returning to university. However, it is good to know that studying is only temporary and soon both students will be heading back to their respective fields with their newly acquired knowledge!

Returning to the same job

I will [return to my old job] and simply because the specific knowledge and skills I will acquire are highly needed in my country to help inform policy directions and by extension improve public health.

I would like a job at a laboratory and the ToxMaster is just a way to make me better at that. At the same time I am open to other possibilities should they become appealing the time I’m in Sweden!

As you can see there are pros and cons when returning to study. If the next step in your life seems to be pointing towards education then you shouldn’t be afraid to make the change! These two students are happy with their choice to study and would encourage others to do the same. You’ll be able to gain valuable knowledge and return to your pre-university routine before long.

I hope this blog has helped some of you! If you have any questions, you can always contact me in the comments.

Lianne Granston - Toxicology

Lianne Granston - Toxicology

Hi! I’m Lianne from Ireland and England, currently studying a Master’s in Toxicology at Karolinska Institutet (KI). Before coming to Sweden I was living in The Netherlands where I completed my bachelor’s degree. I looked forward to coming to Sweden for the nature and happened to stumble across Karolinska Institutet! It sounded appealing since the university is focused on human health and I’m happy to be studying here now. Learning Swedish is on the top of my list of things to do in Sweden, but I’m also excited to explore the archipelago of Stockholm and go bouldering outdoors.


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