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Laura DeMonte works in tourism in Carinthia – currently on educational leave – and is mom to two daughters (1 and 4 years). After her Bachelor’s degree in “International Tourism Management”, she worked for various hotels in both the operational and administrative areas. Later she was part of the team of a large tourism region in Carinthia and mainly responsible for the coordination of congresses and events. Since October 2021, she has been completing the online master’s course in marketing communication in the specialization “Crossmedia Marketing Communication” at the FH Burgenland eLearning Academy for Communication.

Ms. DeMonte, you’ve only been studying for six months, but you’re already racing into your third and thus final stage of learning. What is your secret?

My goal is to use my one-year educational leave to complete my Master’s degree, and I am pursuing this goal with great dedication and motivation. Right at the beginning of my studies, I created an individual learning plan together with my study advisor Anria Brandstätter. We calculated by when I should complete which module and looked at the individual milestones.

Your learning plan is very ambitious. Is it working?

Yes, absolutely! This plan really helps me a lot and adapts to my needs and individual life situation to the maximum. With this study, there are no mandatory deadlines or time slots, but my personal deadlines are on the calendar and guide me. I always know where I stand and what is coming up next.

I try to complete three modules at a time in two months. If I’m a week behind on a submission, I know right away that I’ll have to make up the time on another module.

How do you manage this workload with two small children?

(laughs) Little sleep and a lot of determination.

Especially with small children, you need a great deal of self-discipline. I’ve learned to work extremely efficiently and quickly. As soon as I have a few hours at a stretch, I’m very strict with myself and tell myself, “Today I have uni.” Then I cook ahead or just have something simple to eat, then I leave the laundry and concentrate fully on my studies. This time pressure motivates me and then I also function very well.

We take our hats off to this achievement!

Thank you! At this point, I really have to say that Mrs. Brandstätter personally was the reason that I registered for this course. We had an online consultation before I enrolled, she showed me the campus and the content and encouraged me to have the confidence to do this study. Because she is a mom herself who studied alongside her children, I felt very understood and well looked after.

Note: You can find more information about the consulting and support services offered by the eLearning Academy here.

Studieren mit Kind - Familie von Studentin Laura de Monte

Were your expectations of the study concept met?

Yes, absolutely! I have not regretted my decision a single day. You can see the quality and competence behind this course and studying at a university would simply not be feasible for me.

How did you get started with your studies?

Right at the beginning, I was surprised at how professionally the technology alone is set up. I enjoy eLearning par excellence here! With the videos, the scripts, the interim check-ups. All this is really very successful and makes learning much easier.

What also surprised me positively is the response time of the professors. I was initially worried that I would be a number, that there would be no personal contact and that I wouldn’t have a real contact person…But here, too, it turned out that the exchange works really well and the professors are very helpful.

How do you rate the practical relevance of this study program?

Of course, the study program does not have a focus on tourism, that was clear to me from the beginning. Nevertheless, I am positively surprised that I can apply all the contents to my field and that I can immediately think of a practical example from tourism for every theory.

Now, after the second of three learning levels, I am even more enthusiastic about the field of marketing communication. The content is so coherent, so clear, that the thought keeps coming back to me, how can a company NOT work with these theories!!!? In reality, however, it is the case in tourism that many decisions and actions are made on the basis of gut instinct, and that often it is not academic experts but practitioners who are behind the concepts. It can happen, for example, that you don’t even think about what my goal is, who my target group is and why we are doing this and that in the first place.

So your studies fill a gap and provide you with well-founded, academic tools of the trade?

Yes, exactly! In the module “Communication Campaigns and Conception,” for example, you learn step by step how to define a target group or how to formulate goals so that you can later also check measures for their effectiveness. This know-how gives me a new self-confidence and is an important competence basis. After all, the content was created by experts and professionals, so I know the current state of science or the ideal approach.

I get a guideline at hand, so to speak, and can implement the contents 1:1. Especially the chapters at the end of each section are a good summary, which I save and can also refer to later.

How do you cope with the examination modality and the module papers?

The module papers are great because they put theory into practice. When someone asks me what I’m learning, it’s easy for me to explain. I haven’t “learned” the material in the classic sense of the word, as you would imagine with a degree course, but I’m learning as I go along. Among other things, thanks to this modular work.

You are full of praise for the course. We are very pleased about that! Can you also show us the downside? What is difficult for you as a student?

I have the 100% support of my husband and especially on the weekends he takes over the children so that I can use the time for my studies. Of course I long for the time to do more with my family again on the weekends and of course there are moments when I doubt, question myself as a mother and fall into bed exhausted in the evening. Nevertheless, I would say that studying is an enrichment for my family and our lives.

We live in the year 2022 and still women are treated differently than men professionally. Starting a family often seems to put an end to a woman’s “career.” It is very important to me that my daughters learn that in addition to my role as a mom, I am still a woman with my own needs, (professional) interests and goals. I want to give them the right values to take with them on their way and, above all, to live them out. My children still come first, yet I have learned to communicate my needs as well and to pursue them. After all, no one in the family has anything to gain from an unhappy, completely exhausted mom. I am very grateful to have a man at my side who shares this attitude with me.

And studying helps me a lot in my personal and professional development. I really want to go through with my studies and I’m already looking forward to the feeling of being proud of myself and having made it.

Laura DeMonte Portraitbild

Keyword personal development. What did your studies teach you?

I realized that I can’t and don’t have to do everything perfectly. When I’m in a flow and could actually continue writing and researching a paper until the evening, but the kids have to be picked up from kindergarten and daycare and lunch has to be on the table, then my limits are very clearly shown to me.

I have therefore said goodbye to my perfectionism and lofty goals. Also in the sometimes painful knowledge that I could very well do better if I had a few more hours or I could delay the delivery for another week.

I just had to learn to be less strict with myself, less perfect. Therefore, I focus on the content I can use for my job and show more courage to fill in the gaps.

Nonetheless, your grade point average and also your pace are something to behold. You are already in the final stage of your studies and are thinking about your master’s thesis. What would you like to write about and research?

There is a lot going on in the tourism field right now. Originally, I wanted to write the master’s thesis before I went back to work. In the meantime, the plan has changed to the fact that I would like to complete the modules and write my master’s thesis on behalf of a company that will also make it easier for me to return to my job. At the same time, the company benefits because I bring knowledge with me and can start directly with sound research.

We live very rurally, in a rather small tourism area. Through this study, I can further distinguish myself and stand out. Currently, new jobs are also being created to meet the changing demands. The master’s thesis offers me the added value of specializing in an area and building up expertise.

Linie

Interested in the Master’s degree program in Marketing Communication?

Would you also like to expand your skills and complete a Master’s degree? At the same time remain as flexible as possible and adapt the course of study individually to your needs? Then you have come to the right place!

Our master’s program at UAS Burgenland can be completed 100% online – independent of time and place. This offers you the highest possible flexibility, without deadlines, fixed lecture or exam dates. You decide when, where and how you learn. We support you individually, create your learning plan together and adapt milestones and deadlines to your personal needs and possibilities. As a result, you can achieve the internationally recognized title “Master of Arts” in 12 to 36 months.

You will receive all information about the Master’s program, the course content and the procedure at the free and non-binding information evening held by study advisor Anria Brandstätter. Register now and secure your place at the online info-event!

We are looking forward to meeting you!

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