Emma-Jane Hogan was getting comfy in her career. But after a few years – like so many of us – she began to question her choices.

We chatted with her about the magnetic pull towards teaching, how she juggles it all, and the surprising trick that keeps her motivated in her studies.

When inspiration calls, listen up!

Why did you decide to return to uni?

I started to reflect on the things that made me happy.

I asked myself, would my career path keep me engaged and fulfilled throughout my life? Would I be challenged in a way that kept me learning? And would I feel good about the work I was doing?

Too often, the answer was no. So I sought a profession that would fulfil me and allow me to have a lasting effect on the world.

What was the attraction to teaching?

I’d always felt a pull towards the profession, yet I had made early assumptions and ruled it out. But I’m glad my life experience has led me to where I am today and given me the worldly experience that helps me achieve a high standard of secondary-teaching practice.

Why did you choose VU?

As a mature-age student, I had the option to pursue learning at various universities. But after completing my undergraduate degree at VU a few years before, I was very impressed with the variety of lecturers and fellow students. I wanted any further study I took to enable me to liaise with people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Without a doubt the fact that VU guarantees more placement hours than any other masters teaching program is the best thing about the course. More time in the classroom ensures we are better prepared to enter the workforce.

How are you juggling your work, life & studies?

I work in a café to support myself – coping with work, study and placement is a finely tuned machine that I will be glad to move on from!

Yet, there is something about putting in the hard work that makes the end result that much greater. VU lecturers understand this struggle and are very obliging should you need assistance.

What motivates you to keep heading towards your goals?

During placement students fill out evaluation surveys. So when I feel unmotivated I reflect on these – their words keep me going, because at the end of the day that’s where I’ll be making a difference.

I love to visualise myself accepting my masters degree at graduation. I imagine everything about the room, the people, the robes, everything. Nerdy, I know, but it works!

What were the beginnings of this whole journey?

After studying my undergrad degree in Communications I used my knowledge to create, operate and establish a successful brand for my own café business. I sold the business and pursued a career in the media, which – while challenging and eye opening – turned out to be not the right fit for me.

I wanted to make a difference and work with young people, I wanted to share my knowledge – and what better place to do this than in a classroom filled with the faces of our future! Now I know I’m exactly where I need to be and it feels amazing.

I’m working to shape the minds of tomorrow – how many others can truly say that? I am extremely humbled to be an educator.

Vast opportunities: employment for teachers from early childhood through to secondary has very strong future growth.

Want to shape the future like Emma-Jane?

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