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‘Stay home, study online’: How dietitian Claire upskilled online

This article appears in: Alumni stories, Health, Online study
CDU student Claire Bowditch with laptop in front of her home

As a dietitian, Claire Bowditch has always been interested in helping others live healthy lives. So, it’s no surprise that studying a 6-month Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management 100% online was so appealing.

The result? Claire’s new-found knowledge and leadership skills are benefiting her professionally. With a wealth of transferable skills, the world is now her oyster.

Gaining professional confidence

CDU student Claire Bowditch on her balcony

Keen to learn more about the management side of health, the knowledge she’s gained during her postgraduate health course has not only built her confidence; it has given her tangible skills she can apply in her career.

“I’ve loved learning about the elements that impact my profession,” says Claire of her health services course. “I’ve worked with a lot of people with diabetes and the science around this is always changing, and this course helped me prioritise time for reading up on emerging ideas.”

In health informatics I’ve explored new technology, how it works and the benefits to clients and healthcare workers.

"Understanding this will increase my use of these technologies in practice.

"Learning about leadership and new management concepts has also been of benefit," says Claire

I believe this will help my employability and increase options of higher positions moving forward.

“It’s increased my confidence and presentability, and compliments what I already bring to the table," she says. 

Stay home, stay connected

CDU student Claire Bowditch with laptop and her puppy

Claire lives with a disability, which put her in a compromising position when COVID-19 hit. Her personal and professional life has been significantly impacted by this. While taking a career break, she decided to use her time to study and upskill.

Being able to study 100% online was not only convenient and great for my employability, but it gave my days structure and allowed me to ‘stay home, stay safe'.

Claire wanted to know she’d be supported through her studies. “I contacted the Access and Inclusion Unit at CDU to chat about my disability, study needs and interest in the course,” says Claire. “They were really approachable and supportive of my needs. After that I knew I could do it.”

Studying online means Claire’s quickly become part of a friendly and sharing community. Through message boards and peer feedback on assignments, she’s communicated with others and built relationships.

“The online course has helped me understand how others work and provided insight around how the learning is applicable to their roles,” says Claire. “These opportunities have provided a connection that’s sometimes limited in online learning.

“The flexibility of distance learning online has also worked for me because I can set my own schedule and maintain balance and routine.”

A new perspective

For Claire, choosing a course that has built on her existing knowledge has been rewarding from both a professional and personal perspective.

“I know this study will help me to progress my career and open up different opportunities in higher level roles,” she says.

I feel like I have extensive experience as a clinician, but this course adds a skill set that I didn’t have.

"This skill set will provide a good platform for new roles.”

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