Diploma and Career: Do They Need Each Other? -

Diploma and Career: Do They Need Each Other?

Imagine: you’re 30 years old, you have a job you love, a great personal life and… You start studying. What are the reasons that bring someone who is successful in their field to a student’s chair? Sigita Daščioraitė, a sophomore in Business Management and Marketing who studies with us on weekends, explains why she decided to study, what happened once she started applying the knowledge she gained, and answers who needs a diploma anyway: her or her employer?

Sigita Daščioraitė

Many would say that a diploma is not essential, but I’m staying on the diploma’s side. In my lifetime, I have met people who pursue their careers or develop their businesses without any diploma or university knowledge, but most of them go back to study because they want to become better professionals in their field and to gain valuable knowledge.

That would also include me. A person that has been involved in music, art and dance all my life. However, life has turned upside down and I have grown with the idea that I want to achieve more, to get to know and to learn valuable things that will help me to stand on my feet even stronger and to have more confidence in myself as a professional, as well as a person. I took a completely different path – Business Management and Marketing (https://www.kolegija.lt/studiju-programos/verslo-vadyba-ir-marketingas/). It may not seem like the artistic field in which I know myself entirely, but it just so happens that I am rediscovering myself here. I’m starting to see other sides of myself, and sometimes I can even surprise myself. The artistic spirit is not lost either – the college lectures are full of ways to self-express artistically, even in this study programme.

So the question is, why am I here? Let me be clear – I was young, it wasn’t really on my mind, and besides, how can you choose your career when you are eighteen? It’s crazy hard to decide when you’re not sure what you want to be and who you are. So after my first year I understood that it wasn’t for me, that I wasn’t going to be a music teacher. I want to pursue a career in another field. And it took me 6 years to realize that! The older you get, the more difficult it is to think about studies and a diploma, and the harder it is to combine everything at once.

I owe my daily trek to Vilnius Business College to my best friend, who encouraged me to keep going and fight for my place under the sun. It’s great that the college is a place where I can study on weekends and combine everything with work.  I catch myself already applying some of the knowledge I’ve gained or tips I’ve picked up to help me perform even better at work. It’s a paradox, because before I started studying, I thought I really knew everything about my job! That there is no room for improvement anymore. With the introduction of different principles and new systems, I have fallen in love with my job all over again!

The baggage of life experience makes you see things with different eyes. Not the fearful ones that don’t know what they want, but… with the eyes that are hungry. Hungry for knowledge and for the goal I want to achieve. We often hear today’s naïve attempts to ridicule diplomas as just a piece of paper and nothing more. Yes, essentially it is just a piece of paper, but the most important nuance isn’t a proof that you have one, but a general understanding of the benefits of the lectures, of all the information I get from the lecturers or from my course mates who share their experiences. The most important thing is that I would know my worth even without a diploma. After all, you don’t carry what you learn on your shoulders. And a diploma is like an old, barely visible scar. It’s a reminder, a proof that I’ve had a memorable journey and learnt something.

Right now, I look at the diploma as a tool that should be of interest to you, not so much to your employer. It is to know your worth, to know that you can do it again because learning or refreshing your knowledge is the most wonderful source of development. I firmly believe that a career and a diploma go hand in hand and need each other if you want to move up the career ladder, be a professional in your field or just become even a more confident person. I know that I will experience both black and white, but I will go to have a scar in my life’s history that will remind me of an experience that has truly given me much.


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