It can be easy to adopt the belief that the career path we’ve chosen is the one we’re locked into for good. But that’s simply not true, and Millicent is proof.
Millicent is a fully qualified dentist, yet she’d dreamed about transiting to a career in architecture for years. Now she leads an exciting double life, working professionally as both a dentist and an architect. By studying a Master of Architecture online with Curtin University, through Open Universities Australia (OUA), Millicent enjoys mastering both professions.
Education has been a constant part of Millicent’s life. She had completed both Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in dentistry and was an Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia. When Millicent decided to venture into architecture, she studied on-campus at Curtin University in Perth. However, being a mature aged student with a family to raise, she became frustrated by the on-campus experience. “I didn’t really feel that the lecturers were focused on adult learning,” she admits. “I was at a different stage of life to the students in my classes”.
Millicent persisted and graduated with a distinction, but when it came to studying a Master of Architecture, she knew online was the way to go. Millicent prefers online learning as she can manage her time efficiently by creating a study schedule to suit her. “I get annoyed by the stigma associated with online learning – that online students are at a disadvantage somehow.” Millicent believes that being motivated and focused will lead students to success, despite the lack of face-to-face contact. “I’m a motivated, independent learner so online study suited me well.”
“My favourite part was when I was doing my thesis” says Millicent. “I got the opportunity to connect with a lecturer from Brazil who is an expert in biophilic design – which means considering nature and the environment. We got to meet face-to-face because I live in Perth. I learnt an enormous amount from her and we have stayed friends.
Following the completion of her Masters in December 2016, Millicent is enjoying working three days a week as a Dentist, and two days as an Architect – currently taking on projects from friends, family and their referrals. “I have undertaken residential, energy efficient and small scale commercial design projects and have really enjoyed the work”. She is also interested in humanitarian architecture, which led her to design spaces for homeless teenagers. “It’s not a field that has a lot of Government support and relies on philanthropy and donations”.
There is a possibility that Millicent will focus completely on architecture in the future. For now though, she loves working across two separate professions that help people live happy and healthy lives.
Set on a change of pace, or looking to fulfil a long-neglected dream? OUA can help you get there, without putting your current work life on hold. Fill in the form below to express your interest in the Master of Architecture or head to our website to browse over 150 degrees from 10 leading Australian universities. You can also call a friendly student advisor on 13 OPEN for advice that’s tailored to your needs.