Stine started her online bachelor’s while on the frontline
“Not everyone’s suited to sitting quietly at a school desk. And if you’d asked my teachers at school, they’d never have thought I’d be sitting here today with a bachelor’s degree, preparing to begin my master’s. But that’s what’s happened - because I found a way of studying that suits my needs.”
So says 34-year-old Stine Bloch Jensen, who was in Kolding in January 2022 to receive her degree certificate, after completing a bachelor’s (BA) degree in International Business - a programme offered by IBA, in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University in the UK.
Read the story in danish.
International Business - online
Online, you have up to six years to complete a part-time study programme in International Business.
The programme, offered by IBA in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University in the UK, focuses on the complex challenges of working within an international environment.
Amongst other things, the courses centre around finance, communication, and management.
It requires a bit of discipline to take a bachelor’s online. On the other hand, you get a huge amount of flexibility in your daily life, and there is a lot of understanding and support from your teachers along the way. So I’ve been very happy to study in this way - both because of the studies themselves, and because they’ve been carried out online,” explains Stine Bloch Jensen, who has completed a bachelor’s in International Business at IBA.
All of the teaching has taken place online at a computer, wherever she has been living throughout the course. In fact, Stine found herself at the front line in North-East Nigeria when she started the study programme. She was a project manager for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and was responsible for a hospital in an area where 70,000 internally displaced people were fleeing from militant groups.
I wasn’t in a rush
Previously, she has worked within management as a destination manager and an event manager, amongst other things, and she also has an education as a financial economist under her belt.
“I’ve been sent out to five different places with Médecins Sans Frontières. First, I was HR manager; and then I ended up as project manager. It was my dream job, so at first I didn’t think I needed further education, as I already had so much experience in management,” says Stine.
Nevertheless, her dream of getting a master’s degree began to take hold, and the first step was to complete a bachelor’s. This became a possibility even in conflict-affected Nigeria, when Stine discovered that IBA offers online, part-time study programmes, which could build for example on her previous studies in financial economics.
“It took me longer than if I had been physically there in the classroom. But I wasn’t in too much of a hurry, because I could do anything else I wanted while I was studying part-time,” says Stine. “I was under a bit of pressure when I was in Nigeria,” she adds, “because I was working so many hours each day, and the internet wasn’t always working, as it was dependent on our generator. But once I came back to Denmark and was only working 37 hours a week, studying in the evenings and weekends was no problem at all.”
Stine Bloch Jensen was educated as a financial economist, and now she also has a bachelor’s in International Business, which has paved the way for being able to take a master’s with Leeds Beckett University in the UK - a programme offered by IBA, along with several other courses.
A good combination
Because she followed the study programme on a part time basis, it ended up taking her two-and-a-half years to complete. As a full-time student, attending in person, you can complete the same programme in one-and-a-half years. But in an online class you can complete the assignments whenever and wherever you want to, so you can easily strike a balance between studies and everyday commitments.
“For me, a part-time study programme was perfectly suited to my needs, because it was all very flexible. It was well understood that most of the people on the course also had work and jobs to do,” Stine says.
Personally, she saw it as an advantage that she could combine study and work - the two things went hand in hand and fed into each other, as Stine explains:
“Certain aspects of the studies I could directly make use of in the workplace - and also the other way round, as I’ve used experiences from my workplace in several of the programme’s study assignments.”
“It has been important for me that the online study programme is flexible, as there are times in my job when I’m very busy; and other times when there’s less to do, so I can spend more time on the studies,” says Stine Bloch Jensen.
Onward to a master’s
After one year with the Red Cross in Denmark, Stine Bloch Jensen is back at Médecins Sans Frontières, and has once again chosen to combine work with studies. She has gone directly from her bachelor’s to studying a master’s online, with a focus on international law, human rights, security, and conflicts.
“Even though I was originally educated as a financial economist, it has long been my dream to take a master’s within a totally different field of interest - and this study programme fits really well with my daily work for Médecins Sans Frontières,” she says.