Sinéad Lehane (Australia)
Why did you choose this program?
I was looking for a program that would expand my knowledge and understanding of water management and allow me to apply a multi-disciplinary understanding to problems and challenges within my own work. The MIWM appealed to me as it was designed through the collaboration of a number of leading universities in Australia and the study streams offered meant I could gain a broad foundational knowledge of Integrated Water Management (IWM) while gaining a deeper understanding of my particular field of interest – water, sanitation and hygiene.
What were the best parts of the program and why?
The field trips and face-to-face study blocks were a highlight of my time in the program. These trips provided a really valuable in-field, real world application of the knowledge we were gaining through the course and an opportunity to engage with our peers and teachers in person. Having the opportunity to work in teams from all over the world and with very different disciplinary backgrounds created space to tackle problems from multiple angles and expanded my understanding and application of IWM.
Did you enjoy studying the program part-time/distance and how did you manage to juggle study, work and other responsibilities during your studies?
Having the option to study by distance allowed me to commit to the program while I continued to work full-time in Perth. The education team does a fantastic job of ensuring part-time students feel included and supported throughout the program and the inclusion of face-to-face intensives are a wonderful opportunity to get to know everyone else in the cohort. Studying by distance certainly has its challenges and requires a great deal of self-motivation, but the online content and learning space provided me with the structure I needed and allowed that peer-to-peer interaction throughout the course.
How do you plan to use what you’ve learned in either your current job or future career?
Part of my motivation in enrolling in the master’s program was to move into the development space as a practitioner in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. The knowledge, experience and networks I’ve built through this course have opened so many doors for me and earlier this year I moved interstate for a contract to provide technical support on sanitation marketing projects in the Pacific.
Sinéad's final project: