Healthcare and Health Science student Jezanne balances her degree at The Open University with a thriving career in Medical Governance (she’s also a proud foodie).

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Jezanne is a Healthcare and Health Science student at The Open University. Find out what her average day looks like, including her relationship with her colleagues. 

Image: Jezanne

Wake up to 8am: The most important meal of the day

I tend to wake up at around 6am as I start work at 8am. At least that’s my intention anyway… 

I usually have alarms set at five-minute intervals between 6am and 6:30am. As you can probably tell already, I am not a morning person  

I try to get in to work around 7:30am to eat breakfast in the canteen with my colleague, who reminds me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  

8am to 4pm: Work with a view

I work as a Medical Governance Coordinator for a life science company. I’m involved in risk management, governance and compliance.  

I really enjoy my job. My team is great. Everyone is very supportive of my distance learning journey with The Open University alongside my full-time career. My colleagues are always asking how I’m getting on with my university work and take a genuine interest in the course I’m studying. 

I study BSc Healthcare and Health Science. It links so well with the industry that I’m in, and will help me to progress with my chosen career. It also opens many other doors for me if I ever decided I wanted a career change. I’ve learned a lot from my studies that I can apply to my job, such as time management and prioritisation.  

Distance learning allows me to plan my studies around my work. Working full-time and studying part-time works perfectly for me as I wanted to kickstart my career from an early age. 

On my lunch break, I like to either go for a quick walk around the scenic lake near the business park, or take a cheeky trip to the shops for some lunch and retail therapy.  

Image: A beautiful lakeside walk at lunchtime

See what employers think of distance learning degrees including the key skills they look for in students. 

4pm to 6pm: My time

I finish work, drive home and usually eat dinner early so I have time that evening to do any university work.  

I’m lucky because someone in my family will always cook for me so I don’t have to, or I’ll go out with my partner or friends for a meal straight after work — I am such a foodie and love trying new things.  

This is my time to relax and socialise between work and studying later. It also gives me a chance to replenish for the evening ahead. I love that even though I am busy working in the day and studying in the evening, I can still fit my social life in, which is so important for my mental wellbeing.

Image: Jezanne is a true foodie and loves trying new things

6pm to 8pm: Time to study

Once I’ve chilled out for a bit, this is my time to be productive and get studying done. 

This could be preparing for or writing a Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA), or doing my weekly learning tasks which could be learning module content via online materials or reading content from the books provided by the OU.  

My tutor can be contacted by email to run through any questions I might have, or I can ask on the student forum and compare notes with others. 

If you’re finding it hard to concentrate at times or feel demotivated, work in short 15-minute bursts, then have a break. Fifteen productive minutes is much more impactful than 30 unfocused minutes. 

Pick up tips for studying online or remotely including students’ life hacks to stay focused and productive. 

8pm onwards: Netflix and a chat

After studying, I have a couple of hours left before going to sleep. 

I use this time to get ready for the next day but also to relax too. Netflix or Disney+ is always a good weeknight option, or I use this time to chat with friends, family and my partner.  

I usually aim to get to sleep by 10pm. I start work at 8am so staying up late is probably not a good idea. I’d always recommend getting a decent amount of sleep. My productivity is so much better compared to a night with little sleep. 

This is a typical weekday for me. I find that this daily routine works well for me and is completely manageable too. I do study on Saturdays, but never Sundays — this is my rest day from work and university. Some days are easier than others. But when things do get challenging, I always remind myself that I am doing this to better myself, both personally and professionally, and that all the hard work will pay off.

Learn more about distance learning

While this is Jezanne’s typical day, 24 hours as a distance learning student can look very different depending on your course, lifestyle and circumstances.  

Check out our other diaries with Data Analyst Abiola and Parliamentary Assistant Aliya. Take a look and see how they make distance learning work for them. 

Explore our full distance learning hub, including how it works and fees and funding

Editor's note: The information above was provided by a student, and reflects their experience studying with The Open University (OU) and their daily routine (pre-Covid). Individual experiences may vary depending on course and personal circumstances. If you would like to learn more about studying with the OU, including questions about a specific course, you can get in touch directly.