Self-published author Alice Boer-Endacott reflects on how her Masters put her skills into context.
Author Alice Boer-Endacott. Image: Supplied
Even though author Alice Boer-Endacott has been writing since the age of six, it wasn’t until she was in the midst of an Executive Master of Arts at the University of Melbourne that her career path was solidified. She recalled the moment it all fell into place – during a career-building workshop as part of a project management subject.
‘We were talking about, “What is it that you do?” And at the core of it I said: “I tell stories. I am interested in what it is about stories and people.” And then after having not written something really significant in quite some time, I picked up a pen and wrote 60,000 words,' Boer-Endacott explained.
‘I definitely credit the EMA as crystalising what all my various interests were that I loved and then pushing me back towards what I had always – at the heart of it – been circling around.’
That interest was writing. Now a self-published author with her third book soon to be released, Boer-Endacott said the Masters put all of her skills into context. Prior to the EMA she studied an undergraduate degree majoring in anthropology and was also an exhibiting artist.
But it was the critical thinking skills she learned during her Masters which gave her confidence to self publish.
‘In the career-building workshops we were asked, “What are you holding onto that’s stopping you from achieving what you want? What’s that balance?”’ Endacott said. ‘That’s what I asked myself when I decided to go down the indie publishing route. I realised I was holding onto traditional publishing as something I thought I had to have to call myself an author, but that was what was stopping me from generating a name for myself.
‘I had six manuscripts ready to go, so putting them out there and making them work for me – the project management subject was awesome because they said, “Well you’ve got to sit down and think about steps in achieving a project, whatever that may be.”’
The EMA program focuses on project management, critical and creative thinking, and leadership and financial management, giving students the skills to take on leadership roles in the government, corporate and not-for profit sectors. But even for someone who is self-employed like Boer-Endacott, who also works as a copywriter for The Macau Times and as an International Baccalaureate tutor, the skills gave her valuable business tools to forge ahead.
‘I am my own business and I think that’s what the course gave me,’ she said. ‘Even if I am not working in a business, to view the world though that lens and be professional in my communications and learn how to set standards for myself and how to protect myself.’
‘The skills were very useful because a lot of it was stuff I had kind of thought about but it wasn’t quantified, it wasn’t explicit knowledge, it was intrinsic,’ she said. ‘When you’re doing something like self-publishing, there is a lot of information out there but you don’t know what’s useful – you don’t know the best way to go about it.’
Visit graduate.arts.unimelb.edu.au to find out more.