When my friends heard that I’d enrolled in a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) their response was “finally”. Other people ask why, in the middle of successful marketing career, I’d start again from scratch.
The truth is, ever since I experienced acupuncture, I’ve been intrigued by it. When I started working in the Endeavour marketing team, I tried the student clinic not anticipating that I’d become a regular client.
With frequent visits to the Wellnation Clinic, I started to see improvements in my health and I found myself drawn to the acupuncture course content over and over again. I decided it was time to stop thinking about study. Still, it took me more than a year to enrol.
Looking back now, I wish I’d started as soon as I’d made that decision. But I was in my late twenties. I had already studied a marketing communications degree. I’d been working for nine years and had established my career. I wasn’t going to give all that away.
So I started my studies online while working full-time. It was hard. There are bridging subjects you can do and I chose to do some modules in biology to test out my skills. I quickly figured out I had a lot to learn.
After completing two subjects online, I started studying on campus earlier this year. That really put things in perspective. I realised a lot of my classmates are in the same boat. They’re also trying to balance work, study and in some cases family commitments. I’m humbled to study with them, especially those people who’ve overcome significant adversity to pursue their dream career.
At first, I worried about being judged by other students because I work for Endeavour. But it's obvious, that I don’t get any preferential treatment from the academics. Being a student again has also given me a good perspective on what it’s like to study today. I hope I can use this experience to improve our marketing efforts, especially when it comes to creating an expectation that meets with reality.
The students I see regularly in clinic gave me some great advice about how to approach the study of acupuncture. Now, I also ask questions when I’m in the Wellnation Clinic getting treatments. As hard as it is to wrap my head around the science, I’m starting to see how everything fits together. At first, especially when you’re studying part-time and online, it’s hard to understand why you have to learn certain things in a particular order. But now, I get it.
Some people said to me, “do as much as you can to get it done”. I don’t subscribe to this advice. You don’t want to burn yourself out. Taking a little more time to complete your studies will probably save you an extra 10 years of life at the end of your life.
I’m hoping to do the four-year degree in five years. I’ll catch up on study when I can and I’ll leave some breathing space for life. One day, I hope to open my own acupuncture clinic or run a multi-modal clinic with other practitioners. With my background, I’m confident my marketing experience will come in handy. You see I’m not really starting from scratch. My life and work experiences will ease my transition to a new career.
About Jess Reeves
Currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture), Jess is in the midst of balancing a career in marketing with pursuing her new career in acupuncture. Outside of work and study, Jess spends her time practicing yoga, cooking up delicious vegan meals, flying through the clouds (skydiving), and op shopping.
In her early twenties, acupuncturist Kirsten Baker ventured to China to discover the essence of her craft through volunteering at a communal acupuncture centre within a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital. Little did Kirsten know that decades later she’d be helping establish a similar model of care to support Micah Projects, a groundbreaking Australian social housing facility.