Have you ever imagined completing a degree while having a baby? It may seem impossible, but Amelia Colbeck proved it is possible, with a baby on her hip and a graduation cap on her head.  Amelia says balancing being a new mum and studying a business degree is achievable, with flexible learning options such as studying online.

Baby Mia was born in May last year, in Amelia’s final year of studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing. Though Amelia said she had a healthy pregnancy, it wasn’t always easy, especially as she was also working full time.

“It’s been difficult, yeah, lot of late nights, long days. But I did do a lot of it by distance, so that’s definitely helped me," Amelia said.

One thing that helped Amelia through this seemingly impossible task was the support from the business school. From one staff member particularly, says Amelia, as he is her dad.  

“My father is a finance lecturer at uni, manages a small business and is finishing a doctorate. I worked full time up until my last four weeks of pregnancy while studying, so he was supportive and encouraging during this period.”

As Amelia well understands, sometimes life has other plans. It’s important that a university can be flexible and understanding.

The University of Tasmania is definitely family friendly; should I have needed time off they would have been accommodating. I had a healthy pregnancy, so I didn’t require any time off.

"I had a healthy pregnancy, so I didn’t require any time off. However, my mother was in ICU and rehabilitation early in 2019 and my lecturers and coordinators were accommodating, with extensions for assignments and tests during this period.”

Amelia has some advice for those thinking of having a baby while studying.

Amelia Colbeck holds baby Mia on graduation day.

I recommend others studying while pregnant to prioritise as much as possible and take a semester off if they need it. I completed the end of my studies by distance and online, which has been a fantastic platform to use and learn.

We might even see a third generation of the Colbeck family attend the School of Business and Economics at the University of Tasmania.

“I would definitely encourage Mia to complete a University degree, but will be happy as long as she is doing something she is passionate in.”

I highly recommend the University of Tasmania.