Hello August!

From a WhatsApp status

I’m so glad you’re here simply because I already feel blessed, renewed and reenergized!! I had been down and almost out for some months. Nothing even got me excited anymore. But guess what? I’m back and better!! I am thankful for life and so grateful for family/friends who stood by me.

First off, if you know someone who needs assistance or guidance in the process of studying abroad, feel free to reach out to me or recommend me. I’m kind, patient, resourceful, knowledgeable about each stage and I never give up. I will make sure you achieve that dream or goal of studying abroad as long as you have sufficient funds for your tuition, living expenses, visa and health insurance fees and travel costs.

So, just checking, do you have any plans for August? I do. To assist as many students as I can to go study abroad towards the end of this year and early next year. To work more on my blog. To beautify my website. To finish up and publish my two ebooks I’ve been working on. To start a YouTube channel. To spend more time with my husband and children. To try out affiliate marketing on this website and the list goes on!

Truth is, these have been most of my plans for a very long time but I am still trying to figure out how to work it all out somehow without overworking myself. If you are reading this and you have any ideas or tips that you think might be helpful, kindly reach out to me, I will appreciate it.

Back to my question to you, what are your plans for the new month? Make a list and try to achieve them. Pace yourself though. Take each day as it comes and treasure the gift of life and health. Keep safe. Keep well. Be happy as much as you can and be kind to others. Bye for now.

A lovely review- from a parent

Hello, I hope you are well and keeping safe. It has been quite a while and work has had me quite busy nevertheless, I have to share this review I got about a student and their journey! Reviews are great and positive reviews are just wonderful. In my words, a positive review is an affirmation that you did your job well enough for someone to appreciate it. That is what happened in this case here.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

In October 2018, my boss assigned me a new client- a mom inquiring for her daughter to study abroad, and they had chosen the UK. When I spoke to her on the phone, I asked if I could speak to the prospective student and the mom said she was away on a tour of the Europe to get a feel for it before she started her program in January 2019. I said okay, sounds good. I gave her a list of the required application documents and her mom sent everything quite promptly. By the following week, I had put in an application and an offer came through almost immediately. I was really excited and shared my excitement with the mom and she told me how happy she was with how quickly I got her daughter an offer. Then I explained to her that to proceed she would need to pay a course deposit to the university of accept the offer. The amount varies but is usually about a third or quarter of the universities fees. I told her that the payment instruction was on the offer letter and she should let me know when she’s made the payment so we could then start the CAS procedure.

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CAS is a confirmation of studies letter that universities is the UK give to a student as part of the visa requirement. This letter is obtained once the university has checked the bank statement to ensure that is has enough amount to cover the tuition fee and living expenses minus the amount that was paid for the course deposit. They also need to receive a TB test result from the student. In total, they need three documents- proof of payment for the course deposit, bank statement or letter of sponsorship and a TB test result. I thought to explain that part because it comes in handy in the next paragragh of my narration.

The following day, the mom sent me a proof of payment showing that she had paid in full! I was thrilled because I thought that meant an easy process. Was I wrong! We had discussed the whole CAS procedure and also sent her a visa pack that explains everything, what is expected of the bank statement and whose name should be on the bank statement and so forth. She told me everything is in order, they had booked for her daughter’s TB test and she would send me the result along with the bank statement when the had it. Lo and behold when she sent it, the bank statement was in her cousin’s name! That definitely would not work with the UK visa system, it had to be in either parent’s account accompanied by a birth certificate or be in the student’s account is over 18. They moved the funds into the mom’s account and we had to wait for the 28 days rule, in the meantime, I advised them to get the unabridged birth certificate that would accompany the bank statement which they applied for and received.

Photo by Osama Saeed on Unsplash

About 2 weeks into waiting, I tried to check on both mom and daughter and I could not get hold of them. For over a week, I kept checking daily, nothing! Number was unavailable. I sent emails and just kept checking. I informed by boss and he tried as well, nothing. Long story short, I only heard from the mom around August 2019 to say she, the mom, had been seriously ill and that she was fine now and ready to continue the process. Thankfully, in the months that I didn’t hear from them, I had deferred the daughter’s offer to September but I felt the time was too short. Indeed it turned out to be too short because the TB test had expired and the funds in the bank had been used up but she said she wanted to try which I did. I don’t mind trying, it’s a rule for me in any situation, I’ll know I tried so why not. I then informed the university that they were happy and ready to proceed. She sent me a letter of sponsorship that shows that her daughter’s tuition and living costs would be fully covered for her three years of study. She sent it along with the new TB test result but sadly, the letter of sponsorship was not accepted. We had to defer to January 2020. By November 2019, she sent me a bank statement which was fine but by then, her IELTS result had expired. And then they disappeared again! I couldn’t get hold of them. Then Covid happened! But it did not really deter them, however, it slowed down the process, we no longer got quicker response from the university and to book an English proficiency test became a hassle but by the end of 2020, she had everything sorted.

Long story short, we started the process again in January 2021 and this time, with funds in her account and her new TB test result, new English proficiency result, we were able to finally get the CAS! It felt so good! She had to enrol online to join in the classes while we sorted out the visa application and all. She got the visa on the 10th of March. She got her ticket and she had to be booked into a government approved hotel for a 10 days quarantine. On the 26th of March, her mom phoned to say that I should meet them at the airport, that there was no way her daughter would leave for the UK without saying good bye to me because I made it happen. I went to the airport and met with her family- they were all so grateful for my effort in the process. They thanked me for not giving up. They thanked me for pushing to make sure that everything worked out in the end. It felt good. I was just doing my job, and patience is one of my special strength, I hardly give up. And I couple this with prayers. The daughter flew out and they flew back to their city and the following day, I got a very wonderful reveiw : ) the highlight of my story!

Screenshot from my phone

Thank you for stopping by and reading this story. I felt that I had to share this story because even though I thought I was just doing my job as it were, others saw it as perseverance at its finest! Keep doing what you do, put in your best. Keep well. Until next time, bye for now.

Thank you to my 100+ followers!!

Hello, how are you doing? I hope you are well and keeping safe, I am! Or let me say, I choose to be happy! Today, I am super happy and grateful to all of you my 100+ followers! Thank you all for choosing to follow my blog! I am doing a happy dance!! I know I am not yet posting as consistently as I would like but I believe I will get there, soon. I am taking each day as it comes and intentionally making plans to write ahead and schedule posts rather than write straight away and post straight away! Thank you for your patience and understanding. The support here is amazing!

Also, I am still trying to find a niche, though it is quite obvious that study abroad and tips for university applications seem to be taking the lead because that is the job I currently do but I also like to write about working from home and education but with time, I will find my niche or keep things open. Thank you for being patient with me and liking my posts. I appreciate your support.

Currently, I have so much work at work! How does that sound? There is a greater number of interest in study abroad more than ever before! I am actually interested to know why the sudden interest. Also, grade 12 students received their matric certificate yesterday so I got a lot of calls, mostly happy calls and messages updating and sending me their results. Which meant that I had to submit them to universities to get their offer updated! Also, today, I had to do two Australian visas and one UK visa, not completed but almost there! I will have a final look tomorrow before they submit. I find it interesting to do however, one has to be very meticulous when it comes to visas and make sure all required documents are complete to avoid visa rejections.

I am so excited because come Sunday the 28th of February, my son will be a year older! πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒObviously, there will be no party for many reasons but however, my head and mind is busy thinking of what to do to make it extra special for him indoors. For his sister, it was mostly a balloon party and we had family friends visit us briefly. I will let you know how it goes and if you have any ideas, please leave some in the comment below!!

Thank you once again for the follows, I sincerely appreciate it and it encourages me ti write more. I have been hiding for a very long time now but I believe I am coming out gradually and will get there one day. Where is there? I will keep thinking about it, lol! Thank you for stopping by today and thank you for liking my writings. Please keep the likes, follows and shares coming, it motivates me to write more. And I would really like to read from you, please leave a comment about anything- suggestions, ideas, questions about university applications, anything, I will be more than glad to respond! Keep well, keep safe, be happy, be kind as much as you can and enjoy the rest of the week!! Bye for now πŸ‘‹

Tips for getting the best reference letter ~ university application.

Hello, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I am! Today I am just going to jump right in to write about getting a reference letter for your university application. Some call it a letter of recommendation but I prefer to stick to “reference letter”.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is a teacher reference letter? A reference letter is a letter written by one or two of your teachers that taught you at high school or a lecturer from university or a supervisor at your work place. This letter highlights yours character, skills, academic abilities, strengths, goals and accomplishments. It is an important letter because it helps you stand out among other applicants.

There are two major types of reference letters, an academic one and a professional one. For an undergraduate application, in most cases, only an academic reference letter is required which is mostly referred to as a teacher reference because a teacher who has taught you previously should be the one to write it for you. Some universities require just one while some prefer two reference letters.

At postgraduate level however, they require two letters from applicants who have had a chance to work after their Bachelor’s degree. In this case, they prefer to receive an academic reference and a professional one. The academic one, much like the teacher reference should be written by a lecturer who taught you whilst at university. The professional one on the other hand should be written by a senior colleague where you work.

There can be slight changes for instance, if your lecturer or research supervisor relocates, s/he can still write you a reference letter. That has happened to me before when my supervisor relocated to the US to work at another university. Such letter would still be accepted because he once taught me and supervised my research.

So here are my tips below for getting a perfect reference letter.

  1. Be awesome at school, university or work! Let your character speak for you
  2. Keep in constant touch with your favorite teacher, lecturer, professor, senior colleague, supervisor or boss.
  3. Approach someone who would happily write you a reference and write great things about you and sing your praiseπŸ₯³
  4. Thank them once it’s been done, you might need to approach them again for another letter of reference.

Universities request for reference letters in different ways one by asking for an already written letter with the company letter and stamp; whilst some just require contact details of your references especially where they work, position, email address and phone number.

with these tips, you should get a perfect letter of reference to support your university application. Here is wishing you all the best! Don’t relent, don’t give up. Keep trying. You will make it. Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you next time. Please like and share to anyone who might need to read this. Keep well, bye for nowπŸ‘‹

How to write a personal statement- university application

Hello, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I am well and staying indoors as much as possible. This post will be about how to write a personal statement. I have found that students keep asking me the same questions over and over and I find myself explaining over and over again. I also find that “please ma’am, how do I write a personal statement?” and “how many pages do I need to write?” are the top two questions that they ask so I will address those two questions with this post.

What is a personal statement? A personal statement is a statement that is personal to you. Jokes. Well, not entirely a joke because a personal statement is an essay or a write up about you describing yourself to a potential employer or an admissions officer at a university. In this case, I will write about writing a personal statement to support your university application. A personal statement gives more information about you, what you have achieved so far in your academic life and how the achievements fit into the program you are applying for. It is an opportunity to give the admissions team more insight about you, your plans and explain your choice of program, university and country to them.

There are different types of personal statements and specific ones specific to a particular program such as for Law degree or Medicine, one might need to go more in depth especially at a postgraduate level where the student would need to share more about their work experience and all. However, generally, a personal statement shouldn’t be more than one page. Ideally, one page is fine. I have had some undergraduate applicants come to me with up to three pages or four pages as their personal statement. From experience, I personally don’t have the patience to read that many pages and I don’t have to go through thousands of them so I imagine that admission officers definitely won’t have that time either. So I always suggest to them to keep it short and simple! All their points should be summarised into one page with just five paragraphs. The paragraphs should answer the following questions.

Paragraph 1: Who are you?

Here, it is expected that you introduce yourself however you feel is best but in a way that allows the reader have a clear picture of who you are. After a brief introduction of yourself, you also need to share your academic achievements and highest qualification. Write about your awards and everything you can brag about. If you were a prefect, write about it, best student in your set, put in there in a well articulated format. Have you done any volunteer jobs during/after high school? Write about it. The tip is to introduce yourself and then write about the best things about your education so far and all other academic achievements and experience you have had so far.

Paragraph 2: What are you applying to study?

What are you applying to study? How does it fit into what you have previously done before? Did you volunteer at your uncle’s company and that got you interested in studying business administration or you are very good at numbers and would like to study accounting or statistics? Do you find that you enjoy taking care of people and are interested in studying nursing for that reason? Try to explain clearly why you have decided to study what you have decided to study and what you hope to achieve by getting that knowledge.

Paragraph 3: Why the particular country?

Okay, so at this point, I’m going to have to say that I’m not a geography expert but thanks to Google, I know that there are 197 countries in the world. So why are you choosing this particular country? Is it because of their education system or because they are believed to be more friendly towards international students? Do your research about your country of choice and write your findings in this paragraph. For you to want to leave your country of origin/residence to another country, you must surely know why, right?

Paragraph 4: Why the particular university?

Again, Google is my friend and it lets me know that there are about 25000 universities all around the world so again, why are you choosing this university? Just like the previous paragraph, do your research about the institution. Read about their rankings, their awards, reviews about them and make the university feel good that you have chosen them. Let them know how their course content matches exactly what you want to learn, let them know that you like their sports facility and consider it as a plus for you while making your choice, just do your research about the university/college and match the points to your study needs.

Paragraph 5: What are your plans after your study?

What do you plan to do after your studies? Do you plan to go back home after your studies and use your knowledge to develop your father’s company? Did you receive a scholarship where you need go give back to the company that sponsored your education by working there? Do you plan to apply for your postgraduate degree immediately after your undergraduate degree? Whatever your plans are, write them here. Let them see how the knowledge you plan to gain will be used once you are done with your studies. Do not forget to read over and proofread over and over again so as not to leave any errors in your write up.

With this format to guide you, I believe you will find it easier to write your personal statement and make it as perfect as possible and speak clearly to the admission officer. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you would like me to have a look at your personal statement. My email address is contact@oluseungsc.biz and I will be happy to go through it for you. Thank you for stopping by. Be safe. Be happy. Until next time, bye for now πŸ‘‹

Study Abroad-new visa alert story

Hello, how are you doing, I hope you are well, and keeping safe. How is work? How is business? I am okay. Just glad that another Friday is here! I get to rest and send more time with my family. I also would get a chance to write and work on some projects for my clients. This week, I got a new visa alert! This student is special to me because I had empathy for her and her situation. She applied to study an Engineering program at Postgraduate level and needed to be on campus asap! One because there were practical courses she need to be there for and two because everyone else was already on campus so she felt like she was missing out a lot by not being there.

Normally when I get a student assigned to me, I ask them how they plan to fund their studies and immediately begin to let them know the embassy requirements for their study visa in terms of financial proof. That way, they start planning to make sure all is order. However, with this one, she was referred to me, through the company I work for, by a university representative of where she applied to. She was stuck. Her bank statement didn’t meet up. So she couldn’t get her CAS letter. I then set up a meeting with her and then had a long call with her to explain what was really required and other things she needed like the TB test and all. She got the bank account sorted but we needed it to mature for 28 days! That seemed like 28 years to her but we waited. There are some situations in life where one just has to wait. When we applied for CAS, she was told that due to exchange rate, she was short by 168GBP. I am sure you can imagine how she felt! I had to think on the spot for a quick solution, we surely couldn’t wait another 28 days. I spoke to the university and suggested that she paid the difference towards her tuition fee rather than into her bank account to avoid the wait. That worked out and she got her CAS.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Next was the actual visa application. She rushed and put in the application, didn’t really check with me and made some errors that could no longer be changed as she had already proceeded to the payment stage. It was either she canceled and start over or applied like that. I suggested that she write a letter, called an addendum, to explain the two mistakes to the visa officer. She did that and then we started another waiting period. After 3 weeks, she received an email to inform her that a decision had been made and she could collect. She went there and her passport couldn’t be found! Yes, missing passport. She went again after 2 days, still nothing and was told she would receive a call when the passport was found. Anyway, it took almost two weeks before she finally received her passport with her study visa!!! She was really excited. It was a “victory at last” situation. Now we still have to wait till when we get an all clear information that she can travel to the UK for her studies. There has been conflicting information and we think it’s better to wait.

That was quite an experience for me as a study advisor, never experienced anything like that but I’m really glad that we got the desired outcome. I’ve come to find out and accept that I don’t give up on anything. I prefer to keep trying until it works out. There was a visa situation where the student had been rejected twice before being referred to us. With the looks of the situation, it seemed pointless to assist and no one wanted it. I took it up and she got the visa and is now in her second year in the US.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

If you need a study advisor or know someone who does , feel free to contact me by email contact@oluseungsc.biz and I will offer a free consultation to get the process started. Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment of questions if you have any. Until next time, eat well, rest well, drink lots of water, smile and be happy. Bye for now

I’ve hit 50 Followers!!!

Hello, I hope you are well and keeping safe. How is the week going? How is work? How is business? Thank you for stopping by. The week is going well and there is a new visa alert that I will post about soon so I’ll say the week is going well. I have some GTE forms to assist students with this week. Never mind, this is not a work post, it is a happy postπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

This is a quick one to say thank you! I’ve reached the 50 followers milestone and I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for stopping by, for reading my posts, for liking my posts and for following my blog! I really appreciate it. It is a great encouragement to me.

Screenshot from my phone

I started a while back but only just recently actively picked up writing more frequently. It is what I enjoy doing and wonder why I stayed away for this long. You know what they say, “when it’s time, it’s time”! (not sure whose quote that is though). I guess it’s time. If there’s anything you have been trying to do, why not give it a shot? Start somewhere, you’ll be amazed.

I will keep the posts coming, about study abroad and everything that comes with it, experiences at work and at home, though they tend to be one and the same most of the time because I work from home and maybe also post some random thoughts along the line.

Thank you once again, until next time. Keep well. Rest when you need to. Pace yourself. Eat right. Be kind. And best of all, be happy! Enjoy the rest of the week. Bye for now πŸ‘‹

Study Abroad- What are some of the benefits of studying abroad?

Hello, how are you doing today? I hope you are well and keeping safe. How was the work week or business week? My work week went by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s Friday already but TGIFπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Reflecting about my week at work, I noticed that we keep getting more enquiries even more than we used to! Every student still wants to study abroad and on campus! This means studying abroad is beneficial to them. I know there are many great benefits of studying abroad and the top one that comes to mind is seeing the world! Yes, you get to see the world because on campus, students get to meet other students who left their countries to study abroad, just like they did. That way, they get to meet and engage with one another and learn different cultures. That, in my view, is way better than studying in one country all your life.

Also, when students study abroad, they tend to become more independent and learn to do things for themselves. They see students who work and study at the same time and think to themselves, “I can do this too and won’t need to ask my parents for money every time.” What I normally say to parents is to have enough money tuition and living expenses for one year as required by the university and visa embassies so that their children will not feel pressured to take up a job to meet those needs. However, what I’ve realised is that students get there and get jobs that can cover some of their living expenses at the very least. Some students with rich parents use the money for extra stuff and some students use it to support their parents in order to help them reduce the cost.

One more benefit, before I go and try do baker baker with JBoy and JGirl, is learning a new language or honing a language skill. I’ve had students come to me to say they would like to go to a country where this language is spoken or that language because they would like to inprove their skills. I studied French at Diploma level many years ago and even though I’ve studied up to Master’s level, I still wish to study or maybe live in a French speaking country so I can get to actually use my language skills there. I still try to use it every now and then but it can’t be like using the language skills to actually buy something or have a conversation with others.

Would you let your child study abroad? If yes, why? If not, why not? I’ve spoken with different parents and have gotten different insights about study abroad which are all valid. I’ll like to read from you and know what you think about it.

I have to go. Do have a wonderful weekend. Keep well. Eat healthy. Drink lots of water. Exercise. Have a good time in your own way. Be kind. Thank you for stopping by. Feel free to like, share and follow to encourage me. And if you need tips about study abroad or anything or have questions, please reach out to by email, I will be very glad to read from you. Bye for now πŸ‘‹

How to be productive working from home

Hello, I hope you are doing well. How was the weekend? Was it restful? Was it busy?

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I know people are different and react to things differently and also cope in various ways. Working from home has been in existence before Covid but used to be seen as convenient jobs and doesn’t pay as much as work in the office. With Covid came hard lockdown situations in which every company that could function from home had their staff start working remotely. It was an unplanned situation in which people had to device ways to cope with working from home.

For me, when I started my current job in 2018, I started working from home but had to go out about two to three times a week to attend events such as career fairs, meetings with high school counselors, face to face consultations with parents and students and mini fairs I organized for university representatives who visited from time to time. As the agency I work for has partnership with over 250 universities, I had to attend to so many of them on a monthly basis. I sometimes had to host about three universities and take them on high school tours so students could meet with them and ask all the questions they had. All these events, combined, meant that my work from home was not 100% work from home however, I did my follow ups, university applications and everything else from home.

With Covid though, things changed. All prior scheduled physical events were cancelled and I had to work from home 100% which meant back to back meetings. All those meetings I had to go for at different schools still went on- on my laptop. University representatives who couldn’t fly down, organized several zoom sessions. At some point, it felt like my work had tripled and even though I was no longer going out, I had so much work to do that just wouldn’t end. I was constantly tired, out of breath from non stop meetings and phone conversations. I think students and their parents also felt like I was home and should be able to pick my call and answer their questions 24/7. I was also struggling to keep my home together, couldn’t keep up with meal times, couldn’t clean as frequently as I used to and knew that I had to do something. I had to take some urgent steps to put myself in a better place. Below are the steps I took.

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  1. To-Do List: I realized that I had to focus on my to do list and put only things that were really important and couldn’t be moved to the following day. It simplified my life a lot. It is easy for us to think we can do this and that but are they really important or urgent?
  2. Dedicate a work space: having a section of your home aa your office space can make such a huge difference. It did for me. I won’t lie, I used to carry my laptop with me every where and worked everywhere~ on the dining, on the couch, on my kitchen table and even on the bed. I thought that was easier and thought I was enjoying working from home by being able to work anywhere around the house. I found out that actually worsened things for me. What I did then was to bring out my study table I used during my Honors and Masters programs about 6 years ago, dust it off and polished it nicely and put it in a corner in my bedroom. Yes, bedroom as that was the most quiet place in the house- it’s a really small apartment so I don’t have a study or a spare room to use. Also, it is a room where JBoy knows that he has to knock before entering and when he opens the door, he peeks and asks if I’m in a meeting or if he can ask me something quickly. That worked for me like magic and made my life easier. When I got to that table, I knew it was work time.
  3. Pace yourself: Another thing I had to do was to pace myself. I no longer RSVP’D yes to all video meetings and conferences. Rather, I asked if they could be rescheduled or if the session would run again on another date. When I did this, I realized that those on the other side of the screen are humans like me and simply set a date that worked for us both. My calendar events became reduced and clearer. I was able to select meetings that needed me to RSVP yes to such as fixed meetings and the likes.
  4. Strictly 9-5: I kept my work hours strictly 9-5. I no longer worked outside of those hours except in some very rare occasions that I just had to assist a student after hours. I always made sure to let them know that I had closed for work but willing to assist. What I found was that if I said to a student that I had closed for the day but would assist you, they end up saying that they would contact me in the morning. So I made it a habit and believe when I say this, most have really reduced reaching out to me after 5 and when they do they start with “hi ma’am, I know you have closed for today but…..” or “sorry to bother you after work….” It worked like magic. My work is mostly done through emails and phone/whatsapp so it’s hard to ignore some messages and I prefer to send a quick reply to messages like “why don’t we talk about this at 9am tomorrow ” and they get the message. This step really helped.
  5. Break time: I no longer took my break at some point because everything got muddled up and some calls ran into another meeting and would feel lucky to get a sandwich in or some juice. I stayed being intentional about my break time and made sure to take 30-45 minutes at least on break doing something totally unrelated to work. Maybe just read a novel or drink rooibos tea or play games on my phone.
  6. To-do list again: just before 5 and before closing my laptop, I did a to-do list to help me remember the emails I wanted to start with or students that I wanted to submit their applications the following day. I made sure I was clear on what needed to be done the following day and also gave allowances for any urgent situation that may pop up.

These steps have helped me a great deal and I believe they might work for someone else too. It has made me more productive at my job and I feel less stressed than I was before. I get jobs done more efficiently and my students and parents love me for my job or more like love the work that I do for them ☺

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What has worked for you since you started working fully from home? Are there any steps you took that made you more productive or merely just simplified your work life? Please leave a comment so we can learn more from you.

Thank you for stopping by. Keep well, stay safe. Be kind. Laugh often. Until next time, bye for now πŸ‘‹