Tadas, a healthcare project support officer from the United Kingdom, was a recipient of the Macquarie Group Scholarship through edX. The first named scholarship in edX’s Access for All scholarship campaign, the $1M Macquarie Group Scholarship Program aims to support economic recovery of low-income and underrepresented groups of learners in the United States, Australia, India, and the United Kingdom.
Tadas used his scholarship to take Applied Scrum for Agile Project Management from the University of Maryland, College Park, Clark School of Engineering Project Management Center for Excellence, with the goal of advancing his career. Here’s what he had to say about his learning experience:
Why did you apply to the Macquarie Group scholarship program?
It was the start of the pandemic in the UK. At work we were told that our projects were suspended and that our specialized hospital and clinics would close, leaving only essential services running. It was a very scary, stressful time. Even now, when most of the services have restarted, I have this uncertainty about job security and finances. I wanted to gain some skills that could help me in future. One day reading the edX email newsletter, I found information about The Macquarie Group Scholarship and decided to try and apply.
How has your learning impacted your career, life, or community?
During the pandemic low, this course inspired me to concentrate on the positive - learning something new, something that I feel passionate about, and would help me in my role. I feel much more knowledgeable and confident in my work program. As I work in a hospital, I was able to utilize my new skills to support various hospital recovery programs and in the coordination of vaccination centers.
Once I completed the course in December last year, my work began to reopen, and I was redeployed to support the vaccination centres workstream. By completing the course that teaches the uses of agile across industries, exploring the types of work management and how Scrum Agile fits into the world of work, I was able to proactively participate in the recruitment team, agile scrum meetings, and support the team with sprint planning. When I returned to my original job role, I continued using my new skills to support various hospital recovery programs.
How do you plan to use your learning in the future? What’s next for you?
I plan to use Applied Scrum for Agile Project Management for more of the projects that I will support. If the situation allows, I would love to complete the rest of the courses that lead to the Agile Project Management Professional Certificate or explore different courses.
How was your experience learning online?
It was very easy to navigate the site. You can also use your mobile phone, and save course documents and media that you think you could use for work. I found my experience online very flexible due to the situation and circumstances with COVID. During my course, my flatmate became sick with COVID, and I was unsure if I could complete the course on time. I was happy to find that you could extend the due date and I was able to finish it.
How did you hear about edX?
I first heard about edX from a University of California Berkeley article online about The Science of Happiness at Work, when I was supporting a project focused on improving work culture. Following my curiosity, I clicked on the link under the article and ended up on the edX platform; I started a course as a free learner. This was the moment when I discovered how different and high quality these courses are in comparison to some other providers. The edX course left me motivated and inspired to try another 3 courses – I did not finish all of them, but I did learn so much – leadership and advanced Excel skills, for example. I was fascinated by the opportunity to find universities from around the world so easily accessible. I urge whoever is reading to try a couple of them, find the one that is the best fit for you and get your own certificate that will enhance your skills in your current role, or the next one. It motivated me to make a change, I hope it will inspire you too.