In this learner story, Van, country head of HR at a company in the pharmaceutical industry, shares her experience as a graduate student in the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Online Master of Leadership in Service Innovation program, a cutting-edge business graduate degree focused on organizational leadership, innovation, and customer experience.
How was your experience learning online?
I find the program beneficial because it provides students with the updated research-based knowledge about Customer Experience (CX) concept, as well as applicable tools to roll out CX successfully in our organizations. The insightful content is delivered in form of solid videos, interviews, and sharing from experienced professors, writers, as well as business leaders.
Furthermore, questions for discussion are very useful to trigger deeper thoughts and reflection on the topics. As an HR professional, the key learning helps me to design HR initiatives that strengthen the engagement of our employees and internal customers through various touch points including line managers, peers, culture, policy, process, access to information, and so on. Running via the edX platform, the program is very user friendly, offering learners opportunities to study flexibly at their own pace, which perfectly meets the availability of a working student like me.
How has your learning impacted your career, life, or community?
I really enjoy my learning with UQ, where I have a great chance to study from knowledgeable professors and lecturers. They are friendly and approachable via various digital platforms so that students can easily schedule meetings for their feedback and advice. The course faculty are efficient in handling all my questions with a professional and timely manner. Overall, the UQ folks give me a real experience of the customer-centric culture.
How do you plan to use your learning in the future? What’s next for you?
My goal when joining the course was to broaden my perspectives and strengthen skill sets with a master’s degree.
Secondly, the role of HR has changed drastically in the last few years. We are transforming from being perceived as an administrator to a business partner, who progress along with the business and contribute to the company’s success thanks to the right people strategy. This program offers me the exact knowledge and tools to best serve our internal customers.
Thirdly, we all know the importance of innovation. However, how to provide an environment that triggers breakthrough ideas requires endless effort and commitment of the management. Therefore, I would like to apply my learnings from this program to help our team to build up a culture that fosters diversity and innovation.
What advice would you give new edX students?
I think the key success factor of online learners is self-commitment and autonomy. As it is flexible and we can study whenever and wherever we want, we tend to take it easy and less discipline than traditional classroom set up. Therefore, make sure you have a clear timetable and stick with it. The best way is to integrate your study plan into your calendar so that you are reminded every day. Secondly, it is crucial to properly take notes or summarize main ideas of videos and interviews you watch during the course. It helps you to remember the key takeaways and save lots of time when you work on the assignments. Last but not least, be a fan of the class discussion forum, although it is optional and has no grade, it helps learners to stay warm and connected with the cohort and lecturers as well as provides hints for self reflection‚ an essential skill set of leaders.
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