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Christophe Havermans

Brussels, Belgium

I am a Belgian student who graduated last year as a Master in Business Economics. Since my background was too finance related, I decided to study one additional year of Innovation and Strategic management at Solvay Business School. After a couple of months at the business school, I signed a contract as a Young Professional at Belgacom (Belgian’s biggest Telecom company). Knowing that I was able to kick off there in September 2014 as a management trainee, I realized that I lacked knowledge about digital and technological topics. This was the moment when edX came in.

I didn’t know about MOOCs before reading an article about them. The world is changing fast and this is clear when I saw this new trend in education. I was very curious about the types of courses, so started scrolling on the edX website. The fact that many well-known universities participated in the initiative gave me a sense of trust and curiosity.

The course I followed on edX was MITx’s Social Physics and Big Data. This topic is closely related to my future job, so I decided to complete all the courses. Not only the courses were interesting but also the guest lectures inspired me. Having all the guest speakers sharing their ideas and key learnings for free is already worth watching the course. Next to the inspirational and educational part, the opportunity to differentiate myself from my future colleagues and friends was a motivation to enroll for this course.

Another interesting feature offered by edX was the discussion page on the course platform. This tool enables you to ask specific questions to your peers and vice versa. For me in particular, my peers helped me a lot. I was interested in the regulatory aspect of big data (which was not covered in the course) and wanted to know more about it. Some people provided me very interesting material concerning this topic. Peers also get the possibility to evaluate the course, which is taken into account to continuously improve the content and/or lectures.

When you subscribe for a business school, you can rarely select and compose your course schedule yourself. This results in a year including courses that might not be relevant or inspiring to you. I believe that this initiative can truly disrupt the educational system. People are able to select the courses corresponding to their interests. Furthermore, the price of an edX certificate compared to the price of a normal course at a business school is significantly lower, making edX more accessible.

Today, the only constant is change. Therefore, I will absolutely keep an eye on upcoming courses, since today it is crucial to be able to cope with the changes in our innovative world. Thanks again for this learning experience and high quality course!