This post was originally published in June 2019. It has been updated with new responses received from Efi in April 2020.
What program did you take on edX, and what were your goals in taking it?
Since my graduation from the Engineering University, I have worked on 4 different positions at different factories that applied some Lean Six Sigma tools to improve their quality and productivity. As I kept “falling” on them from job to job, it didn’t take me long to realize how these tools can improve, standardize and simplify the work and the procedures of many departments. I had only some basic training in some LSS tools, but a big desire to learn more about the field of quality, to participate more in projects at my work and to give my personal ideas for improvement at my workspace. That’s why I started the Six Sigma and Lean: Quantitative Tools for Quality and Productivity Professional Certificate program from TUMx.
How has the program helped you?
This program changed my life in one year. I was able to apply the knowledge I took straight to my work. I indeed learned more about the field of quality and I was able to participate more in projects. Even my supervisors asked me to express my opinion and ideas more often. More importantly all of these experiences at work and the fact that I was able to work and study at the same time boosted my confidence, and made me feel smarter and more productive.
What did you like most about learning online?
Two and a half years now I have worked on 3 different shifts. The flexibility of the online learning removed any anxiety of how I would combine work with studying. I even got the chance to study while I was on the move to/from work with the edX mobile app. I won’t even mention the price. Value for money isn’t enough to describe if the program worth it. As for the content, while some of my friends anticipated the next Game of Thrones episode, I was anticipating the new sessions of the courses to be live on the edX platform. I could watch the videos as many times as I wanted and keep my notes. It was so well structured and the professors gave us great guidelines and accurate answers and examples to our questions. I also loved that I was able to talk with people from all around the world and even practice my English.
Updated April 2020: The online learning experience was more than great. It washed away any second thoughts that I had about it every time that I logged in for a new session. I was able to study at my own pace, in my own time and place. I could replay the videos and most importantly, I had the guidance and help from the instructors through their notes and the dashboard. Today, during these difficult times of quarantine, my fellows at the university are having trouble to focus on the distance learning classes. Who would have known that edX would have made me flexible and prepared for something like that too?! It’s crazy, right?
Did your coursework result in any direct outcomes (career or personal)?
The program made me realized that I liked my Bachelor degree in Automation Engineering, but I loved learning more about the Quality field. It challenged my limits and made me decide that I want to learn more and enhance my knowledge. So this fall, I’m heading for my master degree in Total Quality Management and I’m really positive that I’ll enjoy this new studying journey as much as enjoyed my experience with edX.
Also, two months after updating my resume with the certificate on work platforms like LinkedIn, recruiters started contacting me for interviews. I didn’t apply for anything and I wasn’t interested in changing positions, but I took the chance to go and meet great people from the quality field. I also had the chance to take some great advice from two people that work on the continuous improvement department of the company I currently work.
Updated April 2020: As I already mentioned, after I received my certification from TUM, I was really excited and inspired to take a bigger step and invest more in myself. I’m in the second semester of my MBA in Total Quality Management and I’ve lost count of how many times something that I learnt from TUM has helped me in this degree. What is more, my profile in LinkedIn is definitely getting more hits and from time to time, I’m getting some really good job offers. It’s amazing how one small choice and a really amount of money brought all of these things in my life.
What advice would you give new edX students?
Invest in yourself without second thoughts of whether it worth it. Be open to knowledge and different learning experiences. Don’t just aim for a certificate, aim to take anything new in and make it yours while applying it. Learning can be funnier when you share your thoughts with your fellow edX learners and your professors. On top of them all, dare greatly to challenge who you are and who you want to be.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience with edX and how it has helped to advance your studies?
I’m really grateful that there are some great people behind this great platform with this beautiful vision to make education available to everyone all around the world. Their work gave me the chance to reconsider my future, my options and reinvent myself. Last year I enjoyed studying online, the previous ones I enjoyed getting trained on job and this year I’ll be back in a classroom. Two years ago I was really thoughtful about online learning. edX made me realize that from time to time, it’s good to change the way you usually do things. It can refresh you in more than just one way and it can make you think more out of the box. In total my edX experience not only helped me advance my studies, but it advanced me as a whole person and gave me new perspectives.
Updated April 2020: After all this time that we’ve spent home because of the coronavirus, I keep on thinking that when we go back to normal, everything will be different. People must understand as fast as possible that being flexible and easily adaptable are the top soft skills one can have right now. Distance learning, or at least blended learning, is the future of education. I’ve tried other platforms too, but the benefits, the prices, the universities and the courses that edX offers is the best online place to be right now.