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How She Got There: From MicroMasters® Program to Entrepreneur & PhD Student

Taking online courses helped Danaka gain incredible confidence in her abilities. She’d never considered getting a master’s degree or applying for a PhD program, but an edX MicroMasters® program gave her what she needed to turn her dreams into goals and achievements. Dive into her journey to find out why she calls her edX experience “literally life changing.”

How She Did It

Danaka had a bachelor’s degree but was looking for a bit of a change. Her friend, who was enrolled in MIT’s full-time supply chain management master’s degree program, told her about MicroMasters programs on edX. MicroMasters programs are series of graduate-level courses that make up a segment of a master’s degree. After you complete a MicroMasters program, you can apply to an associated university’s master’s degree program. If accepted, your MicroMasters program certificate will count towards the degree in both credit and cost.

Danaka decided to give it a try and had an amazing experience in MITx’s MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management. She completed the program on edX, was accepted into the residential master’s degree program, and went on to earn her MS in Supply Chain Management from MIT.

Now, Danaka has the skills and confidence to do what she’s always wanted to do: help people. She had already started her own consulting company while completing her MicroMasters program, and it took off after she went to MIT and earned her master’s degree. Then, a friend came to her with an idea. He saw a gap in the fertility market and wanted to set up a website to help match potential surrogates to intended parents. She had a number of friends with fertility issues and decided that if her love of math could help them, then she wanted to use it. Their website includes a comprehensive questionnaire that uses her algorithms on the back end to sort the potential surrogates and provide better matches to the intended parents.

In addition to her consulting company and the fertility business, she’s working on her PhD in cardiology. In the PhD program, she plans to use her knowledge of machine learning and algorithm writing skills to help medical professionals spot HRT and TWA (both markers of sudden cardiac death) in patient ECGs sooner.

Working multiple jobs and studying for her PhD keeps her on her toes—every day is different and can range from looking at data and generating algorithms to developing marketing campaigns.

Danaka's Toolkit for Success

Explore Danaka's must-have skills, tips, and recommendations to guide your own journey.

 

Danaka's Must-Have Skills

Supply chain management: “As a business owner and PhD student, there are a number of specific supply chain management skills I still use either with clients or in my life. For example, I use network modeling to figure out where a warehouse should be added and I can apply general process optimization in my PhD program in cardiology.”

Time management: “Since I was working and doing the MicroMasters program at the same time, I had to hone my time management skills. That has come in handy in my life now because I’m able to juggle many things and be successful in them all.”

 

Danaka's Top Career Tip

Knowledge is power: “You can always find a way to use what you learn in some way, either directly or indirectly."

 

Danaka's Top Time Management Tip

Stick to a schedule: “I’m a very schedule-oriented person so if it’s on my to-do list and in my calendar, it will get done. So, I made learning an item on my to-do list. When I was completing my MicroMasters program, I worked through the course material on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and then aimed to finish my assignment on Saturday so I could take Sunday off to do fun things. If you carve out time and allocate it in a weekly calendar like that, it’s so much easier to maintain your grades.”


Danaka's Recommended Courses & Programs

MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management from MITx

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