This post originally ran on the edX Learner Story blog.
Kigali, Rwanda | Age 33
Originally from St. Louis, MO, I currently work in international development, focusing on economic development and public-private partnerships for USAID in Rwanda. I decided to pursue an MBA, but as I had already completed my bachelor’s degree in politics from Oberlin College and a master’s in geography from Temple University, I wanted to do so without incurring any additional debt, and without stopping work. The first time I heard about MOOCs, my very first thought was that I could use these courses to get the business education I had long considered going back to school for.
I launched my program, No-Pay MBA, in August 2013. For the past year and a half, I have been taking free online courses that are equivalent to an MBA program of study. EdX has played a great role in my No-Pay MBA curriculum. I recently finished MITx Evaluating Social Programs (JPAL) and Supply Chain and Logistics Fundamentals. Prior to that, I dabbled in An Introduction to Credit Risk Management from DelftX. I am currently registered for Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer? and Entrepreneurship 102: What can you do for your customer?
All three courses have been great. The JPAL course made me a better consumer of program evaluations, which is very useful in my work. The course on credit risk management gave me a better understanding of the financial sector. Supply Chain is probably my favorite of the three so far — for a geographer, there couldn’t be a more interesting subject than how things move around the globe.
In general, I find edX courses to be more rigorous than the average MOOC. And I like that! Business students are often categorized into Poets and Quants. I’m probably more of a Poet — a mathematically literate one, but a Poet nonetheless — so, I find math-based courses difficult. But, I appreciate the challenge.
The edX courses I’ve taken—especially the Supply Chain series—have filled an important gap in my business education. Given the courses’ level of difficulty and technicality, I expect to walk away with a much better understanding of how business works – and to be able to apply that in my work in international development.
I look forward to taking the rest of the Supply Chain Management XSeries and exploring new courses as they become available. I am excited to continue to learn with edX.
And, other students who are interested in creating their own program should check out No-Pay MBA website for tips and resources and join me on edX to learn more.