I learned about edX a few years ago after graduating from college. Even though I had my combined BBA/MBA, I was eager to keep learning, but needed a cost effective and flexible option. MOOCs were just becoming popular around this time, but I didn’t seriously consider pursuing a certificate until I began my career at United Airlines. I quickly learned that most of the business was project-based, and I needed to boost my skillset in that area in order to be successful. When I saw that RITx offered a MicroMasters program in Project Management, I was all in. It was the perfect opportunity to advance my career.
Not only did the MicroMasters program give me a solid foundation in project management skills and expertise, but it also showed my co-workers and manager that I was serious about my job and willing to learn, gaining their confidence and support. In addition to impressing my boss, my confidence in doing my day-to-day work soared as I progressed through the program. I now have a foundational base that I can build upon when I step into the office.
The flexibility of the MicroMasters program was key to why I was able to complete it. My life was hectic – my son was two months old, my wife and I were relocating to Denver from Chicago, and I was moving into a new role. Just finishing the program while keeping all of the proverbial balls in the air was an accomplishment in and of itself! It helped that I could complete my coursework when I found time to do it, whether it was while waiting in line at the DMV for a license, or after a long day of work while lounging on the couch.
By telling my manager that I was taking the program, I opened up new doors at work. I’ve had the opportunity to test my project management methodologies in a small manner with an employee break room coffee program. It may not seem like a lot of impact, but my new knowledge helped with project timeliness and success! My company also arranged for me to work with a mentor in a project management position. I’m learning so much by having this connection!
I had a million and one reasons to not take the MicroMasters program and push it off until later. My advice for edX learners is that if it crosses your mind that taking an offering or program is worth doing, chances are it is. Don’t let your hesitations get in the way of bettering yourself.