Manager Fast-Tracks Career to Vice President With MLSI Program

As an operations manager in his organization, Jay wanted to strengthen his management and leadership skills. He was drawn to the Business Leadership MicroMasters program by the University of Queensland, which is explicitly designed to help people become effective leaders within their organizations.

Transformed by the experience, Jay decided to take his leadership skills one step further. He decided to enroll in the University of Queensland’s Master of Leadership in Service Innovation (MLSI) program, a top-ranked business degree according to The Economist and Shanghai Ranking. Now just shy of graduating, MLSI has propelled Jay’s career from operations manager to vice president of operations.

What edX course or program did you take and what were your goals in taking it?

When I started here on the edX platform, I was looking to take a course or two to strengthen my understanding of my role as an operations manager. However, one course led to another, and I found myself taking the Business Leadership MicroMasters program by The University of Queensland. Once completed, I transferred into their Master of Leadership in Service Innovation (MLSI) program, and I now have one semester left to complete. I have met such great people, and I plan on staying in touch with every one of them.

How was your experience learning online?

I have to admit, having never taken an online class before, I was a little concerned. However, the online experience was truly amazing, from the lectures to the discussions. The platform was intuitive, and the content was easily digestible. This was imperative as I continued to work full-time.

How has your learning impacted your career, life, or community?

Although I started this journey to understand better my role as an operations manager, the knowledge I learned quickly moved me forward. Within just a couple of months of investing in myself, my organization recognized my efforts and moved me from operations manager to regional operations manager. Now that I have continued into the entire MLSI program, I have continued to move forward in my career to assistant vice president and now vice president. This is much more than I could have imagined when I started my first course, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity.

How do you plan to use your learning in the future? What’s next for you?

There isn’t a day that I don’t utilize my learnings from this program. I run a team of thousands of employees and strategically coach every one of them. I hold daily operations meetings with my Director of Operations and my District Managers, creating an employee-centric environment that gets pushed down to the frontline workers. This is evident in our reduction in turnover, client satisfaction, and our year-over-year increase in revenue.

As far as what the future holds, I would like to continue coaching my team and teaching in a more structured format—putting together a more robust training program in my organization and offering leadership development sessions open to the entire team.

What advice would you give new edX students?

Don’t wait; jump right in. Take the time to get to know your fellow learners and develop your support team; that interaction is invaluable. Additionally, do not hesitate to reach out to your instructors; they are awesome and always willing to help.

Anything else you'd like to share about your experience learning on edX? 

This experience has not only opened doors for me in my career but has also provided great opportunities for my family. I could not recommend edX or the MLSI program (family) enough. Big thanks to Liz, my student advisor, for her exceptional guidance and making it all possible.

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