Marisol, 26, a learner from Northern California, U.S., shares how she’s using edX to help enrich her graduate studies, further her career and fuel her love of lifelong learning.
The first edX course I ever took was a Philosophy course from MITx that I was inspired to take because I missed being a student. After taking the course, I realized that I wanted to get back on a university campus and decided to return to graduate school, where I earned my Master’s in Public Administration (MPA).
As a liberal arts undergraduate with a background in creative writing, I was a little uncertain of where exactly I wanted to focus my studies when I got to grad school. That was until the second year of my MPA, when I discovered Brand Management and fell in love with the field!
I feel passionately about helping companies manage their brands at an organizational level and guiding them through the process of understanding how their brand will be perceived in the market. Inspired by this discovery, I realized that if I wanted to refocus my career to be in Brand Management, I would need to gain additional knowledge regarding Marketing and Analytics, since Brand Management and Marketing are very connected and my MPA program only lightly touched on these topics.
That’s when I turned to edX yet again, but this time to take a Marketing Analytics course that was part of an XSeries from BerkeleyX. While taking the course, I realized that the knowledge I was gaining added an extra dimension of understanding to my studies. In addition, now that I’ve graduated from my MPA program and am working at a non-profit company as a project manager, I am seeing that the knowledge I learned in the Analytics course is helping me to approach projects, budgets and plans with an analytical eye and mindset.
I have also put the knowledge I gained from the aforementioned course to work in my personal endeavor as a creative writer and blogger. With the ability to look at content and analyze performance, I am able to make smart decisions about the content I produce and how I share it on my personal social media channels and blog.
In addition to the Marketing Analytics course, I also participated in an MITx course on Evaluating Social Programs. I took this course in Spanish during my Summer vacation and found that it solidified what I was learning in school and gave me a leg up on the content we studied the following semester. Taking the course not only helped me feel confident tackling new content in the classroom, but it also helps me now, in my ‘real-world’ job environment. It feels great to be able to walk into a situation or step into a project management role and know that I don’t need to guess about what the best solution is – I know what needs to happen, what’s missing and what I need to do to make for a successful outcome.
In my experience, taking courses on edX is a great way to learn a skill to meet a career need, supplement your studies, or simply for pure enjoyment. I recently signed up for my third edX course, Personal Finance from PurdueX, not because I want to break into the financial services industry, but because I want have a good understanding of my own finances and make informed financial decisions.
EdX is a fantastic resource for anyone who is looking to learn something new. With edX, you have access to knowledge from great educational institutions, which is amazing! Sometimes in life, you miss the opportunity to learn about a certain field or to focus on a specific subject, but with edX you have the opportunity to study anything, anywhere. Once you gain the knowledge in a field you never thought you’d be able to explore, you always think ‘I wish I had learned about that sooner!’
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