Seeing COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Further His Learning: Meet Joseph

We sat down with Joseph, a restless learner that has stopped at nothing to achieve his learning goals. From taking an MITx Probability course two times before finally completing it and earning a Verified Certificate – he has now moved on to pursue the full MicroMasters program, and has dreams of earning his Ph.D. We’re thrilled he’s achieving his milestones and is applying his learnings to help his community. Read on to hear his story.

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What course did you take and what was your goal?

I just completed Probability – The Science of Uncertainty and Data from MITx. I found this course inspiring and worth taking because from late last year was the beginning of the greatest uncertainty I never thought would emerge in my lifetime – COVID 19. This course has helped me to a greater extent cope with the issue of this uncertainty.

My goals are to complete all the other three courses in the MicroMasters® program in Statistics and Data Science. I am taking two of these courses now: Fundamentals of Statistics and Data Analysis for Social Scientists. Next year I will have to take Machine Learning with Python: from Linear Models to Deep Learning. I am thirsty to go for the SES Phd.

How was your experience learning online?

I have never experienced before what I experienced this year. I audited the probability (The Science of Uncertainty and Data) course twice already. First time the learning curve was steep for me. The second time when I was planning to complete it and get a Verified Certificate, we started experiencing massive viral spread in my country so I couldn’t complete it. Then this year, the coronavirus seemed initially a big obstacle to continuing my studying but I later realized it was such a big opportunity for me to complete my course. With restrictions in place because of COVID-19, I had time to commit to my studies. It was this time that I realized that the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. For me, COVID-19 restrictions turned out to be an opportunity finding time to study and complete my studies. It is still an opportunity for me to complete more courses having passed Probability – The Science of Uncertainty and Data and earned a Verified Certificate. Thanks to edX also for the financial assistance without which I could not have earned a Verified Certificate.

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

From the time I started my course, I have been doing some consultancy on a part-time basis and was assigned the Revenue Authority in my Country. I found this course of great help especially when it came to dealing with the aspect of uncertainty and randomness because the nature of work demanded management of such processes.

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

I am already coaching some youth in cognitive skills and some disruptive technologies that I have so far learned from edX. This project I started way back before I discovered edX, but my knowledge of these technologies was so shallow that at some point I had to abandon the project. With the knowledge that I have acquired, I see no reason why I should stop the project I started. I am more confident the project can yield results. My focus is to steer interest in the uptake of disruptive technologies locally.

What advice would you give new edX students?

New students should have a vision to achieve if they have to sustain their studies on the edX platform. Discipline is also important because at one time I found myself wanting to do more courses than I would commit to. Then I told myself to be focused on what was more relevant to making my dreams come true in respect to my long yearned career. Stay focused and commit yourself to what is your passionate career.

Inspired by Joseph’s story? Share your own! Visit our easy story submission page to tell us about your learning experience and we’ll use it to inspire learners around the world.