One thing that has been emphasized during this COVID 19 pandemic is the need for self-development through online learning. It’s just as if a dam was released and all of a sudden, we can’t get enough of online portals offering free learning opportunities. Even Harvard recently released a list of free courses you can take online, though now that I think about it, I am not even sure it is true.
Anyway, I can tell you for free, these courses help. They are career impacting, especially if you run one that actually gives you a certificate. In fact, the more ‘prestigious’ the school, the better. These Ivy Leave schools not as elusive as we think. Trust me, I would know, I got a certificate from Harvard!
How did a small girl like me, from a small private University in Naija, end up at Harvard with a certified degree as bragging rights? Sis, it was online o. I got my certificate from Harvard Business School online in Disruptive Strategy and the career opportunities it has opened up has been really interesting.
These simple things you do on your term can be the difference between getting head-hunted at your dream organisation. And if there is any time to take on the extra load of an online degree, it is now.
So, here’s how I went about taking my course.
Make out time
The program took me a whole year to run. Worse was that it was such a busy period of my life but the truth is, if I did not take the course when I did, I wouldn’t have taken it. Once you decide you want it, you will make out time for it.
Prepare to invest
I won’t lie, it may seem like a huge amount to spend on an online degree but it’s less than what you would spend on a trip to say Dubai. The cost of each course varies, so hopefully, your interests are nothing too bank-breaking. This was a factor for me when I selected Disruptive Strategy. At that time, it was $1,500. Now, it’s $1,600.
You need a profile
Once you select a course and decided on your budget, you have to get your profile ready. Harvard Business School will ask why they should select you to participate in the course. Think of it as an elevator pitch and an Instagram profile merged in one, you are both selling yourself and shooting your shot, but with like, plenty words. #Sigh
There are people who can help you dust up your profile. You can also simply do it yourself. Google helps
Once you have been admitted to join your preferred course, you need to be ready to dedicate time to the course as you will have weekly assignments which have to be delivered when due.
As I mentioned earlier, I had a lot of things on my plate at that time and almost didn’t churn in my assignment. Someone who was also busy did not get to submit his assignment and got kicked off the course without a refund of course. That was when I knew things were real!
The style of the course has videos, case studies, infographics, group assignments and a lot more. The case studies were key for me. I needed to see what other businesses have done when it comes to disrupting their industries as well as their businesses.
During the course, a private group will be created which gives you an avenue to network with other course mates. Also, an on-ground networking event is also organized in the US.
And remember, even if it is not Harvard, degree is degree; knowledge is knowledge. Do what you can and take your career to the next level.