Where do you live?
I live in Sincelejo – Sucre, Colombia. It is a town in a stage of growth. Its main
source of income is livestock and agricultural sectors. It’s a welcoming place, full of nature, hope, and human talent.
What's your age?
26 years old
What led you to use Coursera, and when did you first enroll in a course?
In 2014, at 22 years old, I graduated from school as a public accountant. I also was studying
mathematics at the University of Cartagena. Then, at 24 years old, for reasons related to my mother's health, I had to leave the university and return to Sincelejo to take care of her.
I began to gain work experience. I took part-time jobs as a public accountant, a support
auxiliary to a lawyer, advisor to entrepreneurial projects in a non-profit company, and later a chess teacher at a school.
Given that I wanted to continue studying but was far from the university, I opted for virtual education. And thus I learned about Coursera, two years ago.
Which courses have you taken?
- Habilidades Gerenciales (Management Skills) Specialization (6 courses), taught by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Autonomous University of Mexico)
- Emerging Technologies: From Smartphones to IoT to Big Data Specialization (3 courses), taught by Yonsei University
- Applied Machine Learning in Python, taught by University of Michigan
- Google Cloud Platform Big Data and Machine Learning Fundamentals, taught by Google Cloud
- Neural Networks and Deep Learning, taught by Deeplearning.ai
- Coursera Mentor Community and Training Course, taught by Coursera Community Team
Tip #1 is to take advantage of new opportunities for studying. One of the aspects that I have noticed, is that the model of virtual learning leads to responsibility, commitment and performance in your cognitive development. Coursera has a very nice background, and that gives you the ability to have a personalized approach to what you want to be in life. Then it's knowing how to find what you love, letting yourself be carried away by your passion and looking for courses in what you want to do – this I consider a great advantage because when you find your line of study or research, you will do things with dedication and a love for learning, and all things will go well because it's what you have always wanted. There are so many things to do, so much to discover and so much to create, that we are at an ideal time to start. That's why I invite you to make the most of what Coursera gives you.
How has what you learned on Coursera made an impact on your life?
The impact that Coursera has had on me has been important. For example, one of the courses that I chose to take – Order, Management and Time – has made me aware of fundamentally important things: to make the bed and be organized, get up with the best of moods, be grateful, and know that time is the essence of life and therefore you have to know how to use it.
What does the Coursera Community mean to you?
Because of the great invitation that I received from volunteer mentor Neural Networks and Deep Learning, I was interested in exploring the platform as a whole. Then I logged in to www.coursera.community to look at it as a space where I felt I can put my acquired skills into practice. I see Coursera and the community, as a place where in my mind I had wanted to be, to be part of, to live the experience, to exchange ideas, to learn from that. I feel this can assist me in continuing to grow as a person and as a professional.
What part of your success do you attribute to Coursera?
To Coursera I attribute many of my successes. I would like to characterize it in two ways – tangible and intangible. Within the intangible is the fact of making me more responsible, giving me the strategies and methods to continue growing, giving me more confidence in myself and knowing that I am capable of doing many things. It also has motivated me to achieve my goals and look for bigger ones, feel that encouraged that I can give the best of me because Coursera is not just videos or courses – there is a community, a mission and a vision to provide education to everyone and with the best possible quality, that's why to being part of this great platform is a privilege.
In the tangible, I consider it a success that with the Course Certificates I managed to obtain a job with much more criteria and responsibility. I already have worked a year as a professor of the assistant accounting program in a corporate foundation – and all thanks to the merits obtained on Coursera.
What are your personal, education, and/or career goals?
This is a very interesting question and I would like to generalize something – education is the
main basis for the development and evolution of being, although it is true that each one has
goals focused on what we want, also we must take into account that to educate ourselves
is to be more sociable, to generate a space of harmony, to understand that we live in an
environment such as the Earth that we must protect and care for, to support each other and
always want to do good.
There is a very nice phrase that says "The more you know, the more humble you have to be,"
that I take into account in spite of my young age. Within my goals, I feel that I am at a good age
to project in the long term, so I'm making arrangements to participate in a project in the agricultural sector for a period of 5 years through a national fund, taking courses to apply for a Master of Applied Data Science within about 2–3 years and to finish the Specialization in Deep Learning, and continuing my mentoring process. I'm so grateful to know that I can do this and much more.
What has been meaningful to you about your Coursera experience?
The most meaningful thing about my Coursera experience is the opportunity to enter and be
part of the virtual world in the best universities in the world.
I had never imagined that from the place I am, I would have the privilege of being in a course from Stanford University – that I would get both the knowledge and the Certificate is impressive. And there you realize the dimension and quality of this platform, giving you access to many courses, many universities and institutions that put the love, dedication and the effort to provide education to everyone who enrolls, with a huge advantage to be able to get financial aid.
What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies aside from learning on Coursera?
When doing an activity/hobby, we stop doing other things, because we cannot do two things at the same time in different contexts. A great advantage of learning on Coursera and that is by occupying my time with other things, I have switched course sessions again and again. (I have been in a course for two months, but due to other commitments, I have not yet managed to finish it.) I consider it wonderful because I feel a balance between my personal, family, social, and academic life thanks to this teaching model by the platform.
My favorite activities or hobbies are:
- Practicing chess – I'm a regional university champion
- Being healthy by exercising my body. I practice playing soccer, basketball, volleyball with friends, and I go for walks or bicycle rides. I don't do it every day, only when I feel like it is a nice day or they invite me. In other words, I let myself live for the moment.
- Visiting my relatives and playing video games with my cousins
- Meeting with friends to chat, laugh at memories, listen to music, and go for walks
- I love photography, sometimes I go out alone with only my cell phone and my headphones, to take pictures from a small flower to a sunset. I am a lover of nature.
- Taking time to be by myself – listening to relaxing music for 4–6 hours, sounds of nature, the sea, or the forest.
- Resting – sleep is necessary
Live as you have always wanted to live, work for your dreams and goals, keep in mind that
there are no limits to achieve what you want, value what you have, be grateful, share moments
with your family, loved ones, close friends, colleagues, and enjoy life because there is only one.