Brand You: My love affair with Coursera

I get on these "gotta improve myself" kicks every now and then and I thought it would be fun to let you guys in on the action. I call it my "brand me" moments. My motto is you have to promote brand you because no one else will do it better. 

I’m currently taking two classes via Coursera. If you are not familiar with Cousera they are an online educational source offering FREE classes taught by professors from major colleges and universities. And when I say major I mean respected and Ivy league organizations like Yale, Penn (University of), Columbia, Princeton, Brown, etc. I think I first heard about Coursera via an INC article. I bookmarked the site and finally made time to sign-up for some interesting-to-me courses.  I like the fact that I can log in when convenient and go at my own pace. The curriculum is well thought out and the material or lecture videos are broken up into weekly digestible segments. All designed so that you are not overwhelmed. There are assignments and quizzes at the end of each week but again not designed to be overwhelming.  

So what am I taking? From the University of Maryland I’m taking “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship”.  I’m entering week 3 of 6. And today is day 1 of “An Introduction to Marketing” from Penn –  TheWharton School. I’m most excited about this class for a couple of reasons. My undergrad degree is in Marketing so I’m excited about continuing education within my original discipline. Secondly the course is being taught by Wharton professors. Hello WHARTON?!?!! A top 5 school for most MBA candidates. And lastly Coursera offers these signature track options for the courses you take. What that means is that you can earn a verifiable electronic certificate that serves as official recognition from the associated university. There is of course a fee associated with that track and you have to complete assignments on time (not at your leisure) but the fee is nominal ($49)and to me totally worth the investment for that type of recognition.   

Go me!