There is virtually no role at Udacity that doesn’t involve connecting directly with students in some fashion, and we are all united by a shared commitment to supporting our students as they pursue their life and career goals. That said, certain roles have particularly significant impacts on the lives of our students, and Career Project Reviewer is one such role. These individuals provide detailed, expert reviews of those assets that more often than not contribute directly to a student landing a job—cover letters, resumes, LinkedIn profiles and more. Needless to say, it’s a really important job!

Now, what happens when you take a role of this significance, and match it to an individual who is extraordinarily tenacious, hard-working, dedicated, empathetic, insightful, and passionate? You get very happy students! People who will march forward into the next stages of their lives with confidence, and the ability to demonstrate their value clearly, effectively, and successfully.

Olga Simpson, Career Reviewer, Udacity

Olga Simpson has been a Career Reviewer for just about a year now. She was referred to us by her son, who is himself a Nanodegree graduate. He was also an Intersect 2016 attendee, and he currently works as one of our code reviewers. All in the family! Anyhow, in the past year, she has performed over 1000 career reviews. This is simply a staggering accomplishment. But the story is about so much more than just volume. Olga’s reviews are in-depth, actionable, and really, really helpful. Our students love her work, and they show it when they give their feedback—she continues to maintain a 5-star rating to this day.

All of us at Udacity are right there with our students in appreciating the work our Career Reviewers are doing, and given all these amazing stats coming in, I was really eager to connect with Olga to get some insight into her motivations and methods. As might be expected, her responses evidenced incredible passion for the work she does.

I am honored to be part of Udacity implementing its unique mission, and very proud to work alongside the smartest and most dedicated professionals. I’m fascinated with Udacity’s unique philosophy, and our non-traditional approach. We at Udacity look at the whole process of personal and professional development, not just at the educational part. Our approach is person-oriented rather than education-oriented. We go far beyond being an education provider because we care about what happens with the students after they graduate.

When I asked her specifically about her process, she detailed her approach in this way:

  • Focus on the individual: Always see a person beyond their resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, and highlight to them their strongest selling points—especially those things which they might not even be aware of themselves.
  • Be respectful
  • Be empathetic
  • Always give it my 100%+
  • Always do my research
  • Never get complacent
  • Be thorough
  • Remember to always correct grammar and spelling: For some of the students, this is their first experience with writing this kind of content, and for many, English is their second language.

Given Olga’s commitment and dedication, it’s no wonder our students are so consistently positive about her contributions! Here is just a sampling of the feedback students have provided:

Thanks so much for the second review, Olga! You are clearly *great* at your job – I pride myself on my proofreading skills and you certainly caught things that slipped my attention. Long story short, I’ll do exactly as you recommend, and can’t thank you enough for all your help with this.

Awesome review. Point by point detailing. I appreciate Udacity’s efforts to make our professional life easy and precise.

I’m glad this review had a lot of ideas for improvement. It does well to say the strong points and it doesn’t feel like the reviewer is tearing my resume to shreds, but rather saying “This is good, this is good, but maybe fix this small part”. With so many red marks at first I was worried, but it was well written. Thank you!

Olga clearly spent valuable time analyzing the specifics of my resume and gave me concise feedback. The best part was that she explained why gave each suggestion, which was educational and appreciated!

Thanks so much for the extremely thorough feedback. It was very helpful and you provided lots of clear reasoning for why the changes need to be made. My resume is looking better than it ever has! Thanks!

Thanks for the great feedback Olga. I used this new resume outline this week and already have an interview lined up from it!

Thanks for the great suggestions. You have really taken the extra step to help me improve! Great review!

I appreciate your feedback very much! This is the best and most complete resume review I ever had in my 18 years career.

I have to confess, that this one might be my personal favorite:

The reviewer worked thoroughly through whole my CV, analysed it and made a number of specific suggestions for improving it. If I don’t find job with such a CV it will be my fault only.

Reading through all these comments, it’s abundantly clear that the work our Career Reviewers are doing is so valuable, and so appreciated. But what really struck me about all this feedback was not so much the tangible details about spelling and typos and such, but rather, the confidence these students exude as they talk about themselves, and the assets they’re working on (cover letters, resumes, profiles) that are ultimately going to be so important to their lives and careers. This is the true service that individuals like Olga provide. We know from so many studies that one simply cannot overestimate the importance of confidence when it comes to nailing a job interview, and given how challenging a job hunt can sometimes be, and how easy it is to lose faith in oneself along the way, helping to instill a sense of confidence and pride is literally invaluable.

With the support of dedicated Career Reviewers like Olga Simpson, our students are not only learning critical skills, they are mastering the art of presenting themselves in the best light possible, and thereby ensuring positive results as they move through the job search process towards their dream careers.

Are you ready to take a great step forward towards your own new career future? Enroll in a Nanodegree program today, and you too can start benefitting from the expertise and dedication of career project reviewers like Olga Simpson. Then, when you’re ready, consider becoming a career reviewer yourself! It’s a great way to earn additional money while also giving back to the Udacity community, supporting other aspiring learners, and applying the skills you’ve mastered.

 

Enroll in a Nanodegree program today!

Become a Career Project Reviewer today!