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Last week we launched new support features including increased mentor support, career services, and flexible payment plans to help our students master the skills they’re learning. We highlighted one of the students, Mohamed Barakat, who was able to experience our new and improved learning programs before the public.

This week, we had an opportunity to speak with another student who is currently enrolled in one of our improved Nanodegree programs. Wakana Morlan is a marketing manager in San Francisco and currently enrolled in our Data Analyst Nanodegree program. She shared her experience within the program thus far and how her new skills will impact her career.

As a marketing manager, what motivated you to enroll in the Data Analyst Nanodegree program?

I’ve worked in the marketing industry for almost a decade now and data has become an increasingly important aspect of my career. From conducting market research to managing social media, and crafting budgets, data is in everything. As my career has grown, I’ve found myself enjoying the challenge of digging through the numbers to identify trends or growth. In addition to what I’ve learned on the job, I recently started looking at online courses that would prepare me for a possible graduate degree in analytics. Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegree program was one of the well-regarded online options, so I went for it!

Is your Nanodegree experience fulfilling your expectations?

Definitely! The knowledge of statistics and methodologies that I’ve learned from the course have changed how I approach data and conduct research in my daily marketing job. Additionally, I didn’t come from a highly technical background but through this program I’ve learned how to program in Python and work in Tableau.

We are pairing students with a personal mentor. Do you interact with your mentor?    

My mentor is very helpful. I really appreciate that she doesn’t just give me answers when I encounter a problem. Instead, she guides me in the direction of a solution and I have to slowly but surely solve the problem, which helps me to cement my skills. Additionally, she hosts a weekly webinar to review current materials, which is a huge help. The course materials themselves are great but she demonstrates with actual case studies. She provides detailed explanations, which help me to understand the material in a use-case scenario. I even re-warch her webinars during my train or bus commute to work.

How do you see this program impacting your career?

Many of the techniques I’m learning are applicable to my daily work. I am able to improve my company’s market and user research. I am halfway through the course at this point and really excited to see how my skills continue to grow. I plan on implementing more data analytic tools at my current job and create a portfolio of my work. Then, I’ll begin applying for a masters program!


Congratulations on starting this new learning journey, Wakana! We are excited to see you complete the course and see how you are able to continue making an impact on your job and your future!

If you would like to learn more about gaining in-demand skills with Udacity Nanodegree programs, check out our programs here.

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