Olga Simpson: A Career Reviewer’s Tale

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!

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How Your New Udacity Profile Can Get You A Job


At Udacity, we want to be the place where you come to get an education, to get a job. One of the key ways we pursue this objective is through candidate profiles. Every career-ready Nanodegree program student has a unique candidate profile, which functions as an optimized showcase for your skills, your projects, and your experience. We want to see top employers consistently discovering Udacity talent, and student profiles help make this possible.

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Meet One Of Our Valuable Hiring Partners: Rakuten!

Rakuten Office

Hiring partners are a key part of our approach when it comes to securing your future career success. Knowing what constitutes in-demand talent means understanding what top companies are looking for in their candidates. But there’s more to it even than that. Direct partnerships with amazing companies not only allows us to learn exactly what skills our students need to master to land the best jobs (and build the right curricula accordingly), but it provides a direct path to employment. So yes, we want you to Be In Demand, but even more than that, we want you get hired!

To give you a closer look at how this process really works, we’d like to introduce you to one of our hiring partners, Rakuten. Rakuten runs the largest e-commerce site in Japan. They provide a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. They’re headquartered in Japan, and have over 12, 000 employees and partner staff worldwide.

More importantly, they’re hiring Udacity graduates! In fact, they literally just hired two more, almost as I was writing this!

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Go From Hireable To Hired With Career Advisor!


There are many paths to career success, and while we all generally share a similar end goal—landing our dream job, being successful, enjoying a fulfilling life—we all start in different places. Some of us literally begin at square one. We don’t have the skills we need, we don’t have the experience required, and we don’t have any portfolio evidence of our accomplishments. But we want to learn! Others of us have some of the puzzle pieces assembled, but still need a few items to flesh out the picture. But we’re ready for our careers to advance! And finally, there are those of us who are essentially already ready to be hired, but for some reason the switch isn’t flipping.

Nanodegree Programs, and Nanodegree Plus

At Udacity, we’ve thought deeply about all three of these scenarios. And while ultimately every individual’s journey is unique, there are some patterns that emerge, and we’ve tried to speak to each of these with our offerings. Our Nanodegree programs are perfectly suited for that learner who is ready to undertake the full journey towards a new career. And Nanodegree Plus, with its job guarantee, is ideal for that career-focused student who knows what they want to do, and is ready to do it.

But what about that third scenario?

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Storytelling, Personal Branding, and Getting Hired

Creating your personal brand

Every significant achievement has a story behind it. That’s why we call them success stories! Our personal success stories are an important asset when it comes to career advancement. But while we’re often quite good at highlighting our successes, we’re not always so good at telling the stories behind them. However, it’s often the “story”—and our ability to tell it well—that ultimately sets us apart from the crowd.

Tip: It’s called a “success story” for a reason! Succeeding is not enough, you have to tell the story too!

Recruiters and hiring managers face crowded fields every day, and often the candidates they’re reviewing have very similar skills. So they look for other differentiating factors. In addition, these same recruiting teams often don’t have the same technological knowledge as the candidates they’re reviewing. So again, they look for something that does resonate with them. Finally, it isn’t just about skills. There’s more to being the right candidate than that. So what else is there?

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Announcing Talent Source: Connecting Students & Employers With Our New Candidate Sourcing Tool

Udacity Talent Source - candidate sourcing

Nanodegree programs are built with a mission in mind: to equip students with the most in demand skills being sought after by the best companies. To achieve this objective, we design curricula in partnership with a shortlist of leading brands like Google, AT&T, Facebook, Salesforce, Cloudera, and more. These curriculum partnerships ensure that the skills our students are mastering are the same skills top employers want to see in their candidates.

Building Nanodegree programs in this way makes for a mutually beneficial employment ecosystem. Companies gain access to an extraordinary talent pool rich with qualified candidates, and our students connect directly to the top organizations where they want to work.

“We are looking for candidates with the skills to tackle large-scale tech problems. Udacity students have demonstrated both their technical abilities and go-getter attitudes, making them an impressive pool of candidates to source from.” ~Francois Bergeron, Engineer Recruitment, Global Human Resources Department at Rakuten

Talent Source is where this connection happens. Each Udacity student has a unique profile that can be highly optimized to represent their best work and showcase their most valuable skills. Collectively, these student profiles are organized into an exclusive database—called Talent Source—which vetted partner organizations use to source new talent for their open roles.

Hiring managers and recruiters can search for student candidates based on a number of criteria including skills, location, preferred employment type, and more. Upon identifying positive matches, these hiring partners can then review student profiles, delve into student projects, and start matching ideal candidates to open roles within their organizations. Student profiles also include resumes and direct links to LinkedIn and GitHub accounts.

Students can learn more about profile optimization, tech and soft skill development, and additional career resources in this blog post, and organizations who wish to apply for access to our Talent Source service can click here to do so.

We feel that Talent Source is a natural extension of the Nanogree program philosophy, and a direct expression of both our mantra—Students First—and our message—Be In Demand.

When we first began to shape what would become the debut Nanodegree program, foremost in our collective minds was a core belief often expressed by our founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun, that the ultimate value proposition of education is employment. As we investigated the full measure of what this meant, and how it translated into an actual program, we came to realize that what we were engaged in was a wholly new iteration of outcome-based education, and as such, the value proposition wasn’t so much a job in and of itself, but the life a job makes possible.

From that moment on, we knew that the process of connecting students and employers had to be something special, something elevated, something unique. Top students, top skills, top organizations. That’s Talent Source. Where the job you want, becomes the life you deserve.

Join existing hiring partners:

Talent Source hiring partners


A New Way To Get Hired: Connecting Udacity Students Directly To Employers

There is a talent shortage out there across many key industries such as biotech, finance, software development, and more. Employers are reevaluating their hiring and recruitment strategies as they struggle to fill critical roles necessary to innovate and remain competitive. Udacity builds curriculum specifically to address these talent needs, and to ensure that every one of our students is equipped with the vital skills necessary to assume these crucial positions. Companies are extremely eager to discover talented job-seekers, and one of our core objectives is to facilitate direct connections between our hiring partners and our emerging graduates.

Announcing Udacity Talent Source

With this goal in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new product that will directly connect top employers with our studentsUdacity Talent Source.

This new Employer Sourcing Tool is a profile directory of Udacity Nanodegree program students, and employers who use it can access student portfolios, review projects, experience firsthand the skills and experience on display, and even create a search for candidates that meet certain specifications, like “someone who is willing to relocate to New York City, is proficient in Swift, and has built an iOS app.”

Udacity Student Profiles

Your new Udacity profile is a powerful representation of your accomplishments, and will be a great asset as you pursue your employment objectives. When you opt-in to our recruiting services, you make it possible for top employers—verified and vetted by Udacity—to directly contact you for interviews and about available positions.

Employer interest in this service is currently very high, so we’re upgrading it to accommodate a significant increase in the amount of hiring partners using it. Now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with the new features, so that your profile is fully optimized when employers start accessing the service next week.

Optimizing Your Udacity Profile

The new features we’ve developed offer students the opportunity to add greater depth and complexity to their profiles, while also allowing for increased flexibility and more granular control.

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