How one Udacity student built her self-confidence to face the unknown
As an elementary school english teacher in Phoenix, AZ, Kristin was in constant search of new ways to further engage students through the use of technology. But she didn’t think of herself as a “technical” person. That role belonged to her husband, a software developer. All the same, she was surprisingly proactive on her student’s behalf. In her spare time, she started both a coding and a robotics club. But her motivation was rooted in curiosity—for her, technology was more of a hobby. She never considered a future for herself in the tech industry.
“I had this false perception that I wasn’t very good at math. But, I realized over time that computer science is really less about math and more about logic—which I’m good at!”
There are many ways to measure success. At Udacity, we prioritize our students above all else—when our students succeed, we succeed.
That said, there are other measurements that can be very meaningful. When an extraordinary organization such as Google, Amazon, IBM, or NVIDIA chooses to collaborate with us, we consider this a powerful and positive referendum on our efforts. When a publication such as the MIT Technology Review determines that we are one of the 50 “Smartest Companies” in the world, we are excited that our work is capturing minds and imaginations.
Ultimately though, even these examples come back to our students. And that’s as it should be.
Today, we received recognition of a somewhat different kind, and for a moment, we are able to stop, reflect, and feel a bit of pride that our company has emerged as a wonderful place to work, as well as learn.
If you’d asked us last month whether we expected to be mentioning Thomas L. Friedman, Bono, and Forbes in the same breath with the term lifelong learning, we might have briefly gazed quizzically into the distance, contemplated the possibility, then likely just returned to the daily reality of trying to deliver the best learning experience on the planet.
However, as it turns out, you’d have been the prophetic one if you’d proposed the idea, because Thomas L. Friedman and Bono are indeed together in Forbes discussing lifelong learning, and while the pairing may seem unusual, the insights throughout are laser-precise, and together they present a clear exhortation to embrace the path of lifelong learning.
How Udacity student Megha Maheshwari transformed her early passion for engineering into an autonomous vehicle career
At first glance, it may seem an inevitability that Megha Maheshwari should become an engineer. Both her brother and uncle pursued technical careers, and her mother instilled in her a strong sense of independence at an early age:
“I was inspired to become an engineer and most importantly, my Mother, as a working parent, had always groomed me to become an independent women—carving my own path in the direction of whatever career I chose. That always kept me moving forward.”
But despite a strong family network, early industry exposure, and an independent spirit, it would still be a long and remarkable journey for Megha—from growing up in India, to becoming a student of the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program at Udacity, to landing a job with Volvo Cars Silicon Valley R&D Tech Center in Mountain View, CA. Her dedication, growth mindset, and tenacity would be tested many times along the way. She took risks, faced down challenges, and weathered disappointments, but ultimately, she realized her dreams.
This is her story.
In addition to this, our main Udacity blog, we also have a Medium publication. It’s been a wonderful second platform for us, and it has afforded us the opportunity to share so many more stories with so many more readers—something we’re very grateful for.
Writing on Medium provides an author with many ways to gauge the efficacy and resonance of their prose. There are of course traditional analytics such as views, minutes read, and visitor counts. But while these numbers are certainly valuable, it is often more instructive—and more powerful—to look to comparatively unconventional “metrics” such as highlighted quotes for insight. The words people elect to highlight can tell you an awful lot about where and how you’re striking a chord with your readers. We took a look back at some recent Udacity posts on Medium to find out what readers were highlighting; here are some of the items we discovered:
How one Udacity student’s years of grit and determination (plus one well-targeted Tweet!) got him his dream job
The process of launching a new career requires a combination of short- and long-term planning. You need to know where you’re headed, and the steps required to get there. Then, you need to put in the actual effort of advancing along your path. When it works, the process can result in your career dreams coming true. But, making the process work can be challenging. You might be able to visualize yourself in a great career, yet not have any idea how to get there. This can easily lead to frustration over not reaching your goal. Or, you might be working really hard, but without a clear end goal; this can result in a feeling of being adrift, and not knowing where you’re headed.
Today, Udacity and Google are excited to announce a new scholarship program that will provide world-class learning opportunities to 50,000 people across the United States. The scholarship program is part of the Grow with Google initiative that Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled at a press event earlier this morning.