Learning

See how marketing professional and aspiring entrepreneur Hillary is taking the next step in her career and business

Meet Hillary, a marketing freelancer and aspiring entrepreneur who’s learning from the Philippines. She started learning on Coursera at the beginning of the pandemic last year with the goal to gain news skills and boost her resume while in quarantine. Now she not only feels more confident in her marketing skills, she’s also getting ready to launch her first apparel line! 

2020 was not a very good year for me. I bet many other people also feel the same way. But when life knocks you down, I believe that one way to approach a setback is to get working and focus on yourself. You can never go wrong with investing in yourself no matter what happens.

During quarantine, I had a lot of time on my hands and I couldn’t go out. I figured that I could be productive even if I was at home. I set aside time to learn while helping our family business thrive during the pandemic. I also kept busy being a freelance social media manager, working out, and pursuing my hobbies.

After a year of taking courses on Coursera, I can happily say that I have become a confident and aspiring entrepreneur and a better marketing and advertising professional. I listed my course certificates on LinkedIn, and now, many companies are reaching out to me and offering me job opportunities that I didn’t think were possible before. The courses that I took helped me not just with my career, but also with my physical and mental health. 

Here is a list of courses I’ve completed so far and a description of some of the things I learned:

1) Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford: I took this course to help me with my diet while I was working out, and it helped me start my journey to living a healthier life!

2) The Science of Well-Being by Yale University: My favorite course so far! It helped me live a better life by focusing on what really matters, and it really helped my overall well-being—especially my mental health. It made me rethink the way I view happiness.

3) Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators by University of Pennsylvania: This course helped me become aware of the social impact of starting a business, and how to help my business make a difference in the world.

4) Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content by Wharton Online: This course broadened my knowledge of the digital avenues that I can use in order to be a better marketer, and the strategies I can leverage in order to effectively capture people’s attention.

5) Advertising and Society by Duke University: I learned about the correlation between advertising and society, and how exposure to marketing can change people’s perception of a product, brand, or situation. 

6) Converting Challenges into Opportunities by University of California, San Diego: Through this course, I learned how to use my strengths in order to face challenges in the corporate world, and how to spot a challenge that can be made into an opportunity for growth.

7) The Strategy of Content Marketing by University of California, Davis: This course helped me understand the importance of content marketing in disseminating your message to the world, and it helped me become the effective and strategic social media manager that I am today!

I aspire to become a successful entrepreneur and marketer in the future. This is, in part, because of my mother. The woman that I look up to most in life is my mother––she’s superwoman! She has managed to grow and sustain our family optometry business for more than 20 years, and I aspire to be like her in the future, managing my own brands.

Photo: Hillary and her mother at their optometry clinic

I’d like to have a career in marketing while also building my own businesses––it’s the best of both worlds. Through Coursera, I was able to become confident in starting my own business. I have been in the process of creating an e-commerce platform to sell clothing and accessories from my own apparel line, and will be launching it very soon! 

I was also able to start my own personal website that serves as my online resume and portfolio. I eventually want to share my learnings and knowledge through blogging. I want to inspire others to work and focus on themselves, and for them to be an inspiration to others as well.

My advice to my fellow learners is to never compare yourself to other people when it comes to their achievements. Instead, be inspired by them. We all have our own timelines and things we want to achieve in life. Be proud of your progress every day, and celebrate your wins whether they’re big or small. It will be your time soon and you’ll be glad you pushed through and never gave up. As a woman, people sometimes underestimate what we can do. But we’re proving them wrong and showing them what we are made of.

Bonus fun fact about me: I play guitar and write my own songs which I don’t let others hear. I also do Muay Thai. I’m obsessed with dogs and I love cats as well. I act, sing, and dance, although not really well. I also hosted a Study With Me session with Coursera, which you can check out here!

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