This Professional Spends 90 Minutes a Week Learning. Here’s Why.
October 15, 2019
In 2017, Gabriela Castro immigrated from Brazil to Canada to attend the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.
At that point, she already had more than 10 years of experience in South America, holding jobs in IT, budget management, and project management. But, when she got to Ottawa, she realized she faced a learning curve.
First off, while her English was good, but there were many business terms she didn’t know. More pressing, the job-searching process was very different in Canada than it was in Brazil, and she needed to learn how to get the job she wanted.
So, she looked for the right resources to reach her goals. During the day, she went to school. At nights, she used Lynda.com – and later, upgraded to LinkedIn Learning – to bolster the material she learned and to add new skills, like how to find a job in Canada.
Landing a job thanks to learning
This strategy paid off in a big way in 2019, when she applied for a finance project coordinator role upon graduating. The problem?
The job called for someone who knew Microsoft Project 365, and Castro only knew Microsoft Project 2013.
So, before the interview for the position, she took a Microsoft Project 365 course on Lynda.com and published the certificate on her LinkedIn profile. The hiring manager noticed.
“When I came into the interview, my (future) boss told me he saw the certificate, and he was impressed,” Castro said. “In my mind, right there, I knew I got it.”
She was right — Castro landed the job. And that type of on-demand, work-integrated learning is a big reason why Castro previously used Lynda.com, and now continues to use LinkedIn Learning. Her goal – watch at least 90 minutes of LinkedIn Learning courses a week.
Often, she watches far more, usually when she needs to learn something for her job.
“I like how you don’t need to spend 3, 4, 5 hours to learn something,” Castro said. “You can watch 5 or 10 minutes and learn a specific thing.”
How learning has helped her stay connected
So yes, Castro landed a job thanks in part to LinkedIn Learning, and is using the platform to continually improve at that job. But she’s also using it to stay connected to her community.
Specifically, Castro is part of a 15-member “course club” of Brazilian immigrants who watch LinkedIn Learning courses together to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam. The group will watch a course on their own each week, and then get together over Skype to talk about it.
Not only has it helped teach the group new skills, it’s kept them feeling like part of a community.
“We learn together,” Castro said. “It helps people feel more comfortable and eases the transition.”
But, for Castro, learning even extends beyond that. For Castro, learning is living; as long as she’s alive, she’s going to keep learning.
“I don’t know how to stop learning, it’s part of who I am,” she said. “I’m always striving to learn something new, to always be getting better.”
Check out one of the courses that has helped Gabriela below:
- Microsoft Project Tips Weekly with Bonnie Biafore
- Cert Prep: Project Management Professional (PMP)® with Sandra M Mitchell
- Finding a Job with Jolie Miller